Thursday, August 25, 2016

Boldt Words & Images: Welcome to

By Bob Boldt

Edited by Moristotle

[Editor’s Note: Bob Boldt recently announced on Facebook that he had
just completed what is, so far, the most extensive visual record of my artistic output of the past half-century. The greater tolerance provides for creative artistic expression (compared to repressive Facebook) has allowed me to publish some previously unseen work. I hope all my Facebook friends take time to view at least part of this collection. I hope you will comment on some of the items contained.
    Bob agreed that we might repeat his announcement here, to let the followers of Moristotle & Co. know about his pictorial gallery at – do note that that’s dot-co, not dot-com.
    I selected six of Bob’s works shown below, linking you to Ello,co to see the still photos among them, and providing a box for viewing each of the videos right here.
    Bob kindly provided some commentary on the works.

Click on photo to visit Ello
& see in large format
Three photographs

A boy and a camera: Self portrait 1964. In 1972, the year of the tragic murder of the Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympic games, I was cameraman on a film sponsored by Schlitz Brewing Company to cover the Tall Ships’ Race in the North Sea between Denmark and Germany. I not only got some remarkable footage of these magnificent sailing vessels under full sail, but also shot a number of great still photographs. This is a production shot of me at work aboard the US entry to the Olympic competition.

[Editor’s Note: When you click on the photo to visit and see the photo in large format, you may leave a comment about it in the box that Ello provides.]

Click on photo to visit Ello
& see in large format
Grandfather Tree: Elephant Rocks State Park, Missouri 1999. Missouri has some of the most interesting and beautiful state parks in the nation. That combined with an abundance of streams and rivers for comfortable and challenging canoeing make it a great vacation spot. One of my favorite locations for photography is Elephant Rocks State Park, the location of an amazing number of one-and-a-half-billion-year-old giant boulders perched atop rocky flats. This was an ancient tree I photographed on one of my many hikes in the area.

Click on photo to visit Ello
& see in large format
Portrait 1962: Brother and Sister-in-law. I have always believed portraits to be a kind of frozen conversation between the subject(s) and the photographer. A bad (unsuccessful) portrait is more than likely a failure of the photographer to establish a sufficient amount of rapport with his subject. Sometimes a portrait will allow one to see very strange relationship depths, as in the portraits of Diane Arbus, or an almost sacred reverence, as in the famous portraits of Karsh of Ottawa. Rarely do I ever try to do formal portraits like this one of my brother and his wife. Usually I prefer more candid approaches, like those of Weegee or Henri Cartier-Bresson.

[Editor’s Note: I was so struck by this photo. It renders its subjects “monumental” somehow – timeless, fixed in time, forever. But those are only words that suggest something of what I felt without really naming or describing it.]

Three poetry videos.
    In the late 80’s I began working with slam poets Jean Howard and Mark Smith on a number of poetry-inspired videos. I don’t think anyone who has not been living under a rock these past many years has failed to hear of poetry slams. Since 1986 the permanent home of the original slam has been the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge on the North Side of Chicago. I have always been a big fan of living and dead poets, regarding poetry as a profoundly neglected art form in the United States. I didn’t actually begin writing my own poetry until about ten years ago. More recently I began recording my own work with added visuals. My plan was that people would be more likely to listen to or view a poetry video than to dead words on a page – even the page of a prestigious publication. What we have here are three poems of my own composition together with appropriate images and music.

Who wants to live forever? Quite by accident, five years ago I heard of terror management theory (TMT). This new school of social psychology is based on the work of Ernest Becker, whom I quote at the end of this video.
TMT proposes a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live, but realizing that death is inevitable. This conflict produces terror, and is believed to be unique to human beings. Moreover, the solution to the conflict is also generally unique to humans: culture. –Wikipedia
    This idea is not all that startling. It is an observation nearly as old as the tool-using civilization. It formed a large portion of Freud’s preoccupation. What is remarkable about this movement is the innovative experimental designs they developed to test Becker’s theories.
    This poem grew rather directly from my readings in TMT. For me the greatest high is generated in the exploration of the implications and consequences of new and sometimes counterintuitive ideas. Many of my poems try to address the many strange, new ideas I am always bumping into.

[Editor’s Note: To leave a comment on the video, use this link to Vimeo.]

Mickey the Momo. I don’t even pretend to understand my readings in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. I do love the language, however, and can listen for hours to a good reader reciting the strange strings of word play and idea fragments that are always flowing, changing, and shape-shifting. I have also been a big fan of the early twentieth century movements of Dada and Surrealism. After watching a documentary about the Theater of Cruelty inventor, Antonin Artaud, I had a strange dream that seemed to coalesce several of the streams of thought I had been recently meditating on. The result is this bizarre bouillabaisse starring (I don’t know why) Mickey Rourke.

[Editor’s Note: To leave a comment on the video, use this link to Vimeo.]

The Song of the April Fool. This is my annual April Fool poem, which I send out every year to friend and fool alike. I hope the thread is not too convoluted so as to be incoherent. It is a plea for a return to the spiritual grounding that I believe will be the only way this badly evolved bunch of fractious primates will ever be able to save itself and maybe the planet.

[Editor’s Note: To leave a comment on the video, use this link to Vimeo.]

Copyright © 2016 by Bob Boldt & Moristotle

1 comment:

  1. I've taken this trip with you on FB and enjoyed it but it was nice to be reminded how much I like your work.