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The Experience
of the Real in Psychoanalysis

Highly Speculative
Reasoning on the
Concept of Democracy

Technology, Capital
Nihilism and Love:

The Giver Giveth,
and the Giver
Taketh Away

Welcome to the
Desert of the

Two Mexican Poems

Sam Taylor-Wood

Heidi II


Sam Taylor Wood



Josefina Ayerza

What is the structure of the year 2000 party?

Sam Taylor-Wood lays out the archetypes in a series of seven screens, the seven movies playing on the walls surrounding you, everything's happening at the same time, and the party space is divided.

You watch. The very enlarged face of Marianne Faithfull stands out and also her imperturbable attitude…now lighting a cigarette, smoking; also she is watching, though from a different angle. Says the artist, "What I wanted with her was somebody who brought with them a whole load of baggage…" Martin Hentschel in his interview with Taylor-Wood comments "because her gestures remain marginal, the viewer tends to identify with her."

Very different, my reaction to MF's image was more in the like of a question, is she just bored and couldn't care less? Is she an art dealer, a gallery owner that brought the artist to a party? What is she at, who is she waiting for? Neither one in my party identified with her at all, I don't think so, not at all.

Now let's say the figure of Ray Winstone, in another screen, is next to catch your eye. He is very quietly seated, smoking, looking, you guess, at some girl (Pauline Dali) who dances and dances (in a screen in front of him) to a silent beat only going on in her head. The face of the girl, completely disappeared under the floating, swirling hair, is she seducing the man without having any clue of it? He continues to sit there, very little expression on his face, drinking, a chain smoker, till you sense some irritation. Right away you want to look into another screen, and there is Adrian Dunbar talking to a blonde (Saskia Reeves). A little drama starts to shape up the minute you follow the angle of Dunbar's quick glancing at Winstone across the room. Is Adrian flirting with Saskia who has a boyfriend, and her boyfriend is none other than Ray? Ray appears frankly nervous when he ambulates into a subsequent projection in search of light. The woman handling the lighter, but an arm and leg, the lens happens to neglect her head.

Ray inhales deeply. Now he'll walk over to Pauline. Are you saying he's jealous? What he finally does is stand behind Pauline, across two projections, and stare at her body dancing. Still there is no face to Pauline, only hair. Ray's look could be hopeless, but it also conveys desire.

Ray regains the previous screen. Now hešs carrying his coat. He puts it on and sits down only to stand up again and approach Saskia. You get to know he's telling her to leave when she utters "five minutes". Ray returns, resiliently? Again he sits on the couch and mumbles to himself.

Meanwhile Marianne Faithfull is still sitting there, smoking, drinking, looking around…What is rather mysterious, I would say, is that she talks to no one. As for the loaded baggage Taylor-Wood wants to highlight, it remits you to her past, to the Rolling Stones, to the drugs… and to say the least to Broken English, the actual record propelling her career.

At once the Taylor-Wood 2000 year party discloses as a bourgeois party. MF's very British story unrolling throughout the "radical chic," into the "politically correct," reaches the fauxhème, in consternation? All you can see is that MF is at ease at the party, at ease with her silence and with her cigarettes - not everybody is the same. Let Tony Blair's England label itself after the Labor party, the country still has a Queen.



Art: Sam Taylor-Wood, Third Party, Stills from video, 1999
Courtesy: Matthew Marks Gallery, NY

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