The Wayward Canon
History 2001- present
Interview with Stuart Bailey, Metropolis M, 2005
How exactly did you re-represent the films? - Through the title of the evening or an introduction, or was it more allusive? Is part of the whole idea that the audience is not being quite sure of what's going on? Are you trying to throw people? It sounds like you're as interested in the mechanics of the evening as much as showing the individual works and films.
mark aerial waller
The Wayward Canon had email invitations in bright colours and a short text introducing the film as well as a wayward critical entry into looking at the film, so people had a sense of what they were going to watch. It was more to assist people in looking tangentially at films that seemed to have a covert reading. In fact the medium of film is one were most energy has gone into the development of covert language, perhaps ever since the introduction of the Hays code for decency in film. Maybe it actually shouldn't be seen as cryptic, rather the development of a multi layered language. This is where the humour, horror and tension of cinema resides, within the shadowy half-pronounced areas.
June 2018 SPACE PURSUES THEM, ENCIRCLES THEM, DIGESTS THEM •• Saturday 16th June 8;30pm at Daedalus Street. Duelle by Jacques Rivette(1976), Rabbit’s Moon by Kenneth Anger (1950/72). with ceramics derived from the tarot card of the moon.
February 2018 Forty Days at the Rhumba, Sad Disco Fantasia, Kunsthall Oslo. Duelle by Jacques Rivette (1976), Rabbit’s Moon by Kenneth Anger (1950/72)
May 2016 Mille Feuilles, South London Gallery. It involves Latham's fragments of Books on Glass, fresh patisseries, Sunset Beach, Paul McCarthy, Dennis Hopper, a dip back to the nineties decadence of afternoon soap and evening grotesqueries.
2014 Welcome to the Association Area, Whitstable Biennale. A programme of video work considering the exclusion of the audience in relation to Roger Caillois’ essay ‘Mimétisme et la psychasthénie légendaire’ (1935)
2014 Yoga Horror, Tate Britain. ‘Dead of Night’ (1945) portmanteau horror film ad-mixed with a yoga instruction video and a hybrid remake of scenes from Dead of Night (Waller) to consider haptic memory responses through yoga movements aligned to horror in relation to Kunze’s Boundary Language project. http://art3idea.psu.edu/notes/4-deadofnight.pdf
2012 Detour Projection Instructions, Mindaugas Triennial, CAC Vilnius, Lithuania.
CAC Cinema Hall, Vokie St. 2
A performance for the cinema with instructions for the projectionist and audience. This time it involves a screening of Detour, a film from 1945 directed by Edgar G Ulmer, whose characters are often powerless prisoners of an irrational series of experiences which they neither understand nor control. The 29th event of Waller’s ongoing cinema project, The Wayward Canon (since 2001) where films are unhinged from their canons in order to displace the event from a horizon for interpretation.
2012 Yoga Horror, Arnolfini
2012 Therese Desqueyroux / Popcorn Casts at Piper Keys
Thérèse Desqueyroux directed by Georges Franju released 1962, duration 109 minutes
With a display of new works by Mark Aerial Waller from the series Popcorn Casts (and popcorn)
July 2011 Celebration of Dennis Hopper, with floral offerings around the screen, in the studio: OUT OF THE BLUE 5-7pm, COLORS 7:30-10:30, THE LAST MOVIE, The American Dreamer.
March, 2011 Dead of Night / Boundary Theory HOLLYWOOD Cinema, Anglia Square, Norwich
February 2011 Elastic Frames The Wayward Canon presents: Boundary Theory / Dead of Night at Transmission Gallery 28 King Street Glasgow
2009 - The Mantle, Betonsalon.
Oct 2007 Simon and the Radioactive Flesh (with Giles Round), Arcola Theatre, Dalston
July 2007 La Society des Amis de Judex, Tate Modern
2006 Chroma Key, Warsaw - Klaus Nomi, Cerith Wyn Evans, Douglas Park
March 2006 La Society des Amis de Judex, Club Esther at Club Der PolnischenVersager,
Torstrasse 66, Berlin-Mitte.
October 2005 La Société Des Amis de Judex, at Redux (Peter Lewis and MakikoNagaya)
2004 3 to the power of 3, Reversion of the Beast Folk curated by Ian white - not sure if this is actually wayward canon, but is an expanded work for cinema audience. but not wayward canon as it’s my own film.
August 2004 Lisa Kirk's Greatest Hits - in the studio all day for a screening of largely North American artist moving image work.
Ping Pong Collective
Marco Boggio Sella
Michael D Linares
Julie Atlas Muz
2003 The Sun Set, 1,000,000mph art space, London all night
screening of Sunset Beach (Aaron Spelling) with publication. Text by:
Mark Aerial Waller
Sophie’s Place Larry Jordan (Lawrence Jorden) at T1+2 Artspace (Wolf Lenkiewicz)
October 2002 Billy Jack (1971) / Rat Life and Diet in North America (at Bart Wells Institute) The feature film here, Billy Jack, was lent to me by a friend who was fan of Billy Jack films and of Tom Laughlin, who developed a self-organised distribution plan, grossing $10m in its first run. The film is politically confused yet filled with naïve conviction; an underground martial-arts peace movie.
September 2002 Le Sang des Betes / Derek and Clive (audio in the interval) / Scarlet Street (to run alongside Pablo Picasso exhibition at Bart Wells Institute) I understood here how it might have felt to work in a cinema of an art institution, where the film programme was marginal to and informed by the gallery programme. Here the structure was loosely replicated in an artist run squat space!
[proposed but not shown at Bart Wells] Joe Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, Simon Godard - "The first drama to be made about Joe Meek, represented as a cast of beer cans..." -
September 2002 My Kleine Fassbinderbar - (at 5 years) all Berlin Alexanderplatz TV mini-series (1980) Fassbinder, with a Berlin style bar with weinerli cooked in the kettle, Rut Blees Luxemburg and Douglas Park serving white wine, beer and schnapps, wearing carnival cookie neckless. A mirror behind the bar reflected the screen and drinkers into a collaged self-performance. http://www.fiveyears.org.uk/archive/052/052txt5.html
La Salamandre (1971), Alain Tanner. I was curious to see Tanner’s work, which seemed to be lost from an understanding of the New Wave. It was one of those films that might feel some kinship with Fassbinder, but not quite as joyfully anarchic. This was one of the final screenings to be held in the studio.
April 2002 Dead of Night (1945) This film has become an important cornerstone in the thinking of the wayward canon and of my moving image work. Mark E Smith had said to me how it was one of his favourite movies, one of the most horrific too. Its plot concerns an architect who suffers from recurring nightmares. He takes a job in the country, where he arrives at the site of his terror in the glorious afternoon sunlight. He realises that he has seen the whole film in his dream but can’t remember the end. He is not sure if he has lost his mental faculties, is still asleep, or has received some psychic communication from beyond. We in the audience are caused to radically redefine our subjectivity in relation to the plot in a variety of twists. The film inspired Hoyle’s Steady State of the Universe model in 1948, and has become a central inspiration for the critical analytical tool ‘Boundary Language’ developed by Donald Kunze in the late 1990s. This Wayward Canon event was framed through Kunze’s work in the accompanying email invitation.
Cabiria (1915) dir Pastrone. Screened outside on the wall opposite, with music played from a collection of vinyl inside, including hand-spun 78rpm records.
The Last Movie (1971), Dennis Hopper
This film was unavailable in the cinema, as Universal (again at fault) had withdrawn it from distribution, even though it had won the Critic’s Prize at the 32ndVenice Film Festival. The distribution of movies was starting to evolve online, through sites that sold VHS copies of rare, out of print movies, Like Super Happy Fun and Video Oyster for instance. The Last Movie evolved the Hysteron-Proteron editing style of Hopper, perhaps from him viewing Gregory Markopolous movies, in New York whilst he studied at the Lee Strasberg Academy. The film related an external and internal narrative, crossing in and out of various levels of diagesis, and playing with concepts of re-enactment and first-time experience.
March 2001 The Light Ahead / Fiske Der Krummer (1939), Edgar G. Ulmer - Yiddish language film set in Ukraine, filmed in New England.
Edgar G. Ulmer was a director destined for the stars, but fate took him elsewhere. He worked with the major directors of UFA Germany in his youth, including Lang and Murnau. He co-directed the highly respected ‘Menschen am Sonntag’ (1930) with Robert Siodmak, written by Billy Wilder (later director of Sunset Boulevard). In 1933, he was given a script from Universal Studios to direct the already famous Bella Lugosi and Boris Karloff in a blockbuster horror film ‘The Black Cat’ (1934). The Black Cat had an uncanny air about it, where mistakes were used to create disjuncture – ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ owes much to this film. Whilst filming the Black Cat, Ulmer met the love of his life, Shirley Kassler, who was already married to the head of Universal, Carl Laemmie’s nephew. So Ulmer was black-balled, never to work again in a major Hollywood studio. Ulmer continued to make excellent films, including a series of films for distribution through Synagogues, in Yiddish. Fiske Der Krummer brings some aspects of Murnau’sUFA approach to cinema, filmed in New England, set in central Europe, of the love between a blind girl and a cripple, in an attempt to leave the cholera epidemic in their shtetl for Odessa. The film implicitly speaks of Ulmer’s life, in a mix of both faith, beauty and hopeless tragedy. I located this through a US Synagogue, by fax!
February 2001 O' lucky Man!(1973), Lindsay Anderson. Anderson’s film ‘If….’ (1968) had received a great deal of attention from critics, but his next two films of the series, O’ Lucky Man!’ (1973) and ‘Britannia Hospital’ (1982) were less respected. They were both written as black comedies, with some ideas that were considered experimental. I came to his work as a teenager through ‘Britannia Hospital’ which appeared on television very soon after release. All three of the series shared some common characters, and some actors played multiple parts. ‘O’ Lucky Man!’ connected romantic visions (really visions, as in William Blake poetry) to the auto-destruction of late modernity. The anachronism between the two times interested me, to overlay contemporary life with the romantic tradition, perhaps returning to the bucolic classical era of Ovid in the metamorphosis, where a monstrous imagining would materialise in the everyday. It was also brutally satirical, of racism, small town corruption and international corruption. It was epic in scale and ambition.
18th February 2001 4pm (Sunday) The Stendhal Syndrome, Dario Argento. Argento was known at the time from the outside as a ‘Giallo’ horror movie director with over exaggerated gore effects and sexualised violence against women. At the same time he had developed a large cult audience following, crossing over into post punk underground scenes, where some writers were starting to articulate the complexity and intelligence of his work, but had yet to become part of an academic canon.