After writing an article about Björk, the transition is easy in order to speak about the her husband, Matthew Barney‘s work, and more specifically the short-film he released in 2004 under the name Hoist for the collection Destricted.
This idea to write about Hoist came for the reading of a similar article written by Todd Satter on his very interesting Any Space Whatever. Although my own (short) post will not reach the intellectual level reached by T. Satter, I felt that it was important that I wrote about this 12 min film which manages to bring the sexual relationship between human and technology to a new level. This new level is purely visual here and does not reach the power of Crash by James Graham Ballard -about which, I was incidentally writing yesterday- yet its literalness succeeds to increase our imaginaries.
Hoist shows a man hoisted under a deforestation caterpillar truck, itself suspended in the void. This man is methodically ejaculating against the rotating axis of the truck in such way that this operation appears as being part of the machinist process itself.
I am not really interested here, to dissect M.Barney’s own constructive interpretation involving the fact that his character seems to be related to the forest that the truck has been built to destroyed, or any other obscure narrative that would leads us into the usual “what he is trying to say” etc. On the contrary, I am much more eager to insist on the pure literalness of those images that mix a pure mechanic process with an organic one. The Deleuzian concept of the body as a desiring machine here seems so obvious and so literal that we might want to be cautious with it. In fact, the production of desire here does not appear to be its own end but rather a mean registered within the global function of the machine. The machine itself should barely be differentiated from the body who complete it and is somehow prisoner of it. Nevertheless the poetic aspect of those two entities hybridizing themselves together (it goes to the point that the body’s skin color is very similar as the bulldozer) manages to maintain the literalness of the film when symbolism is screaming to exist.
Watch the movie after the break