Puzzling out Edification: A Scholar in Love - Performed
Presentation with Stephen Wetzel (USA)
Steve Wetzel is a Lecturer and artist living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2010 Wetzel’s found footage video, From the Archives of an Inventor, won a Jury Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. His work has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the LA Filmforum. In addition to his video work, Wetzel recently published his first collection of essays, Orally Written Performances and Wayward Writings (Green Gallery Press), and later this year a recording of his heavy metal séance band, Demono, will be released by Augurari.
Format of Presentation: lecture-performance.
Here are a few middle paragraphs from the presentation, which addresses beauty and love in the work of the lecturer, me, Steve Wetzel. The piece is personal, theoretical and performative.
“Let’s back up. (SLIDE 3, Leonardo DiCaprio] I have a deeply established relationship, an intellectual relationship born out in both my most intimate thoughts and my practice, to beauty, love and emotion. I’ve followed the same political position or, rather, a political position has guided my thinking on these ideas pretty thoroughly, and the position is kind of incoherent, or it’s at least contradictory and not exactly useful to me any more (END SLIDE), not just because I’ve fallen in love, but because it has severely limited the range of projects to which I might commit myself, positive projects. My partner isn’t here, and if my partner were here there’d be a lot of hurt. We’ve been together for a long time. I can remember having a bucket of June bugs stolen from me by a gang of neighborhood kids, my friends. I was popular on the block, athletic, smart-mouthed, but for some reason they were whipped up into some kind of a frenzy against me and my June bugs. And as I watched them ride by on a pack of bikes, right past me on my front lawn, I wanted so badly to chase them, to confront them. But instead I sat holding my knees to my chin. And eventually they returned, guilty.
Perhaps this is the first step in my honestly coming to terms with the transformation inside me, irreversible, scary, and super exciting, as all revelations are (SLIDE 4, German bakery, IMPROVISE), or most anyway.”