Thanksgiving Is Ruined
February 29, 2008
TiR was unable for a while this week to identify why Nina Katchadourian's "cover" version of the song entitled "Orson Welles," that appears on this page, was interesting to us for a couple days during the prior week.
We had listened to the "original" version and "conversation" (on the same webpage) with the songwriter, Eric DeLuca, about the circumstances under which he wrote the song.
Then we consciously noticed the dizzying number of lenses or frames-within-frames through which (the ever interesting) Orson is viewed in the cover version.
We decided that, for us at the moment, the cover version is interesting because it is performed by:
an artist in her 40s, who is looking back today at
Perhaps we're overthinking it. Nothing new there.
However, the tune seems like one of those theatrical conceits in which a character meets and has a conversation onstage with herself at different ages.
But, here, it's more multi-levelled and confused/ing.
Here, the characters gaze across the time stream to other characters who may exist only in memory, characters who themselves gaze at and converse with still other possibly only remembered characters, and sometimes speak with each others' voices.
All dizzyingly ventriloquistic.
One wonders about how many persons (or artists) might commonly maintain in their imaginations ever-shifting background multilogues of a very similar kind.
Finally, the song also is a reminder of how many messages embedded in a work of art are often "inside jokes" addressed to personal friends. Impersonal recipients and strangers who receive the work as a detached commodity through the medium of the market
initially can mistake the intended audience
and misinterpret what the piece means(as indeed being "The Market," or consumers just like ourselves
-- forgetting that why many pieces turned out the way they did often cannot be appreciated without reconstruction of an entire, lost time period and social circle of associates, collaborators, competitors, friends and enemies (real or imaginary). Failing that, the rest of us aren't supposed to "get it." And we don't.(e.g., that it is About Great Themes or Universal, Timeless Truths meant for Everyone -- because, after all, the measure of the success of an artwork or any commodity is its use value for the widest possible cross-section of consumers -- right?)
Richardon's Picasso biographies seem to be a great recent demonstration of how such a reconstruction of a lost world can come closest to being done.