From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Oct 16 2010 - 04:51:24 PDT
To all the people who have opined that artists have a 'right' to
withdraw or destroy work they have previously circulated in public
(work that, as such, become part of the corpus of the artform), I pose
At one point, before it was archived, Barbara Rubin declared her
intent to destroy 'Christmas on Earth.' Imagine you had been present
as she was about to actually go through with this. What would you have
A. Shout, 'You go girl!'
B. Sat on your hands silently.
C. Said, "Barbara, I wish you wouldn't do that, but as much as I
disagree with your choice, I support your right to make it, so here's
D. Tried to distract her with some kind of debate in the hopes that
she would tire, put the ritual off until the next day, and come to her
senses after a good nights sleep.
E. Grab the film, run like hell, and hide it someplace where she
couldn't get at it.
I submit that if your answer is anything but 'E' you may be an
advocate for artists, but you are an enemy of art.
I wonder what Barbara Rubin would have done if she had been visiting
Jack Smith, and Smith had declared he was ging to going to destroy
'Flaming Creatures'? Or what Stan Brakhage would have done if, when he
finally tracked down the burned-out Christopher Maclaine in some back-
room hole, Maclaine had said, "Hey Stan, the reel of film I hold in my
hand is the master of The End, and I'm pretty sure all the prints are
lost of destroyed, but you know i don't give a rats ass, and i think
you and I should cut this mess up into little strips of confetti, and
burn it to cook up some meth!" (OK, Maclaine died before the meth
pandemic, and tweaked himself into oblivion with conventional uppers,
but I'm just spinning a hypothetical here...)
Methinks Rubin or Brakhage would have grabbed the prints and run like
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