Monday, February 1, 2010

David Foster Wal...artist?

Cool! The LeRoy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University has an art show up now through February 19——
A Failed Entertainment, Selections from the filmography of James O. Incandenza——
that is based on the 8-page footnote in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. The footnote is a list of all the films of James Incandenza, the father of the protagonist in the book. So the artists in the exhibition have recreated all the "films"!

From their press release:
In 1996 author David Foster Wallace published his novel Infinite Jest and was instantly hailed as one of the greatest authors of the 20th century, eventually being granted a MacArthur award.

His sprawling and complex novel chronicles the lives of the characters surrounding James Incandenza——avant-garde filmmaker, mathematician, and visionary tennis instructor.

The plot largely revolves around the missing master copy of one of Incandenza's films, titled Infinite Jest, a film so entertaining to its viewers that they become catatonic, losing all interest in anything other than endless viewings of the film.

Included as a footnote in Wallace's novel is the complete filmography of James O. Incandenza, a detailed list of over 70 industrial, documentary, conceptual, advertorial, technical, parodic, dramatic non-commercial, and non-dramatic commercial works. The LeRoy Neiman Gallery has commissioned artists and filmmakers to re-create seminal works from Incandenza's filmography.


Beth Tondreau said...

Have you seen it?

Suzanne Dell'Orto said...

Had high hopes of making it all the way up to Columbia yesterday, but Mr. Winter kept me from it. I will try again!