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John Palcewski's Journal

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Street of Crocodiles

Yesterday afternoon and evening I was held fast by four superb films, back to back, on Sundance Channel. They were "Flight of the Red Balloon," "Alone in Four Walls," "Confessions of an Innocent Man," and my favorite, a 21-minute stop-motion film entitled "Street of Crocodiles."

Based on scenes from a novel by Bruno Schultz, Crocodiles is a mesmerizing, surreal presentation that I like to think might have been the result of an alien god breathing life into a collection of Joseph Cornell shadowboxes. It made me rethink my empirical vs. theoretical dichotomy discussion of a few days ago; now it's between the empirical vs the wholly ineffable. Like, totally beyond theory.

It's a short masterpiece. Part II is below the cut.

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Some of it flickers which I find difficult to watch as that tends to set off migraines in me, so I haven't managed to see much of it, but I have read Street of Crocodiles. Very strange and, as you say, surreal. More the form, really, than the story itself as I can't really think of it as a story - or indeed a novel, though I suppose it is. It's tragic what happened to Schulz. Have you read Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass? I am afraid that I couldn't quite get on with it. My father loved his writing and thought I'd enjoy it but I find it's vastly overloaded with imagery. Possibly, my being an artist, I find it a bit excessive for my senses.

From time to time I check the bookshops for Sanatorium, but it's unavailable and Amazon.com lists it for about $40 US. Steep, probably because it's illustrated with Shultz's artwork.

Regarding imagery overload, Henri Cartier Bresson abandoned photography and returned to painting. As for me, very early on I abandoned my futile attempts at painting and picked up a camera.

Why don't you give me a link to some of your work?

I have sanatorium with street of crocodiles, as a paperback published by Picador, ISBN 0-330-30411-9 And yes, his drawings are in it, too.

I've added you to my friends list. I had some problems a few months ago with the online galleries that were showing my work, coupled with a newly diagnosed health problem. I might show again publically later, but don't know yet. In the meantime, some is in my journal via this tag:

Apropos the Schulz book, there's a Dutch site selling it here, much less expensively:


Edited at 2010-02-24 06:41 pm (UTC)

Additional LJ Exposure

Hello, Val, I was quite taken by your work, most especially Pearl Dance, Getting Ready, and Chained to a Dream. With the view toward giving your art some additional LJ exposure, Iâ™d be happy to post on my LJ these three paintings, along with comments from you, and of course a link to the collection or anything else youâ™d prefer. Your comments could be a sort of artistâ™s statement, dealing with your intent, along with a biographical sketch, or maybe a fuller description of how these images were conceived and made.


Re: Additional LJ Exposure

I'm glad you like my work and thank you for your very kind offer of some additional exposure for it. I'll take you up on this a little later because all content in my journal is completely locked apart from this one. I will be putting my work on view publically again shortly, but it's not really available at the moment, so it might be frustrating for people who enjoy it, to see a few and not be able to see more. I'll let you know, if that's okay, when I've got it on public view again.

Re: Additional LJ Exposure

Sounds good! Look forward to hearing from you when your work will be available.

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