“Zoë Lund” (1962 New-York, 1999 Paris) is a portrait exhibition that includes her private relics (images, objects, scripts, publications, letters, poetry) and totally different extracts of her movies which mixes her numerous positions as an creator, actress, screenwriter and director. Her filmography is dissected and reassembled on 4 screens to kind a sport of mirages and evocations. This exhibition is the end result of a lecture given on the Fondation Pinault – Bourse de Commerce in September 2022.
This determine of the American counterculture was one of many heroines of Decrease Manhattan within the 80’s: shady, riddled with vacant tons and deafeningly soiled. Amidst artists, activists, junkies and misfits, she led a life suspended between offense and forgiveness, on the sting of sanctity and criminality. She had a number of names, a number of false identities, appropriated texts she wouldn’t have written, and others which might have been stolen from her. It’s this bifurcated character, versatile to the acute, a wandering soul impressed by Joan of Arc and Medea, the Rome of Petronius and the Paris of Francois Villon, that makes her irreducible, a transitional persona. Briefly, a supreme actress who comprises and embraces all of the roles without delay, for the heroic style for the beings within the making in addition to to espouse the causes of all those that ponder her.
That which isn’t but, however should be, is extra actual than that which merely is
Her first function was in Ms .45 (additionally titled The Angel of Vengeance and directed in 1981 by Abel Ferrara), she performed Thana, a virginal, mute character who, after being raped twice, begins killing the boys she meets alongside her method. On this “rape and revenge”—model exploitation movie—half arthouse, half grandstanding—the mute baby turns into an aggressively erotic vengeful killer. Thana turns into Thanatos, goddess of destruction, fulfilling herself in a private battle of expurgation by way of systematic phallic slaughtering.
La loi du sang
Whereas this Ms .45 has acquired a cult standing, it has additionally remodeled her into an area movie star, a pythia of the underground condemned to play the femme fatale. Zoë Lund seems in an 80’s horror movie (Particular Results by Larry Cohen, 1984), in Richard Hell’s videotapes or in an episode of Miami Vice. Nevertheless it’s her writing exercise, as a prodigal however impeded screenwriter, that makes up her claimed function. In her poems and draft scripts, some introspective others impressed by her district Loisida, (the Decrease East Aspect nickname given by the Puerto Rican and Latino), she captures the timeless voice of the streets, praising their solidarity and their counter-system, which she raised up as an ethic. She shares their mores and vagabonds in a dilapidated New York of dirty grandeur. She learn a number of of her texts within the Nuyorican Poets Cafe bar based by playwright and poet Miguel Pinero, admired Cuban gay icon Renaldo Arenas, took half within the happenings at Darinka in Alphabet Metropolis, and left her mark within the counterplaces the place fanzines, medicine, punk and militant manifestos have been exchanged. In October 2023 a choice of her poems was revealed by Editions Lutanie and translated in French by American author Stephanie LaCava.
My God, my God, why have you ever forsaken me
One in all her most nicely know literary and cinematic oeuvre was the film Dangerous Lieutenant (1991, Abel Ferrara) for which she wrote the screenplay. The unique state of affairs is annotated by her hand is on the middle of the exhibition and displayed on a faux Renaissance Louis XV wooden tables, lavish however awful. On this onerous boiled film, Harvey Keitel performs a corrupt cop, a infamous pervert, a drug addict oozing toxins and a gambler as much as his eyeballs in debt. He begins a descent into hell by way of a Babylonian New York, within the grip of his personal demons, sinking into limitless bodily and existential decay. His liberation comes by way of the encounters of three saviors: a nun raped with a crucifix, a religious junkie performed by Zoë Lund and who pricks him as a type of excessive unction, and the apparition of Jesus as an homeless wanderer. The nun Magdalena exonerates her aggressors and teaches him forgiveness. By doing this, she accompanies him symbolically on his inevitable crucifixion. Zoë Lund’s morality resonates at a number of ranges on this secular Catholic thriller. Each sinner deserves forgiveness, even her adversary, even her political enemies. Saint Zoë welcomes each executioners and their victims, the humiliated and the humiliating.
Zoë Lund’s solely movie as a director is Sizzling Ticket (1993). It’s proven right here within the adjoining velvet-covered peep-show theater. This quick, siamese movie (1 minute 30) is made up of two photographs: one by which she exits a screening room, the opposite by which she walks as much as a cinema cashier and offers a syringe to the clerk. Lastly, we see her escaping into the road, as if there had by no means been any limits or thresholds, doorways or passages between cinema and life. Like a monstrously Golden Age Hollywood star, she is born within the crimson, uterine atmosphere of the cinema and emerges to hitch a mourning actuality: a bit of loss of life.
Cinema of Transgression
Zoë Lund’s profession lies on the crossroads of a number of cinematic genres. At the beginning, her aesthetics is imbued by the Cinema of Transgression (Nick Zedd, David Wojnarowicz, Lydia Lunch amongst others): the abrasive, violent punk and no-wave motion that waged symbolic battle on the institution and the nascent artwork market of NYC within the 80’s. Her youthful ardour for Marxist revolutionaries will certainly lead her to cross paths with Edouard de Laurot (or Yves de Laurot). A Polish filmmaker who returned from the Second World Struggle, who turned the conflicted companion of Jonas Mekas, considering of his digicam as a political weapon and who was behind two films earlier than assembly Zoë (Black Liberation, 1967 and Hear America!,1968). Each Zoë and him and shares the perfect of detecting within the current what constitutes a fairer future. This vein of internationalist, de-colonial, and left cinema (Group Dziga Vertov; Chris Marker ’s Medvedkin Group, Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers) infused her movies and texts with a political boldness. However for Zoë Lund, a baby of the media tradition, the revolution might solely be triggered by fashionable fiction, exploitation films, violent tales and a perception within the power of numbers and coalition in opposition to the grain of the orthodox elitism of its forebears.
Dozens of essays, novel drafts and unrealized screenplays have been born of her contradictory influences: a martyred portrait of the supermodel Gia Carangi (1960-1986); one other devoted to Jenny Diver, a genius Victorian-era pickpocket; a feminist SF movie tailored from Robert Merle (Les Hommes protégées, 1974) the place man disappeared from earth and changed by lady; an replace model of Brecht’s Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera); a cyberpunk spy movie impressed by a William Gibson’s quick story (New Rose Lodge, lastly realized by Abel Ferrara in 1998 and based mostly on Zoë first draft); and Promethea, the story of a feminine revolutionary in Latin America who makes unlawful radio broadcasts giving coded orders to guerillas which was impressed by an concept of De Laurot and Pasolini.
An inconstant, irreducible character, at all times in geographical and identification transit, Zoë Lund had a singular skill to present, to give up, whereas on the similar time being terribly fertile creatively. 24 years after her loss of life in Paris in 1999, her aura stays intact, her mythology much more pervasive. She led her life with a “sense of speedy impulse to motion (…), of surpassing oneself, of bringing one’s emotions and artistic aspirations into play in an incandescent ambiance the place the norms of 1’s particular person existence obeyed totally different legal guidelines,” to cite her beloved theorist, Gramsci. Zoë is a determine of intoxication and terror, who understood at an early age that to expertise life, to sink into it, was to sink into its unique depths. Her profession has been hampered by a basically patriarchal movie milieu that has typically lowered her to an eroticized vamp, an icon of the stylish heroine, and dashed her hopes of changing into a director. This fragmentary exhibition is made potential by a mortgage from her ex-husband, Robert Lund, and by the assistance of author Stephanie LaCava. It goals to current Zoë Lund as a major character, a liberated and liberating artist who can’t be lowered to the underground or B-movie supporting function to which she is usually confined. To talk with the phrases of movie theoretician Nicole Brenez, she is engaged within the etymological sense, placing in gage her life, her possessions and her work. “Zoe Lund,” is an exhibition devoted to this profane mystic and her braveness, idealism in addition to her unreasonable integrity.
Kévin Blinderman, Pierre-Alexandre Mateos, Charles Teyssou.
at Haus N Athen
till January 15, 2024