Colores

FULL EPISODE

¡COLORES! February 28, 2014

For Albuquerque flamenco artist Jesus Muñoz, the dancer is vital to the music. Photographer Giles Clement uses the 20th century craft of wet-plate photography to create unique portraits. Nicholas Harper's vivid Byzantine-inspired portraits are like characters from a dream. And Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Philip Roth reflects on his work.

AIRED: February 28, 2014 | 0:26:19
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

THIS TIME, ON COLORES!

FOR ALBUQUERQUE FLAMENCO

ARTIST JESUS MUNOZ THE DANCER

IS VITAL TO THE SONG. We are

music. We have a certain

rhythm and if you're not clear

with that rhythm you can't

bring in those musicians,

you have to be a musical

instrument. PHOTOGRAPHER GILES

CLEMENT USES THE 20TH CENTURY

CRAFT OF WET PLATE PHOTOGRAPHY

TO CREATE UNIQUE PORTRAITS.

the lens is made in 1849

so it's a hundred and sixty

four years old and it actually

predates web plates, so it was

made for daguerreotypes, which

is the first real method

of photography.. NICHOLAS

HARPER'S VIVID BYZANTINE

INSPIRED PORTRAITS ARE LIKE

CHARACTERS FROM A DREAM.

I attempt to do distort human

forms in such a way that

we don't take it for granted.

PULITZER PRIZE AND NATIONAL

BOOK AWARD WINNER PHILIP ROTH

REFLECTS ON HIS WORK.

You excite all this anger

in people and you had

no intention of doing it.

So what happened? IT'S ALL

AHEAD ON COLORES! JESUS MUNOZ

SHARES HIS IMPROVISATIONAL

STYLE OF FLAMENCO. >>Hakim

Bellamy: What's the most

important note in a piece

of music? >>Jesus MuNoz:

Silence. For me and I think

for many other people that

I respect, that I admire,

being able to manipulate that

silence is what a lot of music

is based around. It's not

actually what other people

think and it's like the (makes

guitar sounds) the million

notes although that's...

>>Bellamy: The guitar solo. >>

MuNoz: Yeah or the other (taps

feet), the feet. But it's that

silence. It's learning how

to let the silence ebb

and flow, the silence, move

you. And I think Antonio Gada

said something once. He said

Bailan, bailan, bailan todos.

Perro solo para los toredos.

That means everybody dances,

everyone keep on moving

and I've heard this said

before Everyone keep

on moving. It takes an artist

to learn how to stand. >>

MuNoz: You have to, what

or wait. And you're there,

and you only go when

the cante, the cante flamenco

eats away at you. >> MuNoz:

That's when we're like....

>>Bellamy: It begs you. It's

like you can't hold back

anymore. >> MuNoz: It has

to call you. If you're just

moving to move, that's not

necessarily flamenco dance.

You know? It hasn't called

you yet. It has to call you.

>>Bellamy: What is the art

of flamenco to you? >> MuNoz:

It's a language. It's a way

of life. I didn't always think

about it that way. But every

single thing I do now, every

single thing I do, is related

to flamenco. But really it's

when you get to this base

of techniques and you're able

to use it to speak. Yeah?

So it's not just important

to articulate, but it's also

important to be able to use

that to be able to speak this

language. >>Bellamy: Is there

an improvisational element

or is it all very tightly

choreographed? >> MuNoz:

Depends what type of flamenco.

Some flamenco is strictly

choreographed. This person

will not miss a single note.

They will dance the same dance

every single time,

but as a solo artist

you'realmost like a jazz

percussionist that hands back

and forth. And you're going

back and forth. If I call pah

pah pah or (mouth dancing

sounds) I'm going (mouth

sounds), I have to wait.

And I wait for that song

to come in. So that

improvisation is a tag back

and forth yeah? You go back,

forth and hereyou know, until

it finally brings it all in.

But yeah the improvisation

in this type of flamenco, ypor

derecho, like that style, that

philosophy. It's super

interactive and you can bring

other people who have never

done it before, who are

amazing dancers, and it's

an entirely different world.

It'slike you just gave them

whole set of tools that

they don't know how to use

yet. But that's what is

so important for me

to continue a legacy of that

improvisational style, of that

language. Yeah? To speak that

language. >>Bellamy: How would

you describe yourself

as an instrument or do

you even consider yourself,

your body the instrument? >>

MuNoz: My body an instrument?

Oh definitely. We are music.

We have a certain rhythm

and if you'renot clear

with that rhythm, yeah,

you can't bring in those

musicians. You have to be

a musical instrument.

>>Bellamy: What does be

the music mean to you? >>

MuNoz: I think when people

think of music they think

of most artists when we're

sitting at like an armchair

or something. Well you can

read all the music, you can

see it. But what happens

in flamenco art is that a lot

of the oral heritage

because it's passed down, it's

not written. So a lot

of flamenco artists don't

actually read music . Even

really famous artists don't

read music or write it.What

they do is they feel it,

they hear it. They had it

passed down to them. I've had

different things passed down

to me, so I can pick up

a guitar and play some guitar,

but not because I ever knew

anything. It's because I felt

it and I had it passed down

to me. It was learned directly

and indirectly. So I couldn't

say I know music. I just

am,the flamenco dancer has

to be the music. >>Bellamy:

If I said what is that

quality, that Jesus MuNoz

signature. How would

you describe it to me? >>

MuNoz: A flamenco dancer is

a lot of things. The reason is

different for me is I dance

the way I dance. I'm me.

Whether you like me, whether

you don't like me, you will

You'rethinking of so many

other things. It's like when

you're studying you know when

you're like studyingwith

a notebook taking notes

and that was a lot of life

for me. Taking notes

and as an artist carrying

a recorder, recording class,

and listening to them 3 hours

a day. Until I took all that

stuff, ate it, yeah? I'm

eating this stuff, and I spit

out what wasn't valid for me

particularly. But everything

else, I start making it

my own. I start using this

and I say you know what I like

that technique. It hasn't been

developed yet. I'm going

to take that technique and I'm

going to develop this. Youknow

for example, maybe using

my hips in a certain type

of way, or a certain type

of rhythm. I liketo have

swing. >>Bellamy: What is

important to you

about your work? >> MuNoz:

Sharing it. Being able to be

that ambassador for excellent

flamenco art. Something that

really means something. That

it's a challenge for me

and those challenges I give

to other students,

and to other artists. It has

to be about that. It has to be

about community and you have

to work and Ithink

for our cultural artists, work

to give back. Because

if you don't pass it down.

It's gone. For me any kind

of oral heritage artform, is

something you need to work

so hard at, yeah,

with a tremendous amount

of responsibility and respect

and you have to learn to give

it away. PHOTOGRAPHIC PAST

TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL

AND HAUNTING IMAGES. GC:

My name is Giles Clement

and I'm a wet plate collodian

photographer. so you want

a photo of you and your dog

for your Dad? AS: I'm Ashley

Schahfer. I'm here to have

a portrait taken by Giles

to send to my Dad and make him

happy GS: If we have Jack

alongside your face we just

need to keep him parallel

with your eyes and hopefully

he doesn't hate it too much

03:08 Giles pats Jack. Wet

plate was invented in 1851

and then used up until

the early 1900s and with wet

plate you have tomake

the plate, take the photo

and develop it in about ten

minutes or so. that's why it's

called wet plate

because the process is wet

and its fluid, fluid fast

moving, fast paced thing (nice

smile). AS: (Ashley)

so you sit here and you just

wait for him to do his thing

and then you get flashed

and you're done. GC: I think

we can do better in just ah

I just had some dirt that got

on right there and then those

drools are from the developer

- want to just try another one

and we'll get a better one?

Ashley: Sure. I just start

with a piece of black glass

and I pour collodian on it

which is a solution of cotton

mixed with copper ether

and some acid...when I dunk

the plate into a tank

of silver nitrate

the silvernitrate reacts

to the chemicals

in the collodian

and the silver then becomes

light sensitive.

So essentially what I'm doing

is just taking a piece

of black glass and turning it

into a piece of film that

I can then take a picture on.

When I'm in the darkroom

in there, I put the plate

in like this s the film.

And this is what goes

into the camera and then

the dark side that protects

it, and when I'm ready to take

a picture (pulls) I pull

my dark slide out and see

the film (we see shiny black

glass inside) with the glass

right there, so the image is

made right on that. AS: You're

just looking into this big

lens and don't really know

what's going on because it

doesn't really do a whole lot

it just sits there. GC:

the lens is made in 1849

so it's a hundred and sixty

four years old and it actually

predates webplates, so it was

made for daguerreotypes, which

is the first real method

of photography. If everything

is going fine its easy

and anybody can do it,

but it's when things start

to go wrong and you're trying

to trouble shoot, find out

what's going on. So learning

from your mistakes is the long

learning curve with it.

You actually pour developer

right over the plate and it'll

go from just white, just looks

like a yellowish white

the silver, and you'll see

a negative image emerge out

of it, out of the white.

And you'll take that and put

it in the fixer, and that's

really where the image is

made. that part of the process

is really the most interesting

or the most exciting you know

because you see just a blank

piece of glass, basically,

and then you see an image

magically kind of appear

on it. It's always reallycool

and fun to see it come

to light. You know a digital

photograph, an instagram

or whatever, it's here one

second and you forget about it

the next. It's on your hard

drive somewhere. And this is

something that you can hang

on your wall and it's going

to last 200 years or more -

so I like that about it 58:30

I like that it's such

a physical thing, such

a physical process. It's very

addicting. I think part of it

is that it's very difficult

to do, difficult to perfect,

andI always want to get it

perfect, or as close

to perfect as I can. 57:12

so I keep going I keep going

I keep going. Yeah. So it's

a very. I certainly don't get

bored. Frustrated, yes. Bored,

not so much. NICHOLAS HARPER

TRANSFORMS HIS SUBJECTS

TO BRING OUT THEIR SPIRITUAL

SIDE. Nicholas Harper: When

we're surrounded by this

amazing environment all

the time it's easy to take

itfor granted and lose sight

of I attempt to do distort

human forms in such a way that

we don't take it for granted,

hopefully elevate it to being

more than just a

representation of a particular

person, but elevated to this

idea of a symbol. I learned

to draw classically

at The Atelier Lack

in northeast Minneapolis

and at the Bougie Studio

in south Minneapolis. Going

to the Minneapolis Institute

of Art a lot as a child has

really influenced me

by the Dutch masters

and the Italian Renaissance

and German masters.

So as an adult I was I was

intrigued with the idea of how

to paint and draw like that.

The intention behind

my artwork started to take

shape when I got interested

in Russian and Byzantine

iconography. In studying those

traditions I came

to understand that a painting

can be a lot more than just

an aesthetic part

of somebody's home or a design

element in their room. In 2011

I took an intensive workshop

on painting icons.

And during that process

I learned that every element

of the icon from the materials

to each level of the process

encapsulates a mystical

and spiritual meaning to it

and that the process of making

an icon in and of itself is

a meditation and it has

a start and a finish,

and hopefully throughout that

journey the artist would reach

a deeper understanding

of themself. Within

the traditions of iconography

the owner of the icon would

place the icon in a prominent

place in the home and that was

a daily focal point for them

and a point of meditation

and something they would turn

when they were happy andhad

thanks or when they were

in need of something

or concerned about something,

and so I really wanted

to transfer that kind

of ideology to my artwork.

I guess I'm probably most

wellknown for my paintings

of women with long necks.

For me, the head represents

our spiritual nature

and our divine potential,

and the hands represent

our worldly nature, how

we think about ourselves

and others, and how we act

towards ourselves and others,

and in a lot of people I think

there's a disconnect between

these two aspects of ourself.

And so the long neck acts

as a visual representation

of this tension or disconnect,

and sometimes the arms are

also disconnected

from the rest of the body,

and that just acts

to reinforce that tension.

So if a viewer views

theartwork up close they might

see it as fragmented

and various different parts

connected from each other,

but if they step away

from the painting and view it

from a distance it takes

on a wholeness anda

completeness and they realize

that actually everything is

in unison and balanced

with each other,and that there

is no tension. It's kind

of like a puzzle where all

the pieces are separate

but they're all in balance

with the ones around them

and they're all connected

and without any of those

isn't complete. PHILIP ROTH

REFLECTS ON THE IMPACT

OF HIS WORK. In Zuckerman

Unbound I didn't write

a tragedy; I wrote a comedy.

It's a funny situation to have

achieved what everybody would

like, which is big success,

big recognition, make money

and feel odd. So Itried

to play on that comic

contradiction in the book.

At the time I didn't not know

it was comic, I knew it was

a comic situation, but that

didn't make it any better.

And so I wrote the GhostWriter

the attack on Zuckerman

by the Jews. A lot of this was

drawn from my experience.

I had seemed to be having

a somewhat unique experience

as an American writer, not

just because I had been highly

successful and rewarded

mightily, but because

I excited this opposition,

and from the Jews.

By the Jews, I don't mean all

the Jews, I mean from certain

members of the Jewish

establishment I would say.

And the guy on the street who

said to me Philip Roth

the enemy of the Jews. I had

excited his anger. I wanted

to contemplate that

phenomenon. You excited

the anger of all these people

and you had no intention

in doing it. So what happened?

When I began to publish

in 1957, 58, 59, WWII had only

been over for 12 years. Jewish

nerves were fyayed still.

Fyayed. And Jewish sensitivity

was enormous, not to mention

sadness and grief. And to put

the best face on it, I would

say that the recent experience

of the war and the recent

discovery of the monstrous

faith of the Jews had been,

made these people respond

powerfully to what looked

to them like antiSemitism.

NEXT TIME ON COLORES! SANTA

FE'S PETER SARKISIAN SEES

VIDEO AS A NEW MEDIUM FOR ART

MAKING. Essentially what I'm

doing with video is I'm trying

to transform an experience

killing medium. Videoitself

does away with the experience,

it replaces it with

information and there's a lot

of value inthat information

but it's not enough. GRAPHIC

DESIGNER MICHAEL CINA FUELS

HIS COMMERCIAL WORK

WITH ABSTARCTED PAINTINGS.

I'll take something and I'll

scan it in and use it

as a background layer or I'll

just manipulate it

into something completely

different that has really

crept into my design work

and my process. TWO HOUSTON

ARTISTS CONSTRUCT AN ODE

TO THE FORGOTTEN ERA OF MOM

AND POP SHOPS. We recreated

our grandmother's living room

and put it outside. NICK CAVE

TAKES VISITORS ON A JOURNEY

THROUGH HIS IMAGINATION USING

MASKS AND MOVEMENT

IN A MULTISENSORY, IMMERSIVE

INSTALLATION. Here we're

talking a lot about

masquerades so here we're

hiding race, gender, class

so you are forced to look

at the objects without

judgment. UNTIL NEXT TIME,

STREAM COLORES ON

  • ios
  • apple_tv
  • android
  • roku
  • firetv

FEATURED PROGRAMS

You Are Cordially Invited
World Channel
WLIW Arts Beat
When The World Answered
Walk, Turn, Walk
VOCES
Under a Minute
Tractor: The Movie
THIRTEEN Specials
The “C” Files with Maria Brito
The Temple Makers
The Art Assignment
State of the Arts
State of the Art
Secrets of the Dead