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Friday, March 02, 2007

Stan Douglas - Suspiria (2002)

Stan Douglas is an African Canadian video artist who grew up in Vancouver. As I've never experienced any of Douglas' work, I'm going to quote a description of this video installation by Nell McClister from ArtForum, June, 2003:

"Stan Douglas's latest work, the video installation Suspiria, 2002/2003, is as visually weird and conceptually sophisticated as anything he has ever produced. Titled after Dario Argento's classic horror film of 1977, the piece was created for Documenta 11 and made its debut there last summer. In Kassel, live surveillance footage of the empty, dungeonlike labyrinth beneath the Herkules monument (one of many follies in the area) was projected in the Fridericianum across town. Scenes from the Grimms' fairy tales, acted out by a contemporary-looking cast in the grotesque, translucent palette of a color television with bad reception, were superimposed at intervals on the black-and-white surveillance video; sporadic voice-over and fragments of music accompanied the actors' dialogue. The scenes themselves appeared in random rotation, and the number of possible permutations ensured that, over Documenta's one hundred days, the piece would never repeat itself. When Suspiria was presented in New York, the surveillance footage (now taped) and the fairy-tale scenes were also mixed so that, most likely, no two visitors saw the same sequence.

"One could say that Douglas's overall project involves modernism's promise and the nostalgia that results from its failure. With Suspiria the artist turns explicitly to a few historical moments of utopian aspiration. Referring to both Das Kapital (in which Marx repeatedly nods to a fairy-tale idiom of drama and transformation) and The Communist Manifesto (which famously opens with the "specter of communism" hanging over Europe), Douglas mines the Grimms' stories for economic and social allegory. The characters here--the innkeeper, the giant, the poor traveler, the long-suffering servant--act out cryptic vignettes centering on payment and debt while being confronted by alternately nightmarish or ecstatic visions. Each scene inexorably replaces the previous one in a roundelay that itself brings up ideas of exchange and entrapment. Douglas's ghosts are shadows of a future that never came to pass: the economic and social redemption promised by modernism; the end to alienation foretold by communism. The "ghosts" also point to the obsolescence of a medium, in this case Technicolor (Argento's Suspiria was one of the last films made in the West using this process)."

Douglas brought in John Medeski and Scott Harding (aka Scotty Hard) to interpret and expand Italian prog-rockers Goblin's ground-breaking original score for Dario Argento's masterpiece Suspira. Medeski is best known as the keyboard player in jam band jazz outfit Medeski Martin and Wood. Scott Harding is MMW's Producer/Engineer/Mixer and this is his first full-length collaboration. This soundtrack CD had a very limited release and, unfortunately, I don't own the original myself. I downloaded this rip from Usenet years ago and it is credited as ripped by Tim Buckley using LAME 3.87. So, if you enjoy the music of Goblin, Medeski Martin and Wood, the movie Suspiria, horror movie soundtracks in general or... aw, hell, just download it!

Stan Douglas - Suspiria (2002)
1. Suspiriorum (5:59)
2. Schlauraffen Land (3:55)
3. Old Gobseck (2:36)
4. Mephistopheles (4:30)
5. The Innkeeper's Knife (1:28)
6. Nexus Rerum (4:11)
7. The Girl Without Hands (4:16)
8. Lachrymarum (2:28)
9. Simeli Mountain (5:38)
10. Leviathan (3:11)
11. The Devil's Dirty Sister (3:43)
12. The Servant's Child (6:05)
13. Tenebrarum (3:18)

94.2MB ZIP archive
MP3: Constant bitrate (256kbps)
Exact Audio Copy 0.96b (Secure mode) w/LAME 3.87



Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin,

Just added a link to your blog,thanks for taking an intrest in my blog,and for directing me to your excellent blog,thanks for Crime + the City Solution,and for the 2 Endless compilations excellent stuff.And as you might have quest I'm a big fan HP Lovecraft.

The Thing On The Doorstep




Anonymous said...

Kevin, glad to see you posting some again. I'll have to give these last few posts a listen. I'm sure to enjoy...

Cellar said...

thank you, interesting stuff!

K H Brown said...

This was a fascinating find. Thanks.

Tim Buckley said...

Cool! I posted that CD years ago on usenet and now I find out it's still online ;-)

Nice CD although not an easy listen. I've seen the Stan Douglas instalaltion in Kassel 5 years ago and as a fan of Argento bought the CD there in the Documenta shop.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Anonymous said...


Kevin Sartori said...

Share has been uploaded to MediaFire and is available now!