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Simon and the Radioactive Flesh

Mark Aerial Waller
2004

with Giles Round, The Wayward Cannon

Simon and the Radioactive Flesh

A film and intermittent art video screening that transcends into a purgatorial nightclub setting.

A re-working of Bunuel's Simon of the Desert with artist videos inserted into the feature and re orientation of the screening space into a dancefloor.

Simon and the Radioactive Flesh uses Louis Bunuel's 45 minute film of an ascetic, Simon, a devotee of Simon Stylites, who proclaims his faith through standing on a column in the desert. The devil visits on several occasions to lure him from his duty, eventually succeeding in transposing him to purgatory; an existential beat nightclub in 1960's New York. In this reworking of the original film, each time the devil appears the narrative is interrupted by the insertion of a contemporary video art work. The interruptions continue throughout the film until finally we too are spatially interrupted, finding ourselves in a parallel to the purgatorial nightclub setting of the film's last dance, Carne Radioactivo (the RadioactiveFlesh).

The Wayward Canon, founded by artist Mark Aerial Waller in 2001, is a shifting platform for the re-evaluation of cinema. Wayward Canon events include: Meine Kleine Fassbinderbar, a 15 hour monument to Fassbinder's , installed in a site specific bar with a mirror reflecting the screen, The Sun Set, an invitation for artists, poets and writers to respond to the disjointed temporality and epic theme of Aaron Spelling's Hollywood soap, Sunset Beach and La Societé des Amis de Judex, the recontextualisation of Apollinaire's pre-surrealist attentions to the early popular cinema of Louis Feuillade, where a smoke machine acts as a spatial and temporal agent.

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