Avoiding “The Night Porter” Trap (and Website Updates)
Warning: Abundant display of nudity, swastikas, and other
Grant Leads to First Steps in Branding
The process of having to write a narrative that addressed specific questions about my project...has grounded my understanding of the work and its motive.
After applying for an art grant, which offered an opportunity for me to reflect on branding, I decided it was time to update my website, should any of the grant reviewers want to check out my site. The grant is really competitive and I don’t anticipate getting it. Still, the process of having to write a narrative that addressed specific questions about my project, Blind Love during the Madness, has grounded my understanding of the work and its motive.
I try not to interrupt my creative process prematurely with analysis. Although I do not dismiss direction, objective, and meaning, getting bogged down by over-thinking the intention of the work muddles the process. It is only after I’m complete, or nearing completion that I begin to observe and analyze its true direction and intention.
In the “About” page of my site, I delve into explaining this. In fact, I copied half of my grant proposal on this page.
The "Nazi Chic" Trap
Part of the reason why I set the novel in a dystopian/fantasy world is to get away from the swastika and instead decorate the military uniforms with campy broken hearts and misappropriated medals from other times and places.
Although Blind Love is an edgy and provocative illustrated novel full of “Nazi heartthrobs,” as a friend of mine put it, it is actually about the resistance movement---a kind of “Romeo and Juliet story set in a fictionalized Nazi Germany,” as another friend of mine described it.
My friends’ off-the-cuff comments left me feeling unsettled. I certainly don’t want Blind Love to be misconstrued, worse yet, criticized like the 1974 film, The Night Porter by Liliana Cavani. Roger Ebert deemed the film as “Nazi chic,” while a film reviewer for the New York Times labeled it as “Nazi decadence.” After viewing the film, I immediately understood why it was so poorly received. The film is disturbing, to say the least.
Part of the reason why I set the novel in a dystopian/fantasy world is to get away from the swastika and instead decorate the military uniforms with campy broken hearts and misappropriated medals from other times and places. But the re-use of their tunics, caps, and iron crosses should invoke a sense of luridness and familiar dread.
Is love blinded by its own intoxication?
A couple of the questions that I hope to convey are: “Is true love limitless?” and “Can we truly ever love our enemies?” “Is love blinded by its own intoxication?” I want to explore the struggles and limitations of the characters, which means, the struggles within myself–although there is also spirit channeling taking place, as you know.
I call onto Psyche and Eros to work with me and through me to support me in the process of manifesting this unusual and dark love story…