Bas Jan Ader

Broken Fall – (geometric) – West Kapelle – Holland

I enjoyed this video for how well the artist blends in with the plant life he is mimicking, yet how clumsy he is in comparison. He is a bit of a tall and lanky fellow just like the stalks of flora around him, darker in clothing in his stalks the same as the stalks of the plants as well. If he had stood in the bush and faced away from the camera he could scarcely be seen in this black and white reel film.

His attempts to look and act with nature are almost perfectly synced, if not for his inherent clumsiness in his lack of grounding. The main difference in his structure in comparison to the nature around him in the functions exhibited in this video is that he has no roots. A human is structurally created to tread upon nature, rather than become one with nature entirely, as roots allow plant to do. The sign/prop only enhances the statement of human clumsiness and inherent lack of support from nature by showing a risk of self harm posed just by being a  free-roaming human. Standing upon the road as he is also symbolizes the disconnect from nature: even if the artist had roots, he could not connect with nature in the ground, being blocked from it by the road built by civilization.

Of course, that may only be my interpretation of it.


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