Thursday, May 08, 2014

James Benning: Decoding Fear - and my first publication in book form!

So here's some news: the newly published softcover book/ exhibition catalogue James Benning: Decoding Fear, published by his Austrian gallery Kunsthaus Graz, includes my first publication in book form: my interview with James Benning about the Unabomber and about Benning's film Stemple Pass. The book is very nicely made, and includes both a translation into German and the original English, as well as several other articles besides mine. In our conversation, Mr. Benning offers provocative revelations about parallels between his history and Ted Kaczynski's, and several surprising insights into his work and life that shine light in areas that other articles I've read about him don't - more because of how forthcoming he was than because I had any great wit about me as an interviewer, but, really, it's an interesting interview! I learned a lot about him by doing it, am even more impressed with him now, and I'm quite proud of my inclusion in the book, though it all came together so effortlessly that I must confess a slight feeling of unreality to the whole process. I put more effort into any single feature I write for the Straight than I did in interviewing Benning! Thanks to Kunsthaus Graz and James Benning for this, and to the VIFF for their continued support of Benning, whose work I might not have encountered otherwise. (Maybe the Vancity Theatre or the Pacific Cinematheque could organize a retrospective of his works...? I would love that.).

Edit: I'm not entirely sure if you can order the book directly from Kunsthaus Graz, based on their website, but you can get it through Cornerhouse; looks like it costs about $40 Cdn (before shipping).

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