“The Cold Majesty of the Numb. Unfinished, unseen. UNRELEASED.”
(from the Filmography of James O. Incandeza, in David Foster Wallace’s book ‘Infinite Jest’ )
Fish, being cold blooded and primitive creatures, symbolize a deep level of unconsciousness or the psyche. They can describe a sudden psychic experiences, and often appear within dreams. To catch a fish is to pull content from the waters of the unconscious onto the dry land of one’s conscious mind.
Tentative hands attempt at puncturing the surface of the fish to reveal the necessary if ritualistic act of gutting in order to eat. Fire-lit hands and glistening mackerel are suspended through a manipulation in the perception of time; an awkward gracefulness contrasted with the violence of the act.
The fish and fishing also can mean the process of dreaming and dream analysis itself; pointing to the character Incandeza’s habitual plot-within-a-plot circular logic and self-referential film-making within the narrative structure. The film speaks to the mesmerizing if mysteriously perplexing quality of cartridge-loops and stands as one of James O. Incandenza’s unreleased films.
Virginia Commonwealth University, VA
Land of Tomorrow, KY
Magasinet, Falun, Sweden
Brooklyn Fireproof Gallery, NY