Jonas Mekas Screens Andy Warhol's Six-Hour 'Sleep'
Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
January 30, 1964, Vol. IX, No. 15
By Jonas Mekas
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers
TicketsWed., Jan. 25, 8:00pm
Seton Hall Pirates Men's Basketball vs. Butler Bulldogs Men's Basketball
TicketsWed., Jan. 25, 8:30pm
New Jersey Devils vs. Washington Capitals
TicketsThu., Jan. 26, 7:00pm
Seton Hall Pirates Womens Basketball vs. Xavier Womens Basketball
TicketsFri., Jan. 27, 7:00pm
What does Warhol's "Sleep" do? What doesn't it do? Is it cinema? Is this the ultimate extension of pop art? The slowing down, stretching a detail to its limit, to what maximum effect? Using the screen as a sounding board for the viewer's dreams, fantasies, thoughts? An exercise in hypnosis? Test of patience? A Zen joke? If it makes you angry, why? Can't you relax and take a good joke? Running? Where to? Searching for Art in "Sleep," doesn't it betray our own pompousness? Why do we go to cinema? It abandons the usual movie experience for what? Pure cinema, no fake entertainment, no fake stories, isn't that something worth trying? Does this bringing down to absurdum mean that we have to start from scratch, to forget all previous movie experiences? Doesn't it remind us that there is not much sense in rushing? Doesn't it remind us of the secret, almost unnoticeable motions, variations? What was wrong with those few who sat through all the six hours of the movie? Were they sick, or were they capable of satoris and delights which we are not capable of enjoying? What did it do to them, what did it really destroy or start in them, what did it germinate during those six hours which we missed -- an experience which we missed in our silly (& or sick) haste? All these questions and many more you could hear in the lobby of the Gramercy Arts Theatre last weekend, during the screening of Andy Warhol's monumental screen piece, "Sleep"....
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.