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Tag: Let Me Be Frank

New NONFILMS Minisite

We have put together a new minisite featuring all of the videos that Frank called NONFILMS:

https://eroplay.com/nonfilms/index.html

Here is what Frank wrote for Vimeo about this series of videos:

Today we put up the first in the series of private performances I did in the early eighties. I now am calling these NONFILMS. These were also the raw footage of my films EROTIC PLAY and THE NUDE CAVE. I told the people we were filming I was doing a film. So I made films! But basically I was bringing back the concept of NONFILM which I played with in the early seventies and now videoing these private performances.

From Art of a Shaman, Chapter 7, NONFILMS:

Ever since college days, I had been writing nonsense scripts dealing with nudity and nonsexual eroticism. Also during my college days, I read such books as Toward a Poor Theatre and The Theatre and its Double. But it was not until I and my communal family took a very intense film‑making course in Santa Fe in 1972 that I was able to put my weird ideas into performance.

We made films of rolling nude down a hill, smearing bodies with baby food, nursing by a sexy woman. But when the film course was over, I did not have money to make films. I could not see putting my energy into getting money to make films, could not see putting up with the compromises and outside control involved in an artistic context requiring big bucks. For me, the act of breaking a taboo is what is magical, what effects change…not someone seeing it in a film.

This not having money, this not wanting to be controlled and limited by money, was what sealed me into a performance life.

So I started looking for a way to work with people. I wanted to see people nude, and touch them, and to create an intensity between us.

I had been painting oils for years, painting with a brush strapped to my forehead, painting nudes from magazine photos. One day, a rich woman asked me to paint a nude of her. My wife set me and my paints up in the fancy living room as the woman undressed. On that day I realized how art can give people permission to do what normally is forbidden. It gives a frame that switches realities from the narrow normal reality to the freeing altered reality of controlled folly. If you go up to a stranger on the street and ask him to show his body to you, you will be lucky if he just walks away and does not hit you. But if you sincerely (and sincerity is a key) ask him to model for a painting or be in a video that involves nudity, there is a high chance he will do it because you are offering him a key to a new, different, and temporary reality.

This began my street series. I sat on the center plaza, “selling newspapers”. But selling papers was only a context. The context for me was an excuse for watching people, talking to people who had the slowness and the insightful curiosity to stop and talk…a way for me to ask them to model for me. These special people were my real targets for my street pieces. They saw past the mask of the cripple. The masses used the mask of the cripple to relieve their guilt, to reinforce their fragile superiority of being “normal”, to make themselves feel better by throwing money (up to $20 a throw) at the less fortunate at whom they would not even look. The third type of person was made up of the poor and the kids who gave money as a pure spiritual act. When the special person stopped to talk, a crowd gathered around to listen. Money fell on my board while I was asking the special person to model.

The newspaper selling quickly fell away. All I had to do was sit there on the sidewalk, being available to talk. It did not matter that I dressed fancy, or had a sign saying “I don’t want money; I want you”. The money kept falling. But I did discover that there are special spots and special ways of sitting which attract people. Sit at a slightly different angle, or on a spot a few feet away from the special spot and you become invisible.

I have done these street performances across the country. I have gotten tickets to the Joffrey, filled a couple of workshops, got my cameraman for one of my films, all from the street pieces. I almost caused a riot in front of Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City, N.J. The crowd did not take kindly to the casino guards trying to push me away because I was taking Caesar’s money.

I painted a lot of the special people from the street performances. I noticed the changes in the people when they took off their clothes; how they relaxed, how they started talking on a deeper level about important personal things. After I got a taste of direct inter‑personal acting out of erotic dreams, painting became too static. I began a series of private performances called Nonfilms. I asked the special people from the street performances to come to my home, into my study which was my first cave. Within this cave, cut off from the normal reality, we created scenes which no camera would shoot, nobody would see. Although I had played with my friends before in nonsexual eroticism, this was the first time I tried to use “sexual” acts in a nonsexual art form. I was surprised with the power that this released. Because of these scenes, the people started talking about their lives during these sessions and said it helped their other relationships. Not one person minded that there was no film. These nonfilms were the base for my career in relationship counseling.

I first noticed the nonlinear effects of private performance in these secret rituals. People whom I approached on the street came to me weeks after the nonfilm, the person usually reported changes in his life, in his relationships, in how people were towards him…all of which amazed him (and me too) because he hadn’t told anyone that he had done the ritual. Part of the change in how people related to him can be explained linearly by the change in the person emotionally and even physically caused by the performance. But this does not explain how things “just happened” to him, things that were improbable, things that we both linked to the ritual.


Here is a selection of stills from some of the videos:

Here is NONFILMS, Episode 7 of the web series, Let Me Be Frank:

Tribal Performance

september 30, 1992

i am not interested in
climbing up
onto the altar of the stage,
in hiding behind the invisible fourth wall.

i am not interested in
dividing myself
from the people,
from the magic,
from the tribal community.

i am not interested in
hiding
behind masks
or characters.

i am not interested in
doing monologs,
standing alone
and isolated
under the spotlight…

not interested in
being a cultural commentary.
not interested in
being a lone artist,
suffering,
alone,
traveling around the land,
chasing fame…
or at least recognition……
embittered
that art doesn’t pay.

i am not interested in
fucking you
the audience.

i am not interested in
just putting my cock
into your body.

i want much more than sex.

i want to put my whole body
into your body…
i want to take
your whole body
into my body.
i want
our naked skin
to melt together
in touch…
our skin
melted
into an organ of tribal body…
an organ of connection……..
an organ that brings everything within.
i want
to erase
the false role
of skin
as the dividing line
that separates
you from me,
the outside from within,
the above from the below.

i want us to be
in a tribal body,
in the state of community.
i want us to be
cozy,
wrapped up into one another’s bodies
as parts of one body….
rocking together.

i am not talking
symbolically or abstractly.
i am not talking
flashes or peak experiences.
i am not talking
about fractions of a second,
or seconds,
or minutes.
i am talking about
hours and days
within this tribal body
within the magical reality of performance.
i’m talking about
physical reality that
makes us sweat,
makes us be turned-on…
a reality that
we can touch and rub…
a reality of
human laughter
and heavy sobs of true feeling…
a reality
which sticks onto our bodies,
our naked tribal body…
and gets carried out
of the ritual space
into “the real world,”
“real life,”
infecting
that outer world
with the virus of
new alternatives and new possibilities.

but this tribal performance…
this calling up of tribal body,
tribal experience,
tribal reality…
is much more possible
when the “performance”
comes out of a tribal life….
when the tribal reality
is not limited
to the performance reality.

life on the road
for an artist
is lonely,
isolating.

this tends to
infect
both the artist
and the art.
and the fact of the matter is,
performance is
a full time occupation
for a single body…
and in cold practical reality,
this occupation does not pay the artist…
the artist has to be willing
to pay the art
for the privilege of doing it.
this has always been true.
this will not change.
this places the artist
who lives in only one body
in an almost impossible situation…
a situation
that is only made liveable by either
magic or compromise
(and compromise
is death
to both the art
and the artists).

but the artist
who lives and creates
within a tribal body,
a tribal community,
can perform
many different tasks
at once both
in the art
and in the mundane world.
the tribal body
can go to work
to get money,
do the art’s office work,
make the flier,
book tickets…..
all at the same time.
this is also true
for inside the ritual of art.

and besides,
the tribal body
has much more fun on the road…

and that fun
(joy)
infects
the art.

i have a dream for the 90’s….
that we will see
artist bands,
clans,
carnivals,
circuses…..
all self-contained
tribal communities…
roaming the country
doing art rituals.

yes,
i have a dream…
the night of the tribal bodies!

“Tribal Performance” poem by Frank Moore
Read by Edna Floretta
Background music: Sander Roscoe Wolff
Thumbnail photo by Kevin Rice

A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 5.
Website for the series: http://frankadelic.com/

Tribal Performance poem by Frank Moore artwork by LaBash
Tribal Performance poem by Frank Moore artwork by LaBash

Artwork by LaBash

Deborah Crooks reads “Tribal Performance” on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, June 19, 2011.

wrapping and rocking

the two nude figures sit in
time and space.
one upon the other.
rocking together.
rocking in their cave.

two magic figures
rocking together against time.
rocking back through time.
back and forth.

mother rocking her baby.
rocking against sickness and tears.
rocking back into love and peace.

in the cave,
unseen except by the spirits,
the holymen rock out of this reality
of personal isolation of greys.
rock until they rock
into the pulse of pure light.
back and forth until at-one-ness came,
until atonement came…
not just for them…
but those outside the cave.
magic rocking.
passion rocking.
almost sexual,
not quite…
very sexual…
beyond sexual.

two bodies rocking together,
rubbing isolation away.

grandpa sits in his rocking chair,
slowly holding onto creaking passion of living.
lovers dance,
rocking back and forth to the music.
sometimes fast.
sometimes slow.
passion rises warm and comforting.
pain and grief disappear.
a kid holding onto a blanket,
rocks back and forth,
holding onto the wrapping
that holds us all together.
colorful ribbons of our cocoon.
the 2 lovers pumping
hard on the swing, working together
to get the highest
thrilling flying and swooshing drop
on their bellies
and, yes,
in their loins.
almost sexual,
but not quite….
very sexy…
beyond sex.
mere sex would get
in the way of
the child-like melting
of earth and sky.
back and forth,
up and down,
wrapping us together
in brightness
and softness
and the magical commonness.

a girl laughs
on a big old rocking horse.
a g.i. holding his guts in,
blood oozing out,
rocks on the battlefield…
rocks to keep life in
and pain out.

light pulses,
reflected off tin and plastic.

daddy rocking baby to sleep on his lap.
cozy togetherness in ribbons,
rocking by the fire
far away from reality.

the arab woman,
on her knees beside
the unrecognizable remains of her husband
rocking to handle grief and pain.
a crazy rocks
on the street corner,
talking to beings from another reality.
wrap us up cozy.
wrap us warmly.
maypole dancers with ribbons.
admit that we all are wrapped up together
in see-through ties.

the gypsy woman,
eyes closed,
rocks back and forth,
giving master spirits
her voice and her body
to speak through.
rocking in her tent.

the boys rocking
uncontrollable from laughter
at their childish pranks.

rocking surrealistic in the darkness,
in their colorful bonds,
the two nude figures,
using magical passion to melt together,
rock like the blind,
like the insane,
like the holy men,
like lovers…
and the magical melting spreads out of the cave
and into the world.

© Frank Moore 1986-2002

Featured image photo by Kevin Rice.

“Wrapping/Rocking”
Poem by Frank Moore
Chanted by Michael LaBash
Background music:
excerpt from “Body Music”
performed by Frank Moore’s Chero Company: Leigh Gates, Michael LaBash, Alexi Malenky & Rourke Smith
Thumbnail photo by Kevin Rice
A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 4.
Website for the series: http://frankadelic.com/


Here are some Wrapping/Rocking performances:

Wrapping/Rocking @ The Intersection, San Francisco, California
March 14, 1986

Wrapping/Rocking, Sixth Sense Gallery, NYC
May 19, 1987

Wrapping/Rocking, Painted Bride, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 23, 1987

Wrapping/Rocking & Statues, EZTV, Los Angeles, California
September 9, 1988

“Wrapping/Rocking”, Berkeley, California
January 14, 1989

Wrapping/Rocking, University of California, Berkeley, May 1, 2003
http://www.eroplay.com/Cave/mayday2003/mayday.html

Poster by LaBash

Fuse

August 26, 2003

We are standing
before a gate,
On the edge
Of newness,
Holding hands.

All bodies desire
To merge with,
To fuse with
The core of every body
Within closeness,
Core within all cores.
This is the hidden secret
Of Gravity.
It is not a mere attraction
Of bodies…
Not sexual.
But this desire
Has been long
Thought of as impossible
In this reality of divisions…
Impossible
Because of unwillingness
To melt bodies and forms,
To melt through skin,
To melt beings
With the Other,
Going through layers,
Until cores fuse
Into just life.

But the time has come
For fusion,
A blend of explosions
And implosions
Outside of time and space,
Deep within our body,
Peeling away layers
By deep friction
Of warm love.
Time has come
To start to fade out
The reality of division
By lighting the fuse
Within the small hidden cave
Between our bodies,
Going within the warmth.

The reality of division
Started when the cell of Life
Divided and kept dividing.
This reality of difference
Released the possibilities
Of personal love and creativity,
The possibility of personal responsibility
And being in aware relationship
with THE OTHER.

But before the Pyramids…
A blink of an eye
Within an evolution…
The reality of division
Became CIVILIZATION,
Becoming a filter
Used by the elite
To turn evolution
Into progress
That benefited their
Empires of isolation.

Yes, we are standing
Before a gate,
On the edge of newness.
When we light the fuse
Within the hidden cave,
It will release unimagined
Possibilities.
It will release what has been
Locked up and away for so long.
Get the foot off the neck
Of dreams.
Get the weight of the world
Off the little kid’s back,
Release the deep beating heart
From the tight cage.
It may release blasts
Of tears, pain, joy, giggles.
It will release life
Full of wonder
deep inside our body.
Together we will take
The blasts within us,
Expanding us
In all directions.
We don’t even know
What fuse is.
It may not be any particular act.
We are just following it deeper,
Going past taboos,
Going beyond language…
Just going on a journey
Within between our bodies
Within our trust.
We will make our report
After we return
From the merge core,
And after we discover
A new language.

Life itself
Survives at all
Because of the secret journeys
Of the dismissed
Within small caves
Of love,
Personal trust,
And passion
Beyond taboo.

The video will open in a new window/tab.
You can also download the video here (mp4, 105.6 MB):
https://archive.org/download/fuse_20190829/fuse.mp4

“Fuse”
A poem by Frank Moore
Read by Edna Floretta
Art/Animation by Michael LaBash
Music by Sander Roscoe Wolff
A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 10, “Theater of Melting”
Website for the series: http://frankadelic.com/