Archived entries for peter greenaway


“Ninety-two is the atomic number of uranium, and Tulse Luper Suitcases aims at nothing more or less ambitious than a history of the twentieth century as the “uranium century”. It is also a number that Greenaway has constantly associated with Luper: it is the number of maps in A Walk Through H , which can also be found in Luper’s book Some Migratory Birds of the Northern Hemisphere , and it recurs throughout The Falls , firstly as its basic structural unit in terms of the number of biographies of the characters affected by the Violent Unknown Event (VUE) and then within the film itself. The counting system of ninety-two elements originates in Greenaway’s miscounting of the ninety parts of John Cage’s Indeterminacy Narrative . Greenaway’s work has always been preoccupied with such systems of classification: “If his work is tirelessly systems-based, his systems – his games, lists, alphabets, countings, variously simple, intricate, playful, philosophical, comic – are above all ironic, self-referential, never in conflict with the surplus of material available for classification, a surplus which they display as much as they discipline” (Woods 22).”

Tulse Luper Database: Peter Greenaway, the New Media Object and the Art of Exhaustion by Benjamin Noys.

Man in a Suitcase: Tulse Luper, Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise, Benjamin’s suitcase and heterotopias

“As a symbol, then, the suitcase is double-edged, ambivalent in the extreme: on the one hand, it evokes travel, displacement, emigration, exile and transience; on the other, it is that part of home that travels with us, a reminder of belonging and stability, the world of things we collect around us, the promise of continuity in the midst of change, of order restored. The suitcase is a portable heterotopia, an ‘other space’ that is always there and here at the same time, a home away from home, but also offering the endless possibility of new departures, whether desired or forced. At Compton Verney, the suitcase has lost its traditional use value as a transporter of a selection of items – the tourist’s range of clothes, the travelling salesman’s range of wares – to take on other functions. By virtue of its plurality, it has become collective, is no longer the container of individual dreams or necessities, but an element in a collection that, as a whole, represents the century.”

Man in a Suitcase: Tulse Luper at Compton Verney by Bridget Elliott and Anthony Purdy.

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