2009: A Mental Odyssey

I finally got a chance to sit and watch Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssesy" at home alone in the dark. What a trip. I'd love to see this on the big screen, with rumbling surround sound... Naturally, I was left dazed and confused as the credits slithered by. I immediately dove into the internet for help with my interpretation of this film; I'll need to see it many more times over before I can begin to really grasp at an opinion, but this short video is a good start!

In fine arts, I've always been drawn to works that force involvement upon the audience. What could be more moving than pushing past the voyaristic barrier of art-viewing and into the realm of art-making? Duchamp understood the power of this concept with his final work "Étant Donnés," installed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He simply presents his audience with a door. Many people never venture close enough to investigate- they see a door, they shrug, and move on. There are a few, however, who step up and lay their hands upon it, finding a peep hole which reveals an entire world beyond the border of that door. What's in the peep hole? Everyone reacts differently. Shock, revulsion, laughter, curiosity... What you see is really up to you.

This is what Kubrick was getting at (according to Rob Ager, anyway). Kubrick literally makes the audience participate in the film, presenting them with a monolith and a soundtrack. I'm sure many people watch that final sequence, shrug, and walk away. I'm glad I tried to look beyond that. I let the credits roll till the end, and noticed that there is an additional ten minutes or so of film time that is simply silence on a black screen. Kubrick leaves his audience still staring at that monolith! That monolith of film industry, of subtext, of diverse readings, of anything really.