LOVE FLOATS MY BOAT – A 2012 Re-Edit From Collapse

What scares the shit out of me is that I know a Jerry Jeffers who fits our protagonist’s profile. He’s on SSI, takes psychotropic meds and always has a “business” dealio to offer. Gadzooks you fucks, get out of my head!clvngodess

COLLAPSE Theater (American Films) continues to churn out new work, while performing re-edits on often missed older works. The latest re-issue is from 2005, entitled LOVE FLOATS MY BOAT.  This piece was a gem in its original form, and now tighter and somehow even more bizarre, it made a fresh debut this New Years Eve at an art gallery in Boise, Idaho.

Featuring Kelly Broich and Brett Netson, with cinematography by Casey Broich, LFMB is about “Jerry Jeffers”, a groupie who wants to set up a concert for his favorite one hit wonder band, JACKPOT, so he enlists the help of an angel investor, “Burtrom Casey”.  Burtrom meets Mr. Jeffers  at his home on Ray Way (an actual mobile home in a trailer park where American Films shot most of their early work, now occupied by Collapse actor Sam Stimpert).  While listening to Jeffers stammer on about the concert proposal, while Jeffers dances around, plays with scissors and tries to learn Spanish from tape, Burtrom eventually calls him out as an unstable, crazed lunatic of sorts, and denies him the deal. A melee ensues where Jeffers goes from getting more and more pissed, to settling back down and trying to start over. Jeffers attempts to sit up straight, put the music aside, and talk some business, “okay, let me tighten up, we’re doing business now!” 

In typical American Films “what the fuck” fashion, the message of art versus commerce takes an absurd twist. The would be investor Burtrom suddenly switching gears, pulls out…The Book of Mormon. Passages are recited and Jeffers is carefully monitored by Burtrom for any signs that the message of Mormonism is sinking in.

“Loved the Mormon bit. Backmasking & apophenia! I knew there were references I didn’t even notice as such.”  – from demiurge, Kenneth Freeman.

One of those references is Burtrom’s vomiting cut in between his readings from the Book of Mormon. Current event relevancy is worth mentioning since an individual running for the U.S. Presidency, the barely hanging on to lead front runner Mitt Romney, has all the generic image qualities for the “President brand”; the only problem is that little purple elephant that no one can seem to get past: he’s a Mormon. The reason no one can get pass it is the same reason Burtrom’s vomiting is placed on a level playing field to that of his reciting of Mormon passage. Both acts come out as incoherent gibberish. The Book of Mormon is filled with complete and utter nonsense.

LOVE FLOATS MY BOAT does a 360 on the viewer; it initially settles us in on believing the lunatic here is the nervous poverty stricken penny saving Jeffers.  But then the true lunacy is revealed: money and religion.  There is a shot of Jeffers sitting in disbelief, glasses resting on nose, mouth open staring silent at the preaching nonsense before him; suddenly we relate to his situation, as we see the convoluted driving force behind Burtrom Casey. And eventually Jeffers does, in fact, figure out the game: Mormons don’t do business unless you’re a Mormon.


More Absurd Bizarreness from COLLAPSE

AVA reviewer Brian Burks takes on the latest Absurdist endeavours from theater and video art troupe, COLLAPSE.

    “Bear Killin’,” the short video piece directed by video artist Kelly Broich, featuring performance artist Anne McDonald, is one of the strangest clown videos I’ve seen this month. The film shows a female clown knifing and then ripping apart a stuffed Winnie the Poo holding a heart that says “I Love You.” It is tempting to apply meaning to this film, even if no real meaning exists. The symbolic imagery seems to suggest a sort of deconstruction of childhood motifs common to Western culture.

    The stuffed toy bear, a source of bedtime comfort to so many children is dismembered by a clown, of all things, the traditional source of entertainment at birthday parties, fairs and circuses. This revolting clown then proceeds to try on Winnie the Poo’s head. After trying on the freshly butchered skin, we hit our dramatic finale when the heartless clown tears open Winnie’s heart.

    The video is fascinating and disturbing, unnerving and thrilling; it is painful, yes, yet it can also be therapeutic if embraced with open legs.

    Thankfully this video was short because it aggravates my coulrophobia, but a perverted, courageous side of me wanted to overcome my fear of this multicolored monster so I proceeded to watch the homicidal clown kill Winnie the Poo over and over, again and again and again.  

Just look at this thing. Notice the mismatched gloves? One for killin’ and one for fashion? Who does it think it is?

The Collapse clowns don’t stop here…

Meet Boner Salad—part of Kollapse for Kidz.

“I’m your friend!”

    This video is disturbing with the acidy pedophiliac basement feel, but easier to digest thematically… Boner Salad is revealing and demystifying the bitter truth of the world, and he’s doing it to our children: he’s waking them up to the realities they certainly won’t understand as toddlers and will probably never understand as adults.

  ”Life is meaningless, there is no God, and babies are bad,” says Boner Salad in a delightfully sardonic voice. Boner’s message to the “kidz,” and the moral of this video piece seems to be that the more babies we create the faster we eat the earth. We must accept the simple truth that life is ultimately meaningless, God’s laws are nothing short of arbitrary dogma, and His word amounts to nothing more than fairy tales with which we abuse our children. It is time to throw off the cultural and religious blinders that are directing us toward species suicide.  

    But maybe not. Maybe Boner Salad is just a dickhead who likes to scare little kids.

I fired off Facebook questions to both Broich and McDonald for more clarity as to the motives and inspirations behind these pieces. This is what I received in return:

   “Many in the Collapse cult are undergoing a metamorphosis,” said McDonald. “These are no longer costumes. Clowns are who we are becoming, who we want to be, clowns are who we really are… inside.”

    Broich sent back a clown painting made as a child with a simple “artistic statement”: “It is a 1989 self-portrait of my true inner-clown.”

From the above painting we can see that Broich’s genius was obvious even as a child, though nobody of significance noticed in time to save him from himself.

Brian Burks teaches ancient Esperanto at Carrington College and is a freelance art critic.