Pop Culture
Jan 15, 2010, 10:39AM

David Lynch doesn't care about your theorizing

A round-up of the recent Tate Modern symposium.

There is a perpetual danger when academia ventures into the world of David Lynch that only hot air will be achieved because, as the excellent Roger Luckhurst made clear in his opening lecture at the Tate Modern's Mapping The Lost Highway, Lynch's work is "curiously resistant to intellectual theorising". It is what it is. Yes, it may seem to permit any number of theoretical interpretations (Freudianism, Postmodernism, Existentialism - take your pick!) but ultimately none really get you any closer to the actual work simply because, as an artist David Lynch doesn't function within such parameters. He doesn't do metaphors. He doesn't make Postmodern references to other art. He doesn't even know what his own work 'means' - as anyone can tesitify who has witnessed the documentary Lynchabout the making of INLAND EMPIRE. None of which deterred a group of academics gathering in the Tate Modern to 'map the Lost Highway' and try and enhance our understanding of Lynch's work. The results were decidedly mixed.


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