‘YORT’ is the visual representation of dreams on acid, it is what ‘And the Hippos were boiled in their tanks’ by Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs was in a lucid dream before it became the novel that intrigued most of us. Duane Michals created in this short the perfect blend of poetic shades and dreamy cathartic vibes. While this complex vision is hard to explain, it may come with a different interpretation from each viewer who experiences it.
The ‘clowning around’ reminded us of the brilliant music video from the Arctic Monkeys: ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’, where clowns and men in suits fight in an abandoned place. As it is in the music video, the clown may be the visual representation of the change within us – a clown can mask the feelings, the face, and the character with a bright shade of paint applied wherever needed. Clowning around, playing tricks and making others smile for a bit, or making them forget about their problems, is like they are making us forget we’re mortals, and for a minute they go into a state of unending joy and happiness.
Finding the hidden meanings in ‘YORT’ is like trying to find the right explanation for a dream that you do not fully remember. We perceived the avant-garde representation of color and movement as a way of explaining the meaning of life to a toddler who cannot stop asking questions. Duane Michals has a view upon the life we dearly appreciate, but we do not always fully understand it only because it is a little bit too abstract for our taste. However, what is really important here is that any viewer will be able to find a way to interpret it, and for this reason we bet that all the opinions out there will be one hundred percent true.
Written by Vlad A. Gheorghiu