“…well honestly, EJF did open some crack in the vortex of art and feelings and performance and reality….so yeah, the imploding started after the last edit of that film was made…’
— the multimedia artist Carter on his film “Erased James Franco”
Excerpts from “Missing James Franco: Nine Days at the Berlinale 65.” about the VORTEX:
This special darkness that exists between the two of you, the artist and his critic, is inseparable—not only from his position in the limelight and your pursuit of it—but the times in which you are living. Caught on a high-tension wire between the postmodern epoch that he, the Francostein monster, has decimated with his fame vortex, and a new modernist epoch that you, through your proactivity arising from internal prompts, will usher into place. This is the high-wire tension wound between the active critical observer and the performer, whose “JUST DO IT!” motto guides him to choose movie roles inhabiting the “poet as contemporary.”
An example from his more commercial fare in support of this: he mocks his own graphic artistry in This is the End, a pre-apocalyptic party scene held in his real life self-designed mansion, where intimacy is challenged by the curious open layout. Franco, playing himself, undone by his own narcissism, is drawn into the underworld, like Dumuzi, consort of the pre-patriarchal love goddess, Inanna. Surely, in living out such an ancient/modern day mythology of the hieros gamos on camera (Tristan and Isolde), he has been trained to develop this process of replicating eyes designated with the void channeling the obscurity of the times.
…Except that instead of having your passion pull your sled to the North Pole, your desire pushes you south towards Antarctica. But you got stopped by a raging vortex on the banks of the Rio Plata:
Sparks fly. Sparks burst into flames. Buenos Aires is on fire. Flames consume the antique boats stranded in the muddy banks of the Rio Plata. Smoke veils the water, stinging my eyes. My spine tingles. A flaming arrow shoots through my torso.
I am burning up!
The river churns below me, into a raging vortex. A demon rises from the depths. Its face…I would recognize it anywhere. Alejandro. The opaque stare giving away nothing, and yet the intensity that pulls me in. A beauty so fierce…and a smile so innocent.
“No!” I cry, stumbling backwards.
An ornate iron lamppost looms before me. I lean against it and face the wind, gasping for breath. Suddenly, I am flung out of my body, flying far above the tree-tops, out into space…higher and higher…
And just as abruptly, I fall.
There it is! The Vortex. You used that word way back when, in describing the shadow projection of the New (you weren’t steeped in Heidegger and his Dasein then) churning in the River of Plata, plata being the Spanish word for silver and Argentine slang for money.
This text came decades prior to your destined meeting with the multimedia artist Carter, whose historic experiment of the Aquarian Conversion created the phenomenon of James Franco. Carter, it occurred to you, was the Dr. Francostein referring to his monster as a vortex best avoiding in the pursuit of making art. He sends you images of his idiosyncratic drawing of wigs in the spring of 2013. These signifiers of the crashing wave become even more robust a year later. Our Aquarian vibration increased the frequency; the synchronicities happen so fast that the time between the waves collapses into particle.
Vortex entangles three of the four elements: water, air and fire. The dictionary definition of vortex relays this lack of earth: 1) state of affairs likened to a whirlpool for violent activity, irresistible force. 2) Something regarded as drawing into its powerful current everything that surrounds it.
You were, right then and there, at the age of 28, summing up your life journey in your first novel. Your heroine thought she was just searching for a particular man. Ha! She was searching for her contemporary. No one at the time understood her passion, or yours for that matter, to transcend the vortex to uncover the Dasein through the raging waters.
Your critical distance has kept you clear of the vortex that Carter warned you about, as if you needed a personal warning when the evidence is clear across the Internet! Your elation has to do with your clear sight of the end. At this point, the inner chant becomes a cry for joy: Over, Uber in Deutsche, clearly brings to mind Nietzsche’s Übermensch and his uber/unter wordplay in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Yes, the end truly is in clear sight in your calculations of time: the eclipse on the vernal equinox impacting your zero Aries composite Venus with Carter and James Franco.
The showdown is venerable but you are no longer vulnerable like in Manhattan when he pulled out the Speilgeist card to push you back (gratefully, because the planets were pointing to the attempt but not the fruition of an actual encounter). He was giving you a taste of his strategy for quantum engagement while pulling up his drawbridge through the barricade of “people” that Carter warned you about; this included his “art director,” who may or may not exist. You played along, even though the projection of a royal court seems like a joke in the face of your inner struggle to center yourself so you don’t have to have an external structure to hide behind…
(“Where is your center?” the priestess pointedly asked you in Connecticut after you related your missing Franco and you not only had difficulty responding but didn’t understand what she was talking about?). You can laugh now, but you weren’t laughing then. You were obsessed! The only way out was let him go with love. And to write, of course.