Duane Michals on “containment proof”.
Duane Michals during lockdown didn’t have time to get bored. Among other things, he has created a photographic series “Gipsy Rose Me” which includes his documentary “The Corona Follies“. Reading at the beginning of confinement an article on his 1964 series “Empty New York” where he showed the freshness of the early morning in an empty Manhattan, 56 years later, he said he was “amazed at how quickly the city fell silent. It certainly was a time of introspection for me.”
Hence the creation of very short films of about a minute each dealing with Covit, all compiled into a single sequence which became “The Corona Follies”. Michals explains: “The idea for these short films came to me recently at the bank, when I found a long stick on the pavement. I then strutted down the street waving it like a baton to the bank window. And that’s how the character of Bozo Boy was born, as Bozo Boy on Parade.”
There is a lot of energy in this film. The photographer becomes a character who embodies joy and pleasure in order to fight against a moment of fear and stress. This is his response to a staggering episode. And the artist says, “I’m sure the more serious you are, the more foolish you have to be and find ways to laugh.” And in this atmosphere the creator also became involved in sculpture in what became a meditative process. The one who until then had always worked alone called upon a group of people during this period to help him and as if to ward off the evil that was creeping in. He called them “19th Street Players” and they appear as his companions in his film as an interactive remedy at Covit.