Postmodernism is a movement that refused to die. The aged postmodern icons go on and on…and as prominent critic Eleanor Heartney declared way back in 2004: “There is nothing to replace (them).”
And then, along came James Franco…
By 2008. the movie star had become bored and frustrated with the limitations of his expression confined to acting and the time-consuming grind of the publicity machine…
In 2009, James Franco shattered the boundaries of the insular enclosed art world system when he traveled to museums across the U.S.A. to present and discuss Erased James Franco with the multimedia artist, Carter.
The short art film Erased James Franco was filmed inside Carter’s installation at Yvon Lambert Paris in the fall of 2008. The key signifier in the installation had its inspiration in the postmodernist artist Robert Gober, namely a casting of James Franco’s actual leg strategically placed against an open door.
The exhibition was aptly titled Leg Opens Door/1963, an ontological reference to the Aquarian wave breaking in the sixties cultural revolution. Carter’s direction for James Franco to perform his ouevre at 50 percent was a real time symbolization of the collective emptying of the Leo personal self to absorb the light of the quantum wave as the Aquarian impersonal Self.
Carter told me that James Franco had AHA Moment while making the film Erased James Franco. I pursued the actor for over five years to uncover what prompted the quantum leap that made Dr Francostein’s Monster the ubiquitous after-postmodern icon that I personally summed up as: “shattering every possible boundary between creative disciplines”.
By 2010, James Franco was on the red carpet of the Met Gala as doppelgänger to Marina Abramović wearing an identical tuxedo. Other appearances with art stars which revealed an unleashed shadow of celebrity famewhore lurking in the art world into the tabloid media that doesn’t normally focus on art stars.
The signature of the FRANCOSTEIN expression following Carter’s 2008 Aquarian experiment is a dual methodology of intervention and allegiance to meta.
Meta (from the Greek preposition and prefix meta- (μετά-) meaning “after”, or “beyond”) is a prefix used in English to indicate a concept which is an abstraction behind another concept, used to complete or add to the latter.
This sums up the after-postmodern which was a media game that to be played successfully determined that the would be media star had to hold the tension of opposites, with his mastery of Web 2.0 multitasking…
James Franco, with years of thespian training, could do this better than any art star. Therefore, his intention to outdo the avant-garde with his Web 2.0 mastery of smashing boundaries between the disciplines had a purpose…
…beyond raising his celebrity into a virtual epic of platform-hopping never experienced before in the pop culture.
Meta means about the thing itself. It’s seeing the thing from a higher perspective instead of from within the thing, like being self-aware.
Making a movie about the film industry isn’t meta. Making a movie about making movies is. —Urban Dictionary
The January 8 telecast of the 2018 Golden Globes presented James Franco with his ultimate meta moment — to appear on stage with his shadow, Tommy Wiseau, whose “worst movie ever”, The Room, was meta-made into The Disaster Artist to win critical praise.
This way James Franco, currently starring in The Deuce, becomes the meta-figure personifying the tension between the opposites — good art vs. bad art — for the critics!
But the meta moment hat followed this triumph, a full decade after that momentous AHA Moment was signified by the pin that he was wearing —
James Franco, the master of the Web 2.0 meta moment, got a new meaning for both signifiers, The Disaster Artist and Times Up, in the wake of Twitter accusations in “real-time” with his acceptance of the Best Actor in a Drama Award at the Golden Globes. The flood of accusations to follow were indeed about the FRANCOSTEIN breaking through boundaries, including removing the guards while simulating oral sex for a film scene. Whether the accusations are accurate or not, the symbolism is apt for Mr. Franco’s meta project:
This is not what I meant when I commended you for transgressing boundaries, Mr. Franco!
In bringing together his own quantum leap into a critically hailed American auteur by way of a postmodern “meta copy” of “the worst movie of all time,” James Franco was doing a real-time performance of the tension of the opposites in which he personally defined the after-postmodern.
But the fallout which has put him on the defensive during his victory run reveals what happens when the human ego believes it can make the myths…
The nine-year reign of James Franco, as the ubiquitous figure of the after-postmodern superseding all other creative expression in this epoch by his sheer omnipresence has come to an end. Astrology confirms this as Uranus leaves Franco’s sign of Aries to move into Taurus this spring.
A new modernist movement has arrived and James Franco’s unexpected meta Moment summed up by signage on Sunset Strip revealing “James Franco’s life and art are getting uncomfortably close” provides a lesson right out of a neo-modernist playbook:
“WE DON’T CONTROL THE STARS, THE STARS CONTROL US.”
James Franco would be wise to withdrawal from the limelight and go inward to gaze at his fated star configurations as a means of shedding skins in 2018 and entering the realm beyond the meta: the Möbius strip where outer and inner are wedded in the sacred marriage of opposites.
But then, the very speed of the FRANCOSTEIN monster meant stomping on his critics!
Dr. Lisa Streitfeld is a Kultureindustrie theorist utilizing astrology as hermeneutics in the interpretation of contemporary art and pop culture. She is currently placing two book length texts on the market, “Missing James Franco 3.0: Nine Days at the Berlinale” and “Art & the Stars”, disclosing the ontology of the Age of Aquarius.
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She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org