Acts of Improbable Genius by Melanie Jame Wolf explores the libidinal economy of comedy: who the complex machinery of desire permits to be be funny, and who it does not. Shot in black and white, this two channel video is inhabited by two anachronistic archetypal comedian personas: Stand Up Ron and Pierrot the Clown. Both are played by the filmmaker themselves in a form which draws on Renate Lorenz's notion of transtemporal drag. These two ghosts of humour-past perform the same stand up routine on an eternal loop. This glitching use of repetition produces a hauntological survey of what it is to be an entertainer whilst seeking to displace once and for all the absolute (white) myth of the Universal Everyman. The film celebrates the death of a certain kind of comedian: the mythologies he represents and the violence he contributes to. Whilst simultaneously paying deep respects to the complex labour of professional performers - usually rendered invisible as a part of the act.
Acts of Improbable Genius
two channel 4K video
17 minutes, 31 seconds
Sound Design: Mars Dietz