Thursday, November 29, 2007

Daniel and Mariane Pearl

First, can somebody please 'splain me what a 'google alert' is? Cuz that's how Ms. Hellmuth said she found my blog. (I know, I know, what a dunce!)

When Mariane Pearl's book, "A Mighty Heart" was first released, I read it. She is an articulate, infinitely intelligent and interesting woman - the book was pure anguish to read yet perfectly written. I was, in two words, blown away. I pre-ordered the movie not so long ago, in which Angelina Jolie (At Mariane Pearl's request) starred. In anti-typical Toni response to DVD's, I watched it the same day I received it in the mail. And I was blown away. Angelina embodied everything I had sensory-collected about Mariane Pearl. And the movie was anguish to watch but, again, perfectly performed, paced, presented. I read, later, that most viewers found it slow, that there didn't seem to be enough story, and not enough focus on Daniel Pearl. But I thought, contrarily, that it was the ONLY story that could have been told -- the enormity of the effort to find him, the zillions of suspects, phone numbers, relatives, searches, all the law enforcement agencies involved (this was international, after all), the endless waiting waiting waiting. Mariane Pearl said in an interview I found that she couldn't justify telling what Daniel was going through because she didn't know, then, and knows very little more now, and she wanted an honest portrayal of the events as a legacy for their son, Adam.

Since I read the book the first time, I've written several journal entries about that tragedy, about Mariane Pearl (whom I have since 'kept up with'), about the deaths of journalists everywhere, ongoing. Since I started doing visual art, I've had in the back of my mind doing a piece about it, but never any serious thought as to what it might be. It was just one more urge, in the back of my mind. I'm re-reading the book now, and have given more time to letting my mind wrap around the idea of the piece, and last night I got a big brainstorm about it, so I know it's moving from back burner to frontal lobe. Interestingly, the idea involves the windows of business envelopes, and doubly interestingly, for 2 weeks now, I've been cutting out those envelopes and putting one here, there, in my journal entries. (There is one over the doll image in my I MISS VERONICA 10-minute art, which I posted here.)

One of the main tools used in trying to keep up with the infinite amount of information, tips, contacts, leads, connections, in finding Daniel Pearl was a kind of white board with his name in the center, and arrows all over the place pointing at different names, times, places. More central names were circled in particular colors, etc. If anyone has ever seen the movie "A Beautiful Mind", then envisioning such a vast kind of visual structure of information is easier because of the boards the main character constructed in that. I envision a huge flowchart of sorts, and that's where my idea for the piece takes off. But because there were so many stops and starts, retracings, turning over of organizational and human 'rocks', I thought the envelope windows could be used to create the effect of innumerable layers -- the layer(s) beneath would be visible that way, & definitely effect the feeling of frustration, futility, infinity, that those searching for Daniel Pearl MUST have felt!

That's as far as I've gotten. Now I want to watch the movie again, and sketch or jot down notes as I watch, to see what reveals itself to me.