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Bruce Bickford: Wondering Boy Poet

Bruce Bickford's animations are incomparable and indescribable.

Dream on child of change

Throw your javelin through the sun

Pierce the heart of everyone

"Wondering Boy Poet" by Robert Pollard

It was, as it is still, the pain of bliss to move, to breathe, to be

"Prometheus Unbound" by Shelley

To die would be an awfully big adventure

"Peter Pan" by J.M. Barrie

Bruce Bickford's animations are incomparable and indescribable "though I will try all the same," said a voice much like my own No one in animation compares The closest companions might be found in the free jazz of Ornette Coleman or Albert Ayler or the freewheeling mystic streams of James Joyce Instability reigns o'er Bickford's universe Heads humans times and landscapes form violently unwillingly re-form transform A time lapse of human histories eternally "fluttering along on the edge of extinction"  A Peter Pan child god blissfully lost in play You don't have a clue what is going on or what he might be thinking but you're thoroughly mesmerized by the sheer inventiveness of the little fucker Who needs Clarity a bourgeois invention said bourgeois Barthes unrelated to the quality of a Work that should linger with you confuse and excite you Not bore you with understanding You don't comprehend the Bickford universe you taste drink snort experience and ponder A direction with no clear destination propelled by a thrust not a purpose A Pandora's box of possibilities An unbound Prometheus finger saluting the Gods as he births humanity from clay into Neverland beings strutting about their own violent anarchic nature without any desire to broadcast their uniqueness outward An autarkic permanence with its own dimensions and limits breathing its own time and space A land of endless fleeting connections A blind and tenacious metamorphosis hardly born before regenerating into something new A totality of scattered meanings A self sustaining language rooted in the depths of a secret mythology indifferent to society yet rising above its creator unfurling meanings beyond the reach of his harness A child in his own mystical world Unleashing all Peter Pans armed with only a knife to ward off the ticktickticktocking sword fondling croc bullies of extinction where good and evil mingle incognito and you just have to live with it or perish as you will anyway abandoning no discernable past or environment only a opaque shadowy aftermath littered not with mystery or absurdity but clarity and familiarity all balled up in the palms of the creator A nature of fragmented spaces comprised of solitary horrific objects speaking on the inhuman images of heaven hell holiness childhood madness and violence of Style that plunges us into the deep dark depths of a tortured unbroken being bloated with gaps absences and overnourishing signs that harken to a stuttering antisocial speed above nature A dream language harnessing the savage void safely from our touch while leading us towards the depths of our own character with visions of terror madness crime remorse that rent our minds swaying us dragging us along with each dusty reel of our film as we desperately chomp earthquake shocks of sluggish discord knotted roots and trampled clay until we relinquish Now stripped of all ache hate fear you rest with a decomposed half smile surrounded by love knowing you’re never gonna have to die but do, and that its okay Or something like that.

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.