David Lynch: Hide And Seek With A Post-Modern Master

David Lynch has seared his vision across both popular and avant-garde culture. While many of his fans continue to wait for something new on big or small screen, the director stays busy in other media, including a "Works on Paper" book an

Hervé Aubron

PARIS - "Silencio". Ten years ago, the movie Mulholland Drive ended with this whispered word, which was also the name of the tavern where heroes shed rivers of tears, before finding the fateful blue box.

Silence is something the renowned American director David Lynch does not seem to want to stray too far from: he has just created the decor of a private club in Paris by the same name that opened its doors in late August. He has also published, at the initiative of the Cartier Foundation, a book without commentary or date, that consists of a portfolio of leaflets of his drawings that he's been collecting for 40 years. As far as movies go, the director has been well ensconced in silence: Inland Empire is the only film by David Lynch since Mulholland Drive, and it was in 2006.

The filmmaker has not, however, entrenched himself in his bunker-like villa in Los Angeles. Back at the Fondation Cartier de L'art Contemporain in Paris, a space where David Lnych had previously unveiled his plastic works in 2007, he is currently involved in a group exhibition that is bringing together mathematicians and artists. For this exhibition he has designed an entire section, under the sign of the dome (or the igloo), that is set with a soundtrack he composed together with Patti Smith.

He also plans to show three short films he has made for the occasion. In early November, after a few forays into music, his first album titled Crazy Clown Time will be released. He also has regular postings of miniature films on his personal website, and has created Internet video spots where he can been seen chatting with a Barbie about his own brand of coffee.

On an entirely different note, through an austere-looking foundation, Lynch is also working to promote transcendental meditation, which he has long practiced, and has plans for a documentary on the subject.

But nothing has been announced in terms of future feature films, or even TV series along the lines of Twin Peaks, which he created in 1990, and that led to a decisive revival of the dark mystery genre. Rumors from Lynch fans online mention an animation project, Snootworld, and the possibility of Mulholland Drive 2.

One must not forget that Lynch has always been a multimedia artist, and film just one of many outlets for his creativity. He was able to comprehend the inner torment of viewers of Mullholland Drive all the more because he remained untouched by it himself. Back in Boston as a student of fine arts, he was not an obsessive cinephile and only tried doing movies to overcome his frustrations as a painter: he regretted that paintings did not emit sounds.

Hints of Hopper and Hockney (and Game Boy)

The Book "Works on Paper" is a testament to this early versatility in Lynch's career. He uses all kinds of material for his drawings, from post-it notes, to matchbooks and napkins, with sketches in pencil, ink, felt-tip pen or black watercolor. The compilation is a striking display of graphic diversity, with gaunt medieval landscapes next to expressionist hachures, surreal hybrids, logos of cabalistic drawings, where hints of Hopper and Artaud cross paths with inspiration from Bacon and Hockney. One can find the doodle of a sea cow gently brushed against the script of an episode of "Twin Peaks', next to a geometric flipper, as if Kandinsky had applied himself to Game Boy.

A multimedia artist he is beyond a doubt. With words, as with a story, there is always acting to be found. As in his paintings, Lynch often includes a sentence in his drawings as if to counterbalance a story, in the broadest sense. Sometimes it is just a single word, shining like radioactive pebbles, suggestive of talismans leading to larger visions, as can be seen in the details in the film Blue Velvet, simply thrown over a sheet: "beautiful beginning/ear/nude/brain tumor." Viewed in its entirety, his works are like an incubator, where the artist lets go of his "fish"- the most common metaphor he employs to describe his ideas, only to then capture them again.

Whether or not he is directing movies, Lynch never seems to lose sight of cinematography. There it is, on paper, among other things, in perpetual motion, breaking up and reassembling, disfigured faces - Inland Empire's twisting spasms, convulsing faces, a cloudy mix of granular pixels. Always be wary of tranquil waters and silences that endure.

The original artice in French in Le Monde

Photo - cuttlefish

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Dutch Cities Have Been Secretly Probing Mosques Since 2013

Revelations of a nationally funded clandestine operation within 10 municipalities in the Netherlands to keep tabs on mosques and Muslim organizations after a rise in radicalization eight years ago.

The Nasser mosque in Veenendaal, one of the mosques reportedly surveilled

Meike Eijsberg

At least ten Dutch towns and cities have secretly used a private agency to probe mosques and other local religious organizations, Amsterdam-based daily het NRC reports in an exclusive investigation.

The clandestine operation — funded by NCTV, the National Security Services, the Netherlands' leading counter-terrorism agency — was prompted by the social unrest and uncertainty following multiple terror attacks in 2013, and a rise in Islamic radicalization.

The NCTV, which advises and financially supports municipalities in countering radicalization, put the municipalities in touch with Nuance by Training and Advice (Nuance door Trainingen en Advies, NTA), a private research agency based in Deventer, Netherlands. Among the institutions targeted by the investigations, which came at a cost of circa 500,000 euros, were the Al Mouahidin mosque in the central Dutch town of Ede, and the Nasser mosque east of the city of Utrecht, according to NRC.

Photo of people standing on prayer mats inside a Dutch mosque

Praying inside a Dutch mosque.


Broken trust in Islamic community

Unlike public officials, the private agency can enter the mosques to clandestinely research the situation. In this case, the agents observed activity, talk to visitors, administrators, and religious leaders, and investigated what they do and say on social media.

All findings then wound up in a secret report which includes personal details about what the administrators and teachers studied, who their relatives are, with whom they argued, and how often they had contact with authorities in foreign countries, like Morocco.

Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed.

It is unclear whether the practice is legal, which is why several members of the Dutch Parliament are now demanding clarification from the outgoing Minister of Justice and Security, Ferd Grapperhaus, who is said to be involved.

"The ease with which the government violates (fundamental) rights when it comes to Islam or Muslims is shocking," Stephan van Baarle, member of the leftist party DENK, told De Volkskrant, another Dutch newspaper.

Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed. Hassan Saidi, director of one of the mosques investigated, said that the relationship with the local municipality had been good. "This puts a huge dent in the trust I'd had in the municipality," he told the Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

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