ARTICLE JAMES FRANCO & CARTER
PHOTOGRAPHY JAMES FRANCO AND CARTER
STYLIST PARINAZ MOGADASSI
Curator Dominic Sidhu Grooming Ashley Javier Set design Andy Harman Pyrotechnics Bohdan Bushell (J&M SPECIAL EFFECTS) Imaging services and red camera Impact Digital, Industrial Color Production Ashley Herson (PRODn/Art + Commerce) Manicure Tatyana Molot (Artists by Next) Tailor Claudia De Sausa Grooming Assistant Hiro Yonemoto Lighting B2Pro Location Jewel Street Studios Archery Equipment Lancaster Archery Lead Archers Joe McGlyn derrick davis Courtesy of Proline Archery Range Motorcycle stunts Deth Killers Motorcycle Club Jenn Johnson, Jonathan Russel, Al Christod, Greg Mining Special thanks Steve Kalalian, Vince Jolivette, Robert Crivello, Glenn Marukunas, Rocky Luten
Yes. That is a flamethrower. And, yes, James Franco is incinerating a motorcycle with that flamethrower.
The "movie star" mantle is too limited for James Franco. He requires a multi-hyphenate to fully define his various creative endeavors. Besides finishing up graduate school and preparing the upcoming release of his first short story collection, he has busied himself with a variety of art projects with Carter.
Which brings us to "Double-Third-Portrait," their latest collaboration, exclusively comissioned for VMAN.
"I find it interesting to erase his façade," Carter explains of his unlikely muse and subject, "to erase 'James Franco.' That is where the foam stuff and ghosts comes in."
Carter would be hard-pressed to find another well-known actor willing to completely obscure themself in an art project. In Franco, Carter found both the perfect subject and collaborator. On the surface, the pairing is unlikely, but it was a creative match.
"It was an attempt to fuse things that Carter and I have been working on independently," Franco explains. "There are a lot of motifs in Carter's work—mannequin heads, telephones, shaving cream, and hair." Not to mention Franco himself.
And the result of this disparate combo?
"We have this very strange poetic mess!" Carter says.
Here we present "Double-Third-Portrait," written, conceived by, and starring Carter and James Franco. WILLIAM VAN METER
Double-third-portrait, two figures and a third.
To begin at the front with white foam and fabric.
The dialing of a telephone.
Spirit floating in and around a room, an area, a space.
A fake place, a false room, a decoration.
1965, 1972, 1974, 1988,
The telephone was dialed and the dialer was waiting for a response.
A stack of items on a desk, a pile of rocks, and a pile of sticks.
Drying off surfaces with white towels.
A ghost, a doppelganger, a disguise.
An iced-over counterpart.
An intruder, a falsification.
The 1st telephone rang and then the 2nd telephone rang.
A figure in a landscape betwixt disguise and transformation.
Evolving and devolving, before and after.
Double vision. Secondary. Peripheral. Masculine Feminine.
A disembodied voice, a stand-in, a phantom, the ringing of a telephone.
Somebody else's hand, somebody else's leg, somebody else's ear.
The disguise is placed just below the nose
and above the lips and on the chin.
The hair is permed and then straightened and then doused
and then dried and then combed and then placed.
Rocks, sticks, land, interior spaces with telephones that ring.
1975, 1942, 1958, 1983 and then, 1984.
We went riding.
This was the best day I’d had in years.
When I’m in the office,
I think about these times.
Other times I get cold flashes,
And the phone feels like I’m curling weights.
In 1988 I made a friend, Carl.
He had a mustache.
Sometimes, in the office I think I’m Carl.
This was the best day.
The riding day,
Like being nothing. Carl
told me, you can be whatever you want.
I love being nothing.
In 1975 I was nothing.
In 1984 I was six.
In 88 I met Carl.
In 2009 I grew a mustache.
I think they’re coming back.
If I cut my mustache
And left the hair on the office floor,
And grew it again, and cut
It. And again,
till the end, I’d have an office full of hair.