June 29–September 9, 2012

The Jackleg Testament Part II: The Book of Only Enoch

I find it informative to work through time and narrative. They are both teachers of the best sort.—Jay Bolotin

In 2008, Bolotin began work on the second film in The Jackleg Testament trilogy. The materials driving production of Part II include drawings, prints, and text. The drawings came first, providing a way for Bolotin to develop the characters, their relationships, and a possible narrative trajectory for the story. The film has grown organically from these drawings, a written script, and further detailed studies of various figures in the story, settings, landscapes, and objects.

In Part I, the movement of the characters is limited by their structure: the arms and legs swing back and forth like paper dolls, and the opening and closing of the lower and upper jaws simulate speech. In Part II, character animation will be more multi-layered and complex, evoking more rounded, three-dimensional forms.

The artist’s handwritten gallery annotations will give exhibition viewers a sense of the progression of the storyline, inspired in part by the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, (books of the Old Testament not included in the accepted version of the text). One of these versions includes the figure of Enoch, a man “who went to Heaven and lived to tell the tale.” Bolotin reimagines and rechristens this figure “Only Enoch,” the son of the only Jewish coal miner in Kentucky. The narrative for The Book of Only Enoch continues to evolve.

Image Credit: Jay Bolotin. American, born 1949. Only Enoch, 2012. Woodcut and relief etching. Lent by the artist, courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH. Photograph by Tony Walsh.