Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Fartwork: Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series

Bob Dylan
The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1962-1991

In today's Friday Fartwork, we see Bob Dylan gorging on a karipap while trying to record the sound he makes when so doing. Let's deconstruct this elusive graphic.

The central visual is, of course, Bob Dylan himself. Looking just like a woman, he is clearly in a recording studio, eating a karipap in front of a microphone. Why he would record the sound of himself eating a karipap is beyond us all - even in this field of fartworking, some things will forever remain a mystery. But Bob has left us some clues.

The main thrust of clues all point towards his intended anonymity. We have already covered the fact that Bob is trying his best here to look like a woman. Maybe even Cate Blanchet. But not only that - he is also wearing dark glasses. That's an elementary school incognito move.

Another clue lies in the typography - the words "Bob Dylan" are printed in a pale blue - so pale it almost disappears into the background. Clearly now, this entire artwork takes on a chilling new meaning, one enshrouded in dissociative personalities and fractured/dissipating identities.

The question that should perplex any serious semiotist then is: why has Bob Dylan chosen to conceal his true self (and in so doing, reveal his "other" selves) in this bootleg compilation? Is the godfather of folk telling us that on his rare and unreleased tracks, he is essentially a different man, or perhaps a woman? And while we're asking questions, why is Bob Dylan recording the sound of himself eating karipap? Is it shameful? Is that the reason behind his rejection of identity? Is it a cross-cultural issue? Or an eating disorder? Or perhaps an experimental music in-joke that only esoterists understand?

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind.

Bob Dylan - Last Thought On Woodie Guthrie (from The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1962-1991)

1 comment:

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