Harald Thys and Jos de Gruyter
Last Laugh. A joke is all about the timing.
Carol Burnett described comedy as Tragedy plus Time.
Simon Critchley traced humor out to the tune of melancholia with dark results.
They turned it into an equation, middle larded with silence.
I am interested in comic timing and gestures stretched out like taffy. a flabby, bulbous pause.
William Carlos Williams called it the variable foot.
Victor Borge called this simply the extended beat.
Mary Douglas thought the joke played on form, bringing together disparate elements as a way to reveal anew.
Henri Bergson thought that humor was the mechanical encrusted on something living – slowly pulling it down and a laugh was horror at this incongruity – a last ditch effort to distance ourself.
Bertolt Brecht thought you had not yet heard the bad news.
Over-theorizing humor threatens to squash what it can do and a nice long gulp of air may help. I am interested in how stopping just short and stretching out the delay can be a strategy for a visual artist. The group of works in Last Laugh are not exactly funny, except in the most awkward sense. The works you see in the room do a lot of things, one of which is to get at that ‘wait, wait’ via gestures, theatrical tropes and a bit of dry camp.