with Jack Smith, Jerry Sims, Ken Jacobs & a Cast of Thousands
Nearly fifty years in the making at the cost of hundreds of dollars, Ken Jacob’s magnum opus was finally unfurled (in what we must assume is its final form) in 2004. A few years later, after I watched it, I asked my friend Irving if he had ever gotten to see it and he said: yes of course, he’d seen a couple different versions of it back in the day. When I told him that it was now over six hours long he said: that seemed a little excessive. I believe that Ken Jacobs would reply: that is exactly the point, that it was meant to be excessive, that what it is and what it is about are perfectly matched. I believe Irving might say: so be it. But that’s putting words in their mouths. See the Spectacle, oppose it, endure it, outlive it.
This is Jack performing on the street (looks like Houston at First Avenue) in the year I was born. He embodies the Spirit of Living and tries to draw in the people of the neighborhood. He does a fairly good job of it. Nobody is throwing stones at him. In the images below he is shown running through the old meat packing district wearing what looks like a chef's hat.