Werner Herzog eating a shoe…

After losing a friendly bet with fellow filmmaker Errol Morris, Herzog makes good on his promise in front of an audience at the premiere of Morris’ Gates of Heaven

Werner Herzog Stipetić born 5 September 1942, known as Werner Herzog, is a German film directorproducerscreenwriter, actor, and opera director.

He is often considered one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema, along with Rainer Werner FassbinderMargarethe von TrottaVolker SchlöndorffWerner Schröter, and Wim Wenders. His films often feature heroes with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who find themselves in conflict with nature. French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog “the most important film director alive”and American film critic Roger Ebert stated that Herzog “has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular.”

Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe is a short documentary film directed by Les Blank in 1980 which depicts directorWerner Herzog living up to his promise that he would eat his shoe if Errol Morris ever completed the film Gates of Heaven. The film includes clips from both Gates of Heaven and Herzog’s 1970 feature Even Dwarfs Started Small. Comic song “Old Whisky Shoes”, played by the Walt Solek Band, is the signature tune over the opening and closing credits.

The film features Herzog cooking his shoes (the ones he claims to have been wearing when he made the bet) at theBerkeley, California restaurant Chez Panisse, with the help of chef Alice Waters. (The shoe was boiled with garlic,herbs, and stock for 5 hours.) He is shown eating one of the shoes before an audience at the premiere of Gates of Heaven at the nearby UC Theater. He did not eat the sole of the shoe, however, explaining that one does not eat the bones of the chicken.

Blank went on to direct Burden of Dreams (1982), a feature-length documentary about Herzog and the making ofFitzcarraldoWerner Herzog Eats His Shoe is included as an extra on the Criterion Collection edition of the Burden of Dreams DVD.

Here is a clip and his commentary is most interesting. I like this clip more for what he is saying then the eating of the shoe:

The things we see have far more impact on our life then we realize. Everyone is impregnated with visual scenes from there earliest memory in life until now.

Life is like a camera recording and often parts between fade and a very vivid but haunting image follows us, it  kind of sets our destiny in our minds of either good or in a bad way depending how we choose to relate to it.

Should be more selective of the images we additionally I  put into our visual memory archive. (talking about junk culture)

We can not avoid seeing the unpleasant things or the natural way life is experienced since growing up however, does it help if I should fill my life with junk imagery in the form of what literature I read or films, art , food etc?

Werner Herzog speaks of creating a new vocabulary of images.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-savarin Said: “The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they nourish themselves.” 

Nourishment is not only food, it is everything around us and within us. The way I perceive life is that all imagery is also a kind of nourishment to, even a conversation. Life penetrates us and shapes our imagination and emotions and therefor also our destiny.

The visual is so much more powerful in our lives the more you think about it.

Werner Herzog speaks about adequate images as a necessity for the nation otherwise we may die out like dinosaurs. If we dont produce relevant images to help people have a better sense of life and how to treat it perhaps this would have truly a devastating effect of mankind.

He says many profound things in this clip and I was taking the creative visual as my inspiration for this post as it is a very big subject he is addressing which I am unable to deal with in full here in my little blog.

Not everyone has this way of seeing life and I also am often in need of images, visions of other people in order to inspire something that nourishes my creativity further.

Just to note he is eating the shoe first and formost because a friend made a film and people did not recognise the brilliance of it and therefor this eating of a shoe happened.

This is wonderful as it does take people to help others to see what greatness lies in there creations. I think more established artist should help other artists somehow.

Back to investigating creative dimensions and the impact of the visual:

My experience is that my creative dimension is sourcing associations of inner visual emotional library re-associating it with the external. The surrealists say that is is like looking with one eye out and the other eye into the inner world at the same time.

That statement is really interesting as in the japanese Butoh  “the dance of darkness” the dancers rolle there eyes back in to there head and I asked a dancer ones why they do that and he said that they dont look out they look into the inner landscape sourcing from there” the dance of darkness”.

When I create dishes I see them before they are made on the actual plate but there is always a triggering point first. The vision and the associations are based on memories  senses, visions, feelings… connections. Dishes created are in a “time machine” as you are associating without prejudice from past present and future from anything.

I usually have a starting point and an aim however they then become irrelevant at a point and it was the journey that usually then is the manifestation of the dish. There are many ways to skinn a cat so to say therefor I have no rules. I would say I am a creative anarchist.

I am fascinated by the choice to either see only within or both at the same time.

I feel that by being more aware of these layers we can have greater possibilities to interact understand and create more specifically.

Another observation I made is the multitude of emotion that we attach to inner and outer visual memories and perceptions. We totally create them.

Further more there are other senses aiding in bringing a fuller dimension into the experiences of the inner or outer visual senses via smell, physical senses, tasting, feeling/emotional sensing etc

My question is: are they real? We create them by unconscious, conscious like and dislike, judgement, and via many influences internal and external, we even suffer from our creations as we believe them to be true and real.

The more I think about it the more it is obvious how we are fabricators of realties.

That thought is interesting because in a way it shows that the essence of humanity is a creatieve one.

That does not make everyone an artist however potentially this is really what we all are.

I am not talking about everyone producing art that is for a museum however everything we do is based on creative principles.

It is tough trying to write about this subject as I feel limited by my writing skills . I have no concept of writing at all.

This is an  all-encompassing and big subject however I would like to explore the creative nature of man and of course as a chef as well especially in relation of how all the creativeness makes the world a better place to be in.

I love quotes and here I included several from  Werner Herzog and Picasso as there few words express things much better then I can.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
― Pablo Picasso

“Facts do not convey truth. That’s a mistake. Facts create norms, but truth creates illumination.”
― Werner Herzog

“There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.”
― Werner HerzogHerzog on Herzog

“Everything you can imagine is real.”

― Pablo Picasso

“We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”
― Pablo Picasso

“I do not seek. I find.”
― Pablo Picasso

“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.”
― Pablo Picasso

“God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.”
― Pablo Picasso

“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”
― Pablo Picasso

“If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.”
― Pablo Picasso

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
― Pablo Picasso

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.”
― Pablo Picasso

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web. ”
― Pablo Picasso

“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
― Pablo Picasso