In any man who dies there dies with him,
his first snow and kiss and fight …
Not people die but worlds die in them.
— Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Brian Jostmeyer is hosting a wake for Dan French, a.k.a Blackoutman, devised as a multimedia exhibit of the man’s work featuring selections from his films and writings as well as his sundry visual and audio projects. As one can expect, this is a less a retrospective than it is a portal into the inner workings of the outer reaches of Dan French. And trust me, the man went far. Very far. Some might say too far, which of course, for Dan was never far enough.
The wake begins at 7 P.m., Friday, February 24 and takes place at Brian’s loft, 2898 Glascock St. #5, Oakland ca 94601. All friends of Dan French are welcome. For more information call 510 282 8847.
In the meantime, feast on these beautiful and insightful words Brian penned about Dan:
Dan is God
Dan’s life was literally a work of art. With his deft touch, he fashioned every moment into something worth living for. He could captivate with a bizarre monologue, an impromptu poem, a ready-made Dadaist collage, or even a searing letter to a politician — all with his trademark humor present, always sublime and clever surrealness. In addition to being an artist 24/7, Dan embodied everything that could be considered good in this life: he was loyal, forgiving, honest and the most tolerant person you could hope to meet, as evidenced by the diverse and interesting group that is known as Dan’s friends, compatriots.
Dan had a special ability to connect with people that I witnessed countless times. That not everyone “got him” was always unimportant to me because I got him and so did the people and friends that took the time and exercised some patience with this brilliant man. Some consider themselves a genius after taking an IQ test, I consider Dan a genius for the way he approached life, and for the manner in which he presented his creative mores to us.
Of course true genius cannot be bestowed upon us and Dan just embodied it without thought. He was a beatink, beat, bohemian, whatever you want to call it, he was Neal, Hunter S., Allen G., Charles B. to me — never trying — Dan just was, and will always be.
My one wish in life was that that Dan didn’t have the pain in his soul that moved him to medicate himself with reckless abandon. Not just so he would have been healthier, but because I’ve always wanted Dan to present himself in all his glory, minus the 10 Jamesons, minus the reasons someone could dislike him, if only for a few whiskeys. But my fantasies are unimportant, Dan was so fricking cool at his core he could be plastered and I never let it bother me too much. I always wanted to be the friend who loved him and supported him no matter how he decided to present himself, because to me he never did a bad thing in his life and fuck you to those that thought he was bad or needed to be changed.
Anyhow, ending up in China makes sense now, even through the tears when you think about what is lost, what was lost halfway across the planet. His students absolutely loved him and when I think of that it’s one of the hardest and the best thoughts to deal with: he had finally achieved his just desserts and in a cruel twist, it ended in a moment, without reason. –BJ