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Lary 7 documentary released on DVD

Danielle de Picciotto has released a documentary on artist Lary 7, titled Not Junk Yet - The Art Of Lary 7

Artist, writer and film maker Danielle de Picciotto has released a documentary about New York artist Lary 7 titled Not Junk Yet - The Art Of Lary 7. The film includes interviews with Tony Conrad, Jarboe, Lydia Lunch, Jimi Tenor, Matthew Barney, JG Thirlwell and others including Lary, along with archival footage, images and performances. De Picciotto directed the film herself, with sound production by her husband and collaborator, Einstürzende Neubauten member Alexander Hacke.

Asked about her reasons for making the film, she says: “His way of working reminded me what art really is – a magic moment which only happens every so often, and usually unexpectedly... Lary treats art like a entity of its own: basically, he prepares for it to be able to happen in his performances. Often nothing happens, but when it does it is really unbelievable.”

The film covers Lary’s beginnings in the New York scene in the late 1970s and early 80s, and then making music with group The Jickets, which became a vehicle for other projects including video collaborations with Fabio Roberti and commercial slots, one of which was a beat poet spoof featuring Michael Gira wearing a fake goatee beard and reading a piece called “Furniture Of Sorrow”.

The film also covers his fascination with old instruments, from tubular bells to toy organs and obsolete technology, which began as a child when his mother would take him to the junk yard and allow him to fill the car with old machinery and toys which he'd use to build things. He does not use digital technology. “The reason why he is so steadfast in his refusal of digital medias is because it is premeditated,” de Picciotto explains.

She began making the documentary shortly after meeting Lary 7 in New York in 2001, when her husband was working on Sanctuary with Lary. Picciotto became fascinated with Lary and his history and began to film interviews with some of the people he mentioned. But she struggled to find backers to help release the film as many of those she approached thought her subject was too obscure, at which point she and Hacke decided to release the film themselves.

“It was quite a rocky trip,” she says, “because it is expensive to finance something for such a long time and we did so out of our own pockets – three cameras died on the way, the sound was very difficult because we usually had a lot of noise around us, and we were inexperienced in recording interviews. Some of the older material was complicated to transfer.”

As well as his various musical projects and experiments, Lary 7 also photographs work for many artists including Matthew Barney, and is known for being adept at lighting his images, shooting only on film. Last year he performed at New York's MOMA, released an album with Jimi Tenor, and is currently finishing an album with Tom Verlaine, and also working with Stooges drummer Larry Mullins. Lary, Hacke and de Picciottio also released an album together towards the end of last year, titled Needle At Sea Bottom.

Not Junk Yet - The Art Of Lary 7 is released on DVD via neubauten.org. Watch a short clip below.

EDIT: The original version of this piece referred to Lary 7's solo record Sanctuary, which is in fact a record by Alexander Hacke which Lary worked on.