Asparagus (Suzan Pitt, 1979)

Suzan Pitt
Laida Lertxundi

In the occasion of the screening of the film Asparagus (Suzan Pitt, 1979) during this month of August in the hall of the CCCB, we retrieve a text by filmmaker Laida Lertxundi that was published in the book Xcèntric. 45 films against the grain (CCCB, 2006).

Asparagus depicts a series of spaces that give life to female subjectivity: a faceless woman moves in a world of images. This suggests the lack of an essence of the feminine and emphasizes, in its place, a series of stabs at life in feminine terms.

The film begins in an interior that brings with it the weightiness of the shut-in, private space of the Victorian woman. It convokes the significance of the personal, the «room of one’s own» that Virginia Woolf called for, but confines the character in a paradise isolated from the world, masculine in kind.

The viewpoint of the main character of the film and the film’s point of view are one and the same. It could be said that there exists a diegesis within which the character moves, and at the same time an extra-diegesis in which we move as spectators, and both are simultaneous and parallel, a box inside a box; which literally appears at the beginning of the film. From within her house the woman approaches a doll’s house, which is inhabited by a mini-woman with another mini-doll’s house, in which lives a micro-woman...

In a fit of delirium the anonymous, isolated woman becomes a flâneuse, aimlessly crossing the spaces of urban life. The landscape of the unconscious provides us with symbols of a crucial importance. While our flâneuse strolls lost in thought, Pitt shows us a shop window full of weapons, pistols, shotguns and bullets. Is this what awaits you if you decide to step outdoors? Are these the objects of desire? Phalluses of one sort or another appear: sticks of asparagus, plants, drawing pins, which end up in the hands, and mouth, of the mystery woman. Oral sex with the different objects of a psychedelically inflected landscape describes desire as something literal and compulsive which does not need another subjectivity to interrelate with, which has objects as its object.

Here appears the complex theorem about which the film only gives us hints: the woman remains confined at home, isolated, or lives a delirium in her crossing of a masculine public space where weapons are sold like toys and where you have to endlessly suck it, or...

26 May 2020