Pierre Bismuth In Search Of 'Rocky II': Ed Ruscha's Man-Made HIdden Rock In Desert

By Kumar Rahul (KR) on Feb 06, 2017 09:07 AM EST

Pierre Bismuth's new film "Where is Rocky II?" is based on a mysterious and unique artwork - a giant Rock. It is about finding a boulder named "Rocky II". The mysterious Rock was created by renowned artist Ed Ruscha and left among similar looking boulders in the Mojave Desert in North America.

According to Art News, American artist Ed Ruscha was asked in a press conference in 2009 by Pierre Bismuth about the sculpture, which was deftly appreciated by the artist but left unanswered. The Rock aptly titled "Rocky II" got its name from the Sylvester Stallone starrer movie.  Bismuth came to know about the rock after watching a BBC documentary made in 1979. It showed the "rock" being carried to the Mojave Desert on the back of a truck and being left there among real rocks. Bismuth, who received the Oscar for co-writing the original story for the 2004 science fiction comedy-drama film "Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind", was determined that his directorial debut will be about this long-lost piece of art. In his endeavor, he even hired a detective named Micheal Scott to find "Rocky II". Scott also features as one of the main characters in the movie "Where is Rocky II?"

Actors Robert Knepper and Milo Ventimiglia play the main leads in "Where is Rocky II?" The story shows Knepper as the detective while Ventimiglia plays the role of the artist who, just like Ed Ruscha in real life, denies any information regarding the whereabouts of the rock. The film shows characteristic monologues, scenes of desert confrontations and gunfights leading to an ending with the rock still untraced.

According to The Guardian, Pierre Bismuth described "Where is Rocky II?" as a fake fiction. The undetectability of the rock is what made Bismuth try so hard to find it. In an interview, Bismuth said, "That's already quite an interesting statement. But more than that, what is an art piece that nobody knows about? I mean, this is really pushing it. I understand that an artist can do an invisible piece, but a piece that no one knows is kind of weird. It's beyond any kind of conceptual statement you can have."

Bismuth has always been a standout artist for his style of telling a story. In a series from 2001 named "Collages for Men", he turned the uncovered pictures of women from pornographic magazines into "clothed" ones with white pieces of paper, thus making people look at them in a new perspective altogether. Ed Ruscha, the creator of the unique artwork, reportedly watched "Where is Rocky II?" and said that he needed a few moments to digest the film. It is assumed that he was at loss of words with the inconclusive yet impressive film made on a subject very close to his heart.

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TagsEd Ruscha, Rocky, Pierre Bismuth, Michael Scott, Mojave Desert

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