Why I haven’t heard the Bas Jan Ader before today is crazy. Watching these videos and you really get the impression that life was like one big conceptual performance. Guy was like the OG Jackass (he used gravity as a medium) only with a highbrow twist. He kinda made falling off the roof of a house or falling from a tree or riding into a water look dapper. What’s really nuts is the fact that last time dude was seen was in 1975 when he took off on a tiny ass sailboat (12½ feet to be exact) in an attempt to cross the Atlantic. The voyage was to be the middle part of a triptych called “In Search of the Miraculous.” He claimed it would take him 60 days to make the trip, or 90 if he chose not to use the sail. Unfortunately, six months after he took on the trip, his boat was found, half-submerged off the coast of Ireland, but Bas Jan was not.

Peep this trailer to the film, Here Is Always Somewhere Else. And a few other short films I found on YouTube.

Broken Fall

Fall 1

Fall 2

Fall 2

One Response to “The Story of Bas Jan Ader (1942 – 1975)”

  1. I was a student at UCI and studied under Bas Jan. I was one of the 9 students who sang in his choir, for “In Search of the Miraculous.” For Bas Jan, Art was only Art with a capital “A” if it was pure, true, not hollow or a feign. When he disappeared in 1975 sailing from the USA to Holland, I wondered if the purity of his Art made any difference at all. After all, he was dead, and no one seemed to care but a few. Now, 35 years later, he is all over the Internet, his installations showing around the world, and he is impressing Artists by his shear purity and soul…that is truly miraculous.

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