Matthew Marcum Channels Pollock at the Complex

By Ernest Kearney  —  The Unconventional Empire’s production of Matthew Marcum’s Pollock: A Frequency Parable proves they are more than capable of living up to their name. Marcum has set out to invoke the persona and the art of the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956).

Before a video compilation of Pollock in the process of “action” painting, circling a canvas laid at his feet with the concentration of a panther on the prowl, Marcum intones a scat-like sonification; echoing, somewhat, the quality of the palpitation patterns of Diamanda Galás, while possessing a greater vibrancy.

He delineates sections by punctuating them with readings from Pollock’s writing, the 1950 William Wright interview and other sources –

“The modern artist is expressing his feelings not illustrating them.”

“The canvas is a dream to act.”

“The people I’ve only loved are the mad ones.”

Silver Medal (via The TVolution)Marcum’s overall effect does capture the sharp alacrity with which Pollock assaulted the canvas.  While one may or may not care for his attempt or may argue his success in achieving what he purposed, there’s no denying Pollock: A Frequency Parable is the essence of “Fringe.”


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Pollock: A Frequency Parable

is On Stage During

Hollywood Fringe 2018


The Complex Hollywood

6472 Santa Monica Blvd.

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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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