It was a translucent purple night. It was as if dawn were in collusion with midnight to create a deep darkness that one could still see through. It must have been around 3 am. I was watching Fellini’s “Satyricon.” Imagine my surprise when one of my sculpture pieces appeared on the screen. It was Balthazar. The revelers at Trimalchio’s banquet were heading down the side of the mountain to enact a mock death ceremony for Trimalchio himself. And suddenly! there he was. Balthazar was standing monumentally above the partygoers/mourners. And later in the movie I spotted another. This time it was Johnnie Sphinxter in the field where Encolpius accompanied the Poet to die. Was this all my imagination? Had I seen this all before and just forgotten? I did watch the first half of “Satyricon” ten years ago, and for some reason never finished. Could I have retained those images and then remade them as part of my own system of archetypes and symbols? Perhaps. Or perhaps it was really late and the slippery limen between over-focused consciousness and mythic unconscious was dissolving? I rubbed my eyes. Everything blurred.
When I woke up the next day I watched the film on my computer. It was no dream. I saw it again. So I took some screen-shots, and here they are. Balthazar and Johnnie Sphinxter as seen in Fellini’s “Satyricon”: