During the late 1970s and early 80s, Barbara Latham produced a substantial body of work that innovatively meshed the formal concerns of video with autobiographical, narrative, and political content. Dedicated to furthering video art and challenging its reputation as an inaccessible, esoteric field, Latham was on the board of directors at Chicago's Center for New Television, and was influential in shaping policy that served the needs of independent producers. She was also a strong advocate of politically-involved video work and, through her own work, explored issues related to female identity, such as the political significance of women’s personal histories.
Often producing collaboratively, Latham worked against the hierarchical delineation of roles that characterizes standard video and television production. Her belief in the active construction of identity is conveyed in her use of fragmented and manipulated images as a metaphor for lived experience. For example, in Arbitrary Fragments, Latham speaks of herself as a gypsy storyteller weaving fact and fiction in an unreliable mixture that, for her, signals the free play of autobiography. Consuming Passions speaks to the "unification of personal identity", the creation of a sense of self, falsely constructed through the activity of shopping and eating. Latham was head of the video department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1978 until her untimely death in 1984.
Available Titles by Barbara Aronofsky Latham
|Arbitrary Fragments||1978||Early Video Art, Single Titles|
|Chained Reactions||1982||Early Video Art, Single Titles|
|Consuming Passions||1983||Single Titles|
|Curtain: Untold Story||1979||Early Video Art, Single Titles|
|The Electric Mirror: Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s||2017||Curated Compilations, New Releases, Compilations|
|Feathers: An Introduction||1978||Single Titles|
|Barbara Latham Videoworks: Volume 1||2001||Single Artist Compilations, Early Video Art|