Conceptual Art

1977
Early Conceptual Videos

A collection of early conceptually oriented videos which were produced in Tokyo in the early 1970s using words along with images, except for the first two flicker-effect pieces: A Chair (1970) and Blinking (1970). 

Time Tunnel (1971) is an attempt at time travel in a very conceptual sense. 

Man and Woman (1971) shows full body images of a naked man and woman shot from above without movement.  They are shown alone as well as together, one over (or under) the other, symbolizing words at the same time as their positions. 

1973
Ed Henderson Reconstructs Movie Scenarios

Baldessari has Ed Henderson examine obscure movie stills and attempt to reconstruct the films’ narratives. By removing the image from its ordinary context—in this instance the chronological flow of film time—the process of interpretation itself and the contextual meaning carried by images is examined. During these interpretative exercises, Ed Henderson urges the viewer to question where the meaning of an image lies: within the image itself or within the spectators’ reading of the image.

This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

2017
On Screen, Lynda Benglis

An original program for VDB TV: Decades curated by Robyn Farrell. Taking inspiration from Hershman Leeson’s essay Reflections on the Electric Mirror, this program concentrates on work from the first decade of American video art and focuses on artists that were influenced by and who pushed against the televisual impulse.

2016

By assembling these three films, the Endless Dreams compilation provides a unique opportunity to explore the vast array of cinematic modes employed by Green’s filmic oeuvre, and how these are articulated in her layered spatial and extrasensory installations; in this case, a major project commissioned by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, U.K., Endless Dreams and Water Between (2009).

1991
Fluxus Replayed

In a radical action like Nam June Paik destroying a violin, and rolling up in bandages the bodies of the players in in a concert by Yoko Ono, the international avant-garde group Fluxus changed not only art, but the concept of it.

2014
Kendell Geers: An Interview

In this 2014 interview, South African artist Kendell Geers (b. 1968) discusses the function of magic, myth, and memory in his work. Beginning at childhood, Geers charts the path he has taken in his understanding of his own biography as a site of resistance. This interest in the use of personal biography culminated in 1993 with his decision to change his date of birth to May 1968 as a way to reference both the May 1968 student protests, and the fact that 1993 was the first year that South Africa had participated in the Venice Biennale since 1968.

2003
Hiker

The camera follows behind a woman on a mountain hike. An alpine peak can be seen in the distance. This piece uses the trope of the horror soundtrack to build a tension that is never released.

2002
Hole

A portrayal of retail-workers engaged in a repetitive act of hiding merchandise in a hole in the wall.

This title is also available on Sterling Ruby: Interventionist Works 2001-2002.

1999
How Far is There: Part Two of Hearts and Helicopters

There are times when concurrent multiple realities of place demand at least an attempt to determine who in fact has, and where is, this place in the sun. Hearts and Helicopters occurs at that moment in the lives of four people.

This title is also available on Lawrence Weiner: Hearts and Helicopters - A Trilogy.

2008
inversion, transcription, evening track and attractor, the

"how looking at what has become the skeletons of photographs is a visual lecture on aesthetic pleasure or emotion. and how being, almost entirely denied of this pleasure, or having the pleasure merely suggested induces a viewer to ruminate on the act of viewing and that of wanting to view. and maybe it is evolution which causes this anxiety and art form."

2002
Sterling Ruby, Landscape Annihilates Consciousness

A celebrated landscape painter hypnotizes through brush stroke and voice.

This title is also available on Sterling Ruby: Interventionist Works 2001-2002.

1969
Lip Sync

An upside-down close-up of the artist’s mouth, Nauman repeats the words “lip sync” as the audio track shifts in and out of sync with the video. The disjunction between what is seen and heard keeps the viewer on edge, struggling to attach the sound of the words with the off-kilter movements of Nauman’s mouth.

This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

1973
Massage Chair

“I thought perhaps you’d like to see a demonstration of the new massage chair that we just got in. It — the reason for its — it looks revolutionary, it doesn’t look really like a typical massage chair, and that’s because I think Mies van der Rohe had a part, or at least he was a consultant, to the firm that designed this…”. William Wegman opens the video short titled Massage Chair with this grand statement to describe what looks like an ordinary plastic chair. At first the artist’s head is cut from the frame, but he eventually sits down to “demonstrate” the extraordinary qualities of the chair. 

1973
The Meaning of Various Photographs to Ed Henderson - 1

Baldessari presents photographs to his friend Ed Henderson and asks him to reconstruct the meaning of the image. In each case, Baldessari's strategy is to appropriate an existing image and remove it from its context in order to deconstruct the process of interpretation, and call the supposed objectivity of interpretation into question. The tape implicates the viewer in Ed Henderson's groundless exegesis, as he hypothesizes about the meaning of several photographs, speculating on their actual or staged reality.

1987
Ana Mendieta: Fuego De Tierra

Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.