This comprehensive anthology on the history of experimental and independent video is an essential tool for teachers, libraries, and researchers. Volumes 1 and 2 include over 16 hours of historic video on eight thematically curated programs, exploring conceptual, performance-based, image-processed, feminist, documentary and grassroots community-based genres.
Volume 1 includes:
Program 1: Explorations of Presence, Performance, and Audience
Since its original release in 1995, this comprehensive two-volume, eight-program package on the history of experimental and independent video curated by Christine Hill was available only on VHS tape. The DVD launch brings this essential tool for the understanding of the development of media arts to a whole new generation of teachers, libraries, students and researchers.
As if trapped inside a nightmare, the main protagonist of Poster Girl is haunted by disturbing visions, thoughts and fantasies, which the viewer is privy to. She is joined at various points in the video by another woman, whose role in the narrative remains unclear – is she meant to function as a guardian or a demon? The video further complicates the matter by representing both women as simultaneously wounded and wounding, inviting and threatening, vulnerable and menacing.
This 3-disc DVD collection features nine works by maverick film and video maker Peggy Ahwesh. The set also includes title descriptions, a biography, film/videography, a selected bibliography, and the following texts:
Pistolary! Films and Videos by Peggy Ahwesh -- Eileen Myles
The two Social Studies videos call into question fundamental assumptions about the cross-purposes of entertainment: to entertain, to present cultural values, to mediate public policies, and to define social relationships.
A woman is standing barefoot on a tile floor. In slow motion, the investigative camera circles around her. Her breasts are bared and liquid runs down her legs. Bit by bit, every part of her body is shown, except her face, which remains hidden behind her hair. The camera besets the woman, who remains silent.
A woman is lying on her back on the floor. She seems to be tied down on the ground, but she is holding her ankles with her own hands. She wears only tights and a pair of high-heeled red shoes. Her hair-covered face makes her an anonymous victim of the camera, which is making converging circles around her body.
These five short videos examine the relationship between the female body and the camera’s gaze.
“In Scheurwater’s universe, there is hardly any room left for human warmth. The only living being that evokes a sense of pity is a dog. And the only hope that remains is the camera itself, feverishly searching for compassion in the remnants of decay.”
I moved three thousand miles from the east coast to join the feminist art program at CAL ARTS in 1973. I had only been in LA three weeks when Judy Chicago took us to a "Menstruation" art exhibition at Womanspace Gallery. The exhibit included every conceivable medium about menstruation - paintings, weavings, sculpture. I was amazed - nothing was taboo. Being outrageous was normal in this LA feminist art environment. Around the same time I read "Female Eunuch" by Germaine Greer. She wrote, and I paraphrase, "If you taste your blood when you scratch your fin
Using highly-manipulated and over-processed images, Latham investigates the process of video as inherently fragmented. Weaving together various people’s impressions of the artist and her work, the work demonstrates important parallels between video, storytelling, and the formation of identity—all processes of active fabrication that blend “lies” and truth in the construction of a certain reality, history, or past. Labeling an image of herself talking as “her most recent explanation,” Latham addresses “the construction of her video personality” as an identity outside of herself.
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.
A captivating video about surveillance, identity, watching, and being watched, The Amateurist slides along the edges of horror and satire to create an unsettling portrait of a woman on the brink of a technologically driven madness.
Playing with cliched feminine personae, Eleanor Antin in The Adventures of a Nurse manipulates cut-out paper dolls to tell the story of innocent Nurse Eleanor who meets one gorgeous, intriguing, and available man after another. Nurse Eleanor is the fantasy creation of Antin, who is costumed as a nurse. Staged on a bedspread and acted by a cast of one, The Adventures of a Nurse moves through successive layers of irony to unravel a childlike, self-enclosed fantasy of a young woman’s life.