Interview

1980
Rackstraw Downes: An Interview

Rackstraw Downes’s “observation” paintings, executed on-site at ponds, intersections, and baseball parks, began as a mischievous response to the dogma of style and modernist criticism.

“There was a tremendous intellectual back-up, essentially against a lot of the figurative painting being done in the ’60s,” Downes says in this interview with Robert Storr. “If I show my slides in an art school I’ll get, 'Your paintings are very nice but how can you go backwards from Cézanne?’”

1990
David Dunlap

Painter/mixed media artist David Dunlap creates installations and performances that draw from the notebooks he has kept since the mid-’70s—giving three-dimensional, public form to his intimate thoughts and diaries. He lives and works in Iowa City, where he is a professor of art at the University of Iowa.

1989
Jimmie Durham: What Follows...

Cherokee-American artist Jimmie Durham has worked in performance since the mid-’60s. In the ‘70s, he immersed himself in activism, working for Native American rights as part of the American Indian Movement. In the ‘80s, his focus returned to producing art in multiple forms—performance, poetry, and mixed-media visual works—that consider Native American identity and critique American domestic colonialism. He has also published numerous critical essays.

2009
Terry Eagleton: An Interview

In this interview, political and social theorist, Terry Eagleton (b. 1943), shares stories of his Irish upbringing and British education, and sums up his current engagement with art theory, leftist politics, and spirituality under capitalism. With reference to Henry James, Frederic Jameson, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins, among others, this interview spans a vast landscape of literature and social theory.

2017
Eduardo Kac: Telepresence, Bio Art & Poetry [1980-2010]

Video Data Bank is proud to present the pioneering work of bio artist Eduardo Kac. This three-disc box set features art works that expand the limits of locality, light, and language. Included is a 119-page monograph containing seven essays that investigate and elaborate on how Kac uses communication processes, biological life, and digital networks to create works that explore fundamental human experiences such as the fluidity of language, dialogical interaction, and awareness of our relative place in the larger community of life.

1988
Felipe Ehrenberg: An Interview

Felipe Ehrenberg is a prominent Mexican artist who has been actively producing interactive political art, installations, and murals for more than 30 years. Also a writer, Ehrenberg has run a small press in Mexico City and has published numerous articles for art journals in the United States.

Interview by Carol Becker.

2000
Cecilia Dougherty, Eileen

This video is an unabashed fan letter to poet Eileen Myles. As in Laurie, my desire was to romanticize the poet, but not through her writing so much as through her reputation as the natural born child of the New York School and the Beats. I shot the movie as I imagined Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie shooting Pull My Daisy, a film that left an impression on me chiefly of the struggle between form and formlessness, plan and improvisation, sketch and story.

1998
Olafur Eliasson: An Interview

Berlin-based Danish artist Olafur Eliasson complicates and simulates perception through his installations, sculptures, and photographs. He has created disorienting artificial illuminations and reproduced natural phenomena such as clouds, glaciers and the sun through large-scale, high-tech installations.

2012
Encounters I May or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin

Encounters I May Or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin deals primarily with monumentality, narcissism and the ways in which our heroes are embedded into our identities, and manifested through the body. Through a variety of gestures, the pervasiveness of this practice is highlighted alongside its ultimate, inevitable failure. The viewer moves through various stages of anxiety, idolization and actual touchdown with 70s gay sex icon Peter Berlin himself, capturing both the apparent and the hidden.

1987
Ute Eskildsen: An Interview

German curator Ute Eskildsen (b. 1947) was born in Itzehoe (Schleswig-Holstein). After studying photography and working as an assistant in a fashion and portrait studio, she went on to study photography and the history of photography at the Folkwang School of Portraiture in Essen. A fellow in Visual Communication at the Essen University, she served as assistant to Otto Steinert in the field of photo-history exhibitions.

1989
Experience, Perception, Interpretation/Illusion

Consisting of 13 brief spots, Experience: Perception, Interpretation, Illusion features works by artists included in a Pasadena Armory exhibition. Curator Noel Korten explains that the artists in the show have all reached mid-career and are now less concerned with expanding the boundaries of contemporary art than on reflecting back on culture through their own perspectives. Artists include Karen Carsen, John Outterbridge, Michael C.

1988
Judd Fine: Red is Green

Southern California visual artist Jud Fine seeks to promote democracy in art—the idea that anyone can be an artist. This video presents the artist and his work in a style that reflects the multi-layered dimensions of his artwork.

1990
Karen Finley: An Interview

Karen Finley is well known for her confrontational monologues, often performed in clubs and bars, which exploit the stereotype of the hysterical woman to address the sexual and political taboos associated with femininity. Using a variety of unusual props, such as Jello, chocolate syrup, stuffed animals, and glitter, Finley provokes her audience into thinking about a range of repressions and contradictions in contemporary society. She gained mainstream attention when Congress questioned her NEA funding in the early 1990s.

Interview by Tom Jaremba.

1980
Reverend Howard Finster: Man of Vision

Reverend Howard Finster was a preacher-turned-folk artist. He created Paradise Gardens Park & Museum, a product of all his murals, drawings, sculptures, and mosaics—and Summerville, Georgia’s largest tourist attraction. He began Paradise Gardens around 1961; in 1976 he responded to a vision to paint sacred art. As this video begins, Finster is painting with his hands in his studio. Finster then embarks on his first visit to New York City and comments upon his exhibition at Phyllis Kind Gallery. He spins rhythmic narratives that turn into miniature sermons.

1984
Eric Fischl: An Interview

Eric Fischl's early works were large-scale abstract paintings. While teaching in Nova Scotia, Fischl began to shift from abstraction to smaller, image-oriented paintings, beginning with narrative works that investigated a fisherman's family. By the time Fischl left Halifax the narrative element was gone, but the subject of family melodrama remained. In the '80s Fischl's large figurative paintings, aggressive in their confrontation with the viewer, began to receive attention.