Performance

1988
A Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief

Performance engineers Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) construct machines that live in their own fictional world, acting out scenarios of perpetual torment, exasperated consumption, and tragic recognition. This film presents a fractured narrative featuring these large anthropomorphic robots and represents Jonathan Reiss and SRL’s collaborative desire to go beyond the restraints of event documentation.

1972
Black and White Tapes

Black and White Tapes derive from a series of performances Paul McCarthy undertook in his Los Angeles studio from 1970 to 1975. Conceived for the camera and performed alone or with only a few people present, these short performances use video to articulate both monitor and studio space. In the first excerpt, McCarthy paints a white line on the floor with his face, dragging his body from one end of the studio to the other. In doing so, McCarthy performs a recognizable formal gesture--drawing a white line.

1988
Black Celebration

Subtitled A Rebellion against the Commodity, this engaged reading of the urban black riots of the 1960s references Guy Debord’s Situationist text, “The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy,” Internationale Situationniste #10 (March 1966). Along with additional commentary adapted from Barbara Kruger and musicians Morrissey and Skinny Puppy, the text posits rioting as a refusal to participate in the logic of capital and an attempt to de-fetishize the commodity through theft and gift.

2002
Blot Out the Sun

A garage in central Portland, Oregon is the setting for this conceptual re-working of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The garage owner Jay, mechanics and neighborhood denizens serve as narrators, reading lines from the novel that focus on death, love, social inequality and the relationship between individuals and the universe.

1976
Peer Bode, Blue

"An electronic synthetic color video, based on a memory of Larry Gottheim's film Blues.  Natural and electronic real time events, new American electronic cinema. B&W video camera, Paik-Abe colorizer, 1/2" vtr, blue berries, bowl and milk. The filmmakers stopped talking to me. Viva Video!"

– Peer Bode

1994
Blue Banshee

Commissioned to be a "promo" for a loud punk rock band, Mr. Kuchar feared that the noise the band made would spoil the mood of his visuals, so he used the sound of a lush orchestra to score the picture and the antics.

2009
The Body Parlor

In The Body Parlor, both man and sheep as combined sacrificial bodies become subjects of biological investigation. As symbols of ritual sacrifice, they are bodies that give of themselves. In discovering new forms of health-care (regenerative medicine) and tissue engineering (such as stem cell research), the body becomes sacrificial material for the greater purpose of a social good. The performers employ the material objects, either as products of or as extensions of the body as a way of exploring giving from one's self in sacrifice.

2005
Border Art Clásicos (1990-2005)

An Anthology of Collaborative Works by Guillermo Gómez-Peña

This "conceptual package" of collaborative videos and writings by leading theorists is a unique opportunity for students, artists and educators to explore the psyche, experimental aesthetics, activist ethos and spiritual cosmology of legendary rebel artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña.

With filmmakers:

Isaac Artenstein, Adriene Jenik, Patrick Litchy, Jethro Rothe-Kushel, Daniel Salazar, Henry Sayre & Sandy Brooke, Roberto Sifuentes, Liz Singer, Gustavo Vazquez

1990
Border Brujo

Sitting at an altar decorated with a kitsch collection of cultural fetish items, and wearing a border patrolman’s jacket decorated with buttons, bananas, beads, and shells, Gómez-Peña delivers a sly and bitter indictment of U.S. colonial attitudes toward Mexican culture and history.

1998
Borderstasis: A Video Diary

This strange, lyrical performance video diary is a millennial reflection on the impossibility to "reveal" one’s self in stormy times such as ours. The piece is also about the intricate connections between performance and everyday life; about language, identity, love, nostalgia and activism amidst the California apocalypse.

1988
Born to Be Sold: Martha Rosler Reads the Strange Case of Baby $/M, With Paper Ti

Martha Rosler tackles mainstream media's representation of the case of surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead.

1968
Bouncing in the Corner, No. 1

Nauman is seen standing and leaning back in a corner of his studio. Just as he bounces back to a standing position, his body falls again, momentarily collapsing, only to spring forward once more. This action places his body in an intermittent space, occupying a position halfway between standing and leaning, halfway between the wall and the room.

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

1969
Bouncing in the Corner, No. 2

Repeating the same activity as featured in Bouncing in the Corner, No. 1—leaning back and bouncing forward from the corner—this time the camera is positioned just above Nauman’s head. This gives his body the sense of constantly rising and falling, his chin just crossing the bottom edge of the screen before sinking back.

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

 

2012
Breaking the Frame

Marielle Nitoslawska’s Breaking the Frame is a feature–length profile of the radical New York artist Carolee Schneemann. A pioneer of performance art and avant-garde cinema, Schneemann has been breaking the frames of the art world for five decades by challenging the taboos leveled against the female body. Breaking the Frame is a kinetic, hyper-cinematic intervention, a critical medita-tion on the intimate correlations animating art and life.

 


Praise for Breaking the Frame:

 

1999
Emily Breer: Classics Exposed

Like a couple of kids pawing through a costume trunk, filmmaker Emily Breer and performance artist Joe Gibbons delight in trying on the attitudes and artifacts of culture. High culture and low —everything is fair game as far as these witty creatures of surreal collision are concerned. Breer's breezy, off-hand declaration, "I'm a postmodern superhero—watch me deconstruct!" perfectly captures the playful spoofing of academia and the anarchic spontaneity found in both artists' work...