Performance

1991
Mierle Ukeles: An Interview

Since 1977, Mierle Laderman Ukeles has been a volunteer artist-in-residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation, allowing her to introduce radical art into a public system. Since she wrote the Manifesto for Main-tenance Art (1969), virtually all of Ukeles’s work has been public. Recent permanent commissions include Percent for Art Fresh Kills Landfill Project, New York City, the world’s largest landfill; Schuylkill River Park, Philadelphia; Creative Time, New York City; and Ayalon Park, Israel.

1995
The Unclean

A carload of trouble embarks on a journey few will survive in this horror tale of ancient evil permeating some acreage in upstate New York. Shot on location at Bard College, on the Hudson River, this student-acted drama reeks of spiritual impurities.

1994
Underground

Each year, more women undergo treatment at hospital emergency surgical services as a result of family violence than rapes, muggings, and car wrecks combined. This startling statistic is the basis for a series of site-specific installations on domestic violence, On The Edge Of Time. Underground, the first installation for the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Art Festival, used three wrecked cars strewn along a 180-foot section of railroad track to reference the history of Abolition and the Underground Railroad, and as metaphors for different aspects of abuse.

1972
Undertone

In this now infamous tape, exemplary of his early transgressive performance style, Acconci sits and relates a masturbatory fantasy about a girl rubbing his legs under the table. Carrying on a rambling dialogue that shifts back and forth between the camera/spectator and himself, Acconci sexualizes the implicit contract between performer and viewer—the viewer serving as a voyeur who makes the performance possible by watching and completing the scene, believing the fantasy.

2004
Untitled

Amidst growing discussions on the headscarf issue, the President of Turkey was holding the annual Republic Day Ball at the Presidential Palace. For the reception he sent one-person invitations to the members of the Parliament whose majority was held by the Islamic Democrats. This was his strategy to prevent their wives, who would naturally wear headscarves, from attending the night. I was outraged by this conservative secularism and wanted to express my personal protest, embodying the stress on the contemporary Islamic body. --Köken Ergun

2014

Untitled (shaving performance 2010) is a document of a privately held performance, in which Hubbard used a straight razor to remove the hair from the lower half of Burns’ body. The work looks at how desire, intimacy and fetish operate for queer woman through a re-staging of images found at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco of a shaving fetish shot in a dungeon in the 1970’s.

2011
John Smith, Unusual Red Cardigan

The discovery of a VHS tape of the artist’s films for sale on eBay triggers obsessive speculation about the seller’s identity.

1980
Upsidedown and Backwards

“[This tape] gives a clear picture of the consistency of Jonas’s concerns. The performance was based upon the merging of two fairy tales — The Frog Prince told backward and The Boy Who Went Out To Learn Fear told forward. These two tales become intertwined into a single text whose transformations are effected through fragmentation, demonstrating a process “unhitched” from time, as free from the laws of physics as are the fairy-tale sources. “

1972
Vertical Roll

In this well-known early tape, Jonas manipulates the grammar of the camera to create the sense of a grossly disturbed physical space. The space functions as a metaphor for the unstable identity of the costumed and masked female figure roaming the screen, negotiating the rolling barrier of the screen’s bottom edge.

1969
Violin Tuned D.E.A.D.

Nauman stands with his back to the camera, repeatetedly drawing the bow across the strings of a violin tuned D, E, A, D. Perhaps more than any other exercise, this tape demonstrates the sense of anticipation built up in the viewer, as we wait for Nauman to walk, to turn around, to play music ... to do something. This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

1977
Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained

Taking aim at the social standardization enforced particularly on women's bodies, Rosler critiques the politics of "objective" or scientific evaluation that result in the depersonalization, objectification, and colonization of women and Others. As Joseph Di Mattia has pointed out, "The title of the tape is ironic--just exactly to whom are these 'statistics' 'vital'?

2002
Stephen Vitiello: An Interview

Electronic musician and sound artist Stephen Vitiello (b.1964) creates sonic installations that function to give a physical form or space to audio. In this interview, Vitiello discusses his beginnings as a film student, and his transition from music to fine art through his investment in storytelling aspects of soundtracks. As a teacher, artist, and long-time curator at Electronic Arts Intermix, Vitiello’s insights and anecdotes offer up sentimental reflection and hard-learned life lessons, as well as perspective on the historic landscape of music and art in the 1980s and 90s. By discussing his partnerships with Tony Oursler, Jem Cohen, and Nam June Paik, Vitello provides entry into the myriad influences and collaborations that have shaped his working process and artistic career.

2019
Danh Vo: An Interview

Danh Vo is a Vietnamese-born Danish conceptual artist, currently living and working between Berlin and Mexico City. His large installations often deal with issues of personal identity and belonging. In conversation with Norah Taylor, an art historian specializing in South and Southeast Asian art, Vo discusses his upbringing, career, and what led him to become an artist.

1968
Wall/Floor Positions

Making himself into a “minimalist” prop sculpture in the manner of Richard Serra, Nauman moves through various poses in realtion to the floor and wall. While other sculptors were using wood planks, pieces of lead, or sheets of steel, Nauman uses his body to explore the space of the room, turning it into a sort of yardstick to investigate and measure the dimensions of the space. This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

1996
The Waltons

A deft and cunning re-examination of John Boy’s near-death experience at the sawmill. A homespun midnight deconstruction of an entire era of television mannerisms.

“One of the strengths of The Waltons, a video that records a session of TV viewing using a handheld camera, is its ability to convey how our surroundings inform our experience. The video doesn’t stray far from the images on the TV screen, but our attention is divided between the show’s action and the off-camera activity in the apartment.”