Early Video Art

Early Video Art is a collection of over 200 titles that are central to an understanding of the historical development of video art. This collection includes, but is not limited to, many titles from the original Castelli-Sonnabend collection, the first and most prominent collection of video art assembled in the United States. All of the work in this collection was produced between 1968 and 1980. These works represent important examples of the first experiments in video art, and include conceptual and feminist performances recorded on video, experiments with the video signal, and "guerilla" documentaries representing a counter-cultural view of the historical events of the 1960s and 70s. Many of these tapes represent a desire for a radically redefined television experience that is centered on the innovative, the personal, the political and the non-commercial.
The East Is Red, The West Is Bending
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Rosler uses the format of a cooking demonstration (as in Semiotics of the Kitchen) to address cultural transaction--the meeting of Eastern and Western cultures. Reading directly from a West Bend Electric Wok instruction booklet, Rosler...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: gender, performance, video history

Ed Henderson Reconstructs Movie Scenarios
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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...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: conceptual art, media analysis, video history

1973 | 07:23
Enclosure
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Benglis uses the video format as a metaphor for other types of limiting conditions or limited realities. "The constant motion of Benglis's hand-held camera (scanning her studio and two television sets) calls attention to the limits of the camera'...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: performance, video history

Ant Farm + 1 other
1976 | 22:19
The Eternal Frame
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Irreverent yet poignant, The Eternal Frame is a re-enactment of the assassination of John F. Kennedy as seen in the famous Zapruder film. This home movie was immediately confiscated by the FBI, yet found its way into the visual...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, history, media analysis, performance, politics, video history

1973 | 36:02
Exchange
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In 1972, Robert Morris and Lynda Benglis agreed to exchange videos in order to develop a dialogue between each other’s work. Morris’s video, Exchange, is a part of that process—a response to Benglis’s Mumble. At the beginning of...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: feminism, performance, video history

1972 | 32:54
Face-Off
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Acconci listens to his own recorded monologue of sexually intimate secrets and repeatedly tries to obscure these secrets by shouting over the tape, demonstrating the paradoxical situation of the artist confounded by two desires: to reveal oneself...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: performance, sexuality, video history

Hermine Freed, Family Album
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Over a montage of family photographs, Freed’s narration questions the consistency of memory and self over time, with Freed displaying a quizzical and sometimes hostile relation to her past. In a manner that recalls philosopher Roland Barthes’s...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: family, feminism, memory, video history

Female Sensibility
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As two heavily made-up women take turns directing each other and submitting to each other's kisses and caresses, it becomes increasingly obvious that the camera is their main point of focus. Read against feminist film theory of the "male gaze",...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: feminism, gender, performance, video history

Five True Stories
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Segalove relates a tale from her childhood of a man's exposure with text (“the painter wagged it at me right here”), while an arrow blinks over a shot of the house where she grew up. Segalove narrates: “I looked down and expected to see a can of...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: autobiography, humor