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Series Description

 
Anne McGuire
TRT 17:14 | 1997–1999 | 4:3

All Smiles and Sadness
Video Details
Anne McGuire | 1999 | 00:07:14 | United States | English | B&W

A non-sensical soap opera featuring a poetic monologue by artist George Kuchar.

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All Smiles and Sadness
Video Details
Anne McGuire | 1999 | 00:07:14 | United States | English | B&W

A non-sensical soap opera featuring a poetic monologue by artist George Kuchar.

Close Details
I Am Crazy and You're Not Wrong
Video Details
Anne McGuire | 1997 | 00:11:16 | United States | English | B&W | Mono

Anne McGuire's performative interpretation of a televised concert.

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The video work of Anne McGuire combines diaristic personal moments with nuanced media critique, creating videos that are simultaneously hysterical, self-reflexive, and heartfelt.

All Smiles and Sadness (1999) and I Am Crazy and You're Not Wrong (1997) showcase two distinct examples of Anne McGuire’s video making style: the bizarre theatrical poetic narrative (All Smiles and Sadness) and the expanded video diary (I Am Crazy and You're Not Wrong). In All Smiles and Sadness, McGuire writes a dreamlike, whimsical, and at times nonsensical soap opera. As each character speaks in absurd, clichéd prose, McGuire crafts a narrative in which television and poetic, experimental storytelling is one and the same, sharing a similar, yet absurd notion of grandeur.

McGuire also critiques television in I Am Crazy and You're Not Wrong by creating her own version of a televised concert. A callback to mid-Century theatrical performers like Ethel Merman and Judy Garland, McGuire sings her own melodies — in her case referencing depression and nostalgia. McGuire’s wit is cheeky; she is able to laugh at herself, laugh at television itself, and laugh at the audience for laughing along.

"The madwoman as a stereotype in popular music comfortably conflates power and instability. What McGuire does is undo the sutures that bind these discontinuous notions together."

Nelson Henricks, American Psycho(drama): Sigmund Freud vs. Henry Ford, 2015

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Still from All Smiles and Sadness

About Anne McGuire: 

Anne McGuire began making videos in the late 1980s while she was a student. Through her single-channel works, McGuire translates traditions of personal and poetic performances to camera, playing off of conventions of television. She has taught at various institutions in California including the San Francisco Art Institute, University of California Santa Cruz, and Stanford University, as well as KyungSung University in Busan, South Korea. She writes poems and sings them as songs, and has performed as Freddy McGuire with San Francisco-based electronic musician Wobbly, live and on radio.

Featured titles

All Smiles and Sadness

McGuire constructs a murky black and white soap-opera world of endless, timeless, and placeless limbo, where the characters talk to each other entirely in clichés, bad poetry, and other contrite forms of speech — a short TV show in which nothing is resolved. The video culminates in an absolutely stunning monologue performance by legendary underground film and videomaker George Kuchar.

I Am Crazy and You're Not Wrong

A wonderfully witty work about nostalgia and desperation. Anne McGuire portrays a Kennedy-era singer performing in the space where theatre meets television. McGuire's Garland-esque gestures provide both a sense of tragedy and humor. I Am Crazy And You’re Not Wrong weaves narrative, performance, memory and history into an ironic and haunting work of singular proportions.

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