Vertical Roll

1972 | 00:19:37 | United States | English | B&W | Mono | 4:3 | 1/2" open reel video

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: Body, Feminism, Mental Landscape, Performance, Sound, Video History

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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. “[Making] use of a jarring rhythmic technique to develop a sense of fragmentation, Vertical Roll uses a common television set malfunction of the same name to establish a constantly shifting stage for the actions that relate both to the nature of the image and to the artist’s projected psychological state.”

—David Ross, “Joan Jonas’s Videotapes” in Joan Jonas: Scripts and Descriptions, 1968-1982, ed. Douglas Crimp (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983)

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

This title is also available on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 1.

Exhibitions + Festivals

Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, re.act.feminism #2, October 6 2011-September 1 2013