Conceptual Art

2000
Some Things History Don't Support

A structure of Lawrence Weiner.

Photography: Moved Pictures; Computer Graphics: K. Hassett; “A New Pair of Shoes”, “Ships at Sea”, “Sailors and Shoes” Music: Ned Sublette, ASCAP; Lyrics: Lawrence Weiner, BMI

This title is also available on Lawrence Weiner: There are Things that Move Outside of Motion.

1990
Sphinxes Without Secrets

Sphinxes Without Secrets is an energetic and transgressive acount of outstanding female performance artists, and an invaluable document of feminist avant-garde work of the 70s and 80s. No Mona Lisa smiles here, as performance artists spill their guts about what outrages and delights them. Performers, curators, and critics unravel the mysteries of a new art form and ponder the world women confront today. Since its inception, performance art has provided a forum for artists who create work that challenges the dominant aesthetic and cultural status quo.

1968
Stamping in the Studio

From an inverted position, high above the floor, the camera records Nauman’s trek back and forth and across the studio; his stamping creates a generative rhythm reminiscent of native drum beats or primitive dance rituals. However, Nauman is not participating in a social rite or communal ritual—he is completely individualized. Isolated in his studio, his actions have no apparent reason or cause beyond his aesthetic practice.

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

2007
Suspension

Letting go of realist constraints, and going back to the mirror-images of some of Provost’s famous previous works, we are diving into a cosmic ocean of ever metamorphosing baroque circumvolutions in which our minds try to capture reassuring forms before letting the ghostly demons blur our vision.

1986
Sympathetic Vibrations

Twelve church bells are rung daily for 30 days in a sculptural setting at the Capp Street Project in San Francisco. Ringers progress from practice sessions on beer bottles to a full-scale ring.

This piece was shot using a combination of 3/4" U-matic video plus Hi8 video.

This title is also available on Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos.

2012
Tehching Hsieh: An Interview

At the age of twenty-four, Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh (b.1950), moved to New York, where he has created and documented time-specific, conceptual art performances since the 1970s. In this interview, Hsieh discusses his formative years and philosophical moorings. This dialogue includes description of the artist’s early period of painting, his military service in Taiwan, and the cultural atmosphere of a country then undergoing massive political change. Much of the discussion focuses specifically on Hsieh’s understanding of the relationship of art and life, his investment in “free thinking,” and the politics of documentation. For Hsieh, the ability to think freely is art’s bottom line—he believes the essence of his work lies in human communication. To this end, Hsieh insists that his work, though incredibly personal, is not autobiographical, but philosophical.

1988
Long Beach Museum of Art, Thank You You're So Beautiful

This tape is a media arts collaboration between Joe Leonardi, Cathleen Kane, and radio artist Joe Frank. It is a synthesis of three “dark humored” radio pieces adapted for video.

2018
Edward Rankus, The Cage of Sand

If asked to say what this work is about in one word, the answer — which is woven into the electronic musique concrète soundtrack — would be a Joycean one: it’s a “collideorscape.” The imagery is a return to materials Rankus dealt with as a young man in the video Naked Doom (1983). He has recycled imagery such as cages, a toy robot, and brain convolutions; newer motifs include a winged ballerina, Victorian corsets, and alchemical vessels containing birds.

1973
Theme Song

In a vile and ingenious way, Acconci pleads with the camera/spectator to join with him, to come to him, promising to be honest and begging, "I need it, you need it, c'mon... look how easy it is." Acconci addresses the viewer as a sexual partner, acting as if no distance existed between them. The monitor becomes an agent of intimate address, presenting a disingenuous intimacy that is one-sided and pure fantasy, much like the popular love songs in the background with which Acconci croons, "I'll be your baby, I'll be your baby tonight, yeah, yeah."

2014
Rirkrit Tiravaniha: An Interview

Rirkrit Tiravanija’s work explores the social role of the artist, and that role’s ability to create interactive spaces for people to come together. Focusing less on the construction of discrete objects, he maintains a practice predicated on diffuse forms of installation that facilitate the activities like cooking, reading, and general collectivity. The particularly conceptual nature of his work is a central theme in this interview. While in art school, a teacher Tiravanija greatly admired told him to “stop making art” and this was something he took very seriously.

1972
To and Fro. Fro and To. And To and Fro. And Fro and To.

Reportedly shot in the back office at Leo Castelli’s New York gallery, an ashtray is used to demonstrate five different actions related to artistic work. With the camera static, the video opens with the ashtray in the center of the screen. A hand approaches from above and slides the object up and down, then back up and back down. Each time an act is completed, the hand retreats from the object, marking a separation from the next “possibility.” The actions (or movements) mimic language (e.g. “to and fro”) as it is spoken.

2009
Transient Trilogy

Transient Trilogy comes close to "being a real film, with an actor, a setting and something of a narrative scheme. Ruby himself plays a bum, who transits a marginal landscape, neither nature nor manmade, where he occupies himself crafting what can only be called artworks from string, cast-offs and other bits of trash."

— Walter Robinson, Editor, Artnet Magazine

2009
Triviality

Triviality features a scene of Tom Colt, a Los Angeles porno actor, standing naked in a bare room masturbating, trying unsuccessfully to bring himself to orgasm.

1972
Paul Kos, A Trophy/Atrophy

A two-headed calf died when one head atrophied. It became a trophy that the artist used as a source for this 16mm film transferred to video.

This title is also available on Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos.

2008
Truth in Transit

They just flew in from New York, and boy, are their arms tired... Out in the Nevada desert, against the windblown backdrop of Air Force bomber training sites, artists Hajoe Moderegger and Franziska Lamprecht — better known as eteam — gathered testimonials of stranded passengers, crew members, and local residents to recall an episode in the lost annals of American aviation: the 2006 "unscheduled layover" at International Airport Montello (IAM). Truth in Transit reaches beyond simple documentation.