Performance

1990
Karen Finley: An Interview

Karen Finley is well known for her confrontational monologues, often performed in clubs and bars, which exploit the stereotype of the hysterical woman to address the sexual and political taboos associated with femininity. Using a variety of unusual props, such as Jello, chocolate syrup, stuffed animals, and glitter, Finley provokes her audience into thinking about a range of repressions and contradictions in contemporary society. She gained mainstream attention when Congress questioned her NEA funding in the early 1990s.

Interview by Tom Jaremba.

2010
The First Four Sorrows: Mike Kuchar

Performance artist and playwright Dan Carbone belts out four spooky songs in a room filled with mummy dusted lunacy.

1969
Five Easy Pieces

A compilation of five early short films made between 1966 to 1969.

Hand Movie 1966, 5:00, b&w, silent, 8mm

Close-up of a hand, the fingers of which enact a sensuous dance. Camerawork by William Davis.

Volleyball (Foot Film) 1967, 10:00 b&w, silent, 16mm

A volleyball is rolled into the frame and comes to rest. Two legs in sneakers, seen from the knees down, enter the frame and stand beside it. Cut to new angle, same characters and actions. Camerawork by Bud Wirtschafter.

2005
five more minutes

five more minutes is an exploration of grief. Two women spend an afternoon recreating lost time. What begins as play-acting breaks open into a world where the tenderness and sorrow of having to say goodbye exist untempered.

1977
Liza Bear, Five Video Pioneers

Featuring Vito Acconci, Richard Serra, Willoughby Sharp, Keith Sonnier, and William Wegman

2006
The Flag

"The Flag is the second part of a video series about the state-controlled national day ceremonies of the Turkish Republic. Shot during the April 23rd Children’s Day celebrations, which mark the establishment of the new Turkish Parliament, and hence the official demise of the Ottoman Empire back in 1920, this split screen film documents a pompous patriotic performance devised by elders to be performed by children.

1986
Ken Kobland, Flaubert Dreams of Travel But the Illness of His Mother...

Drawing from Flaubert's The Temptation of Saint Anthony, his letters, travel journals, and biography, this video layers fantasy, sexual obsession, morbidity, Romanticism, and boredom alongside the ghostliness of empty hotel rooms, aural atmosphere, and an homage to surrealist and horror films.

Co-produced by the Wooster Group, and featuring Ron Vawter.

2007
Flesh of Fury

This is a colorful fable of many foibles involving a man of the cloth who wishes to shed those accouterments for something of a more sinister fabric. The plot tumbles unrelentingly toward a sci-fi tone when a time machine is thrown into the vivid melange and our anti-hero gets caught up with an ancient soul who has the hots for less ancient hunks. There’s spectacle on a budget and young and old doing their best to put on a big show about the sacred, the profane and the goofy.

1968
Flesh to White to Black to Flesh

Presenting his bare torso to the camera, Nauman meticulously applies, and removes, layers of white and black pigment, to his face, arms, and chest. Beyond the link to body art, and the idea of treating the human body as artistic subject matter and material, Nauman enacts a process of self-transformation—a masque applied and removed—as the tape ends where it began.

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

2007

Relying on the magic echo found in an old power Station in Norway, the artist whistles and marches to the Internationale, a May Day workers’ song.

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

1979
Peer Bode, Flute With Shift

"Newly hand-built digital video A to D and D to A with ALU bit flipping. Controlled by an ELF II computer. The image brightness changes also controlled analog synthesizer parameters of the live flute playing. I sat in the camera image zone and played along with the programmed staccato picture and sound shifts. David Jones, digital video design."

– Peer Bode

1991
Fluxus Replayed

In a radical action like Nam June Paik destroying a violin, and rolling up in bandages the bodies of the players in in a concert by Yoko Ono, the international avant-garde group Fluxus changed not only art, but the concept of it.

1977
For Example: Decorated

For Example: Decorated is a talk show featuring art world personalities Britte Le Va, Peter Gordon, and James Sarkis. The show begins with Le Va reciting the credits; then she introduces herself, Soviet style — as in Do You Believe in Water? — by saying her name, then clapping. The other guests follow, and as the three converse about the role of art in life, they build little structures with the Lego blocks that cover the coffee table.

2002
Forced Inanimate Connection: Climax Modelling 2002

In a meditation on the sexuality of the readymade, an off-camera artist forces one object into another.

“The best evidence yet that obscenity is easier recognized than defined.”

— Anne Reecer, Cinematexas (Austin, 2003)

This title is also available on Sterling Ruby: Interventionist Works 2001-2002.

2014
Simone Forti: An Interview

The later 1950s and early 1960s saw the development and proliferation of radically new forms of dance driven by a desire to understand the essentiality of movement divorced from traditional, balletic and modern syntaxes. At the forefront of this new wave of performance was Simone Forti, an artist with a hand in both improvisational techniques and choreographed task-maneuvers. This interview details her exploration of each – with a particular focus on her earliest investigations into movement, owing to time spent under the study of Anna Halprin.