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Search Olga Gold

Paul Kos

1973 00:06:00 United StatesEnglishB&W4:3Video


Originally part of a larger sculptural installation using prospector's tools, this tape reenacts the search for "Olga," a miner's wife who disappeared on her honeymoon in 1936. As Paul and Marlene Kos call out, "Olga... Olga...", the camera scans the Wyoming wilderness, and their search becomes ritualistic, the repetitive calls building in intensity and breaking down into chanted moans. The camera's movement follows the growing frenzy and sexual suggestiveness of the soundtrack, reinforcing the erotic subtext of the tape, and building a parallel between the prospector's desperate search for his bride and for gold.

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

About Paul Kos

Paul Kos has been an artist and teacher for 35 years. He responds to simple, humble materials and the indigenous elements of specific sites, which he mines for their physical properties and metaphoric possibilities. Everything Matters, a traveling retrospective of his work, was organized by the University of California Berkeley Art Museum in 2003. Kos's installations and videos have also been shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; New Langton Arts, San Francisco; Capp Street Project, San Francisco; Leo Castelli Gallery, New York; M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco. 

The Spanish "aqui, aca, alli, alla", meaning "right here, here, there, over there," describes his work. Here, there, everywhere. Rather than having a signature or trademark, his work is linked conceptually. The concepts are often generated by life style events. For example, in jest, the author of a survival book on fire making said, as a last resort, if no matches, use a magnifying lens, if no lens, make one out of ice. So, Paul Kos did!

When Super Bowl Sunday's halftime commercials started influencing his video students with their 1,000 edits a minute pace, Kos stacked 27 video monitors, 9 high and 3 wide, to comprise a contemplative, architectural, 27 channel, stained glass window, CHARTRES BLEU, with no edits and time slowed down.

Kos opts for, but never expects, partly cloudy becoming mostly sunny.