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Selected Works: Reel 4

William Wegman

1973 00:20:33 United StatesEnglishB&WMono4:3


A newly re-mastered collection of 22 comedic performances to camera, produced during 1973-74. Absurd stories mix with word play; product demonstrations extol the virtues of a specially modified cocktail tray or canine selling aid; and throughout it all, Man Ray. May Ray woken by an alarm clock, tormented by paper-throwing and map-reading, and ever attempting to understand his master.


Wake Up, 1:33

Trip Across Country, 0:50

Down Time, 0:36

Laundromat, 0:43

Saw Movies, 1:25

Cocktail Waiter, 0:40

Nail Business, 0:27

Calling Man Ray, 0:45

New and Used Car Salesman, 1:31

On the Ball, 1:29 Tails, 0:43

Radar Screen, 0:52

Air Travel, 0:42 Growl, 1:00

Spelling Lesson, 0:49

Criticize, 0:41

Pyramids, 0:15

Symbolize, 1:05

The Letter, 0:59

Mixing Bucket, 0:11

Bug Repellant, 0:18

Snowflakes, 2:10

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

About William Wegman

Born in 1943, William Wegman studied painting at Massachusetts College of Art and the University of Illinois, Urbana. He began producing short, performance-oriented videotapes in the early 1970s, which are considered classics. Many featured his canine companion, a Weimaraner named Man Ray. These tapes are dead pan parodies of "high art" using sight gags, minimalist performance, and understated humor.

Describing the process behind his tapes, Wegman says, "I present a situation and develop some kind of explanation around it. By the time the story is over you get to know why that particular prop or mannerism was displayed." Recorded as single takes in real time, Wegman used portable video's intimacy and low-tech immediacy to create idiosyncratic narrative comedy. Wegman was among a group of artists to produce work through WGBH's Television Lab. In recent years, Wegman has become famous for his hilarious and touching photographs of other Weimeraners who are Man Ray’s successors.