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A Spy in the House that Ruth Built

Vanalyne Green

1989 00:30:00 United StatesEnglish4:3Video


Thinking of herself as a spy assigned by the female sex, Green reinterprets baseball’s symbolism—its womblike landscape, its cycles and rituals—and constructs an iconography that pays homage to the female. In one magnificent montage, numerous phallic symbols pass by as Green sees the real purpose of the game: baseball is the only sport about returning home—and where is home...? In a mother’s belly. With humor and irony, Green creates a tape that is both a personal revelation and a heretical portrait. 

About Vanalyne Green

Vanalyne Green is best known for work that appropriates the conventions of various genres to examine hierarchies of meaning where sex and privilege cross paths. Her work playfully and bitterly examines the paradoxes of American citizenship within such social practices as addiction, sports, sexuality, and, most recently, prayer.

Green's videos have shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Videotheque de Paris, among many other venues. She has received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, as well as grants from Creative Capital, the Jerome Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the N.E.A., and a Prix de Rome. Publications by and about, and interviews with Green can be found in Performance Artists Talking in the Eighties and Women of Vision, in addition to M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory, and Criticism.

Vanalyne Green is Chair in Undergraduate Fine Art at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She also has taught at the University of Leeds in England, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Temple University, and the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris.