Five Video Pioneers

1977 | 00:32:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono

Collection: On Art and Artists, Single Titles

Tags: Artist Portraits, Interview, Performance

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

These edgy, intimate video portraits of artists in their Manhattan studios or on location (Serra chose his elevator) were an extension of Liza Bear's work in the print medium (Avalanche Magazine, co-founded with Willoughby Sharp), which consisted primarily of situational dialogues with conceptual and performance artists. In the switch to video, the aim was to make "transparent" the ways in which the artist's sensibilities and concerns would emerge through the choice of settings in which he/she was shown, and which they collaborated in selecting. The videos eliminate the visual presence of the interviewer. They combine documentary technique with narrative conventions such as lightly staged mise-en-scene and a soundtrack, often selected by the artists.