Modern Times

Max Almy

1979 | 00:29:33 | United States | English | Color | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: Consumer culture, Feminism, Gender, Performance, Video History

Originally presented as a live performance piece using actors, multiple monitors, and music, Modern Times is a consolidation of seven short chapters in the life of a modern woman. In the first sequence, the objects in a suburban home are inventoried: "nice couch," "nice car," and so on — ending with the titles "nice concept," "nice image" — and unmasking this materialistic world as an impossible consumer fantasy. In the next scene, an attractive man sunbathes. It is only this image, accompanied by a voice, which at first describes him as an irresistable being, then, after some strange and almost imperceptible wordplay, finally declares him extremely boring.

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