Psykho III The Musical is an intriguing play on the tension between “authentic” and “pop” camp. This celebration of artifice was originally written, directed, and produced by Mark Oates as a stage musical parody following the release of Psycho II in 1983, and was performed at the East Village’s most notorious nightspot — The Pyramid Club. In 1985, after a wildly successful run, Oates reached out to longtime friend and Downtown video artist Tom Rubnitz to produce a video adaptation of the stage musical.
Until his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, Tom Rubnitz produced short, humourous videotapes featuring some of New York’s most outrageously talented musicians, artists and drag queens. Influenced by mass media entertainment, Rubnitz crafted hilarious videos which simultaneously celebrated and parodied pop culture’s bountiful energy and inventiveness. As Tom said, “I wanted to make things beautiful, funny and positive—escapes that you could just get into and laugh through. That was really important to me.
George Kuchar experimented with in-camera editing effects more and more in his later career, and Snapshots is no exception. Using a dizzying array of solarizations, wipes and checker board fadeouts, Kuchar creates an unstable visual space that is at once both comedic and hallucinatory. Shifting from person to person and location to location, Snapshots concludes with footage of an equally absurdist Dali-esque photo shoot.
In The Sodomites of Shalimar, George Kuchar crafts a dizzying psychotronic drama of stilted romance and frustrated ambition replete with carnies, car crashes and calamitous volcano eruptions. Sodomites tells the tale of Amy, a young woman living in the Missouri Ozarks whose calm collected demeanor betrays the passion that rages within her, and her odyssey in search of fame, fortune and excitement following the death of her boyfriend Chester.
The Surface Tension Trilogy is comprised of three experimental videos tracking the rise and fall of the Weimar Era in Berlin through the perspectives of Frida Kahlo & Anita Berber, Hannah Hoch, and Leni Riefenstahl & Eva Braun, each of them women who lived and worked in the city at this time.