Performance

1971
Waterways: 4 Saliva Studies

Acconci explodes the notion of an artist’s creation, his creative act being the build-up and discharge of saliva, an activity more properly belonging to the realm of necessary and autonomic bodily functions than art. Positioning himself as a hyper self-conscious artistic subject, Acconci fuses the terrains of body art and process art, formulating the body as process, and art as a natural function of the body.

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

1973
The Way We Do Art Now and Other Sacred Tales

“A spoof on current art attitudes [that] stretches the definition of what can be considered art. Because the late 1960s and early 1970s were periods of innovation, using the human body as art, making process equivalent to product... [etc.], Baldessari questions that very sense of originality and exploration by taking it to its (rather mundane) limits. By taping a stick at one end, then picking it up at the other, he is both questioning and spoofing what constitutes art.” —Marcia Tucker, “John Baldessari: Pursuing the Unpredictable,” John Baldessari (New York: New Museum, 1981)

2005
George Kuchar, The Wayward Syllabus

I wander around empty halls of academic buildings carrying bags of Halloween atrocities for our latest class project: a horror movie that lives up to that classification on multiple levels. The viewer is given a front row seat to the directorial process as young and nubile film students submit to attacks by rubber props in a Frankenstein thriller big on chills (caused mainly by the lack of budget) and low on underwear paraphernalia.

2006
Web of Vice

Shot with my students at the San Francisco Art Institute, this colorful drama with song and dance numbers (plus burlesque acts) follows the libidinous poisoning of Vatican personnel by an otherworldly intruder. The cast is mostly young and vibrant and the songs staged as opulently as possible on a $400 budget. Anyone interested in these collaborative productions will find a lot to gawk at in this backstage romance with pagan overtures galore.

2002
Well, Well, Well

An experimental video for electro-feminist-performance-artists Le Tigre, the early eighties MTV aesthetic unpacks a thoroughly current obsession: the hidden erotics of office supplies.

This title is also available on Elisabeth Subrin Videoworks.

1986
What You Mean We?

Strapped for time due to her busy schedule of personal appearances, Anderson creates a rather clumsy looking clone to take over and keep up her artistic production. Anderson plays both parts, pitting the chain-smoking, productive male half against the laid-back female half. In the end, one highly successful clone begets another clone, a situation spoofing the rise and fall of the '80s art star.

1996
When I Was a Monster

A performance about the artist’s experience in the aftermath of an accident.

1986
Whisper, The Waves, The Wind

In today’s youth-oriented society, the experience and knowledge of older women is typically unheralded and neglected. Countering these ideas is Suzanne Lacy’s Whisper, The Waves, The Wind—a performance evoking and reinforcing the strong spiritual and physical beauty of older women. Lacy says, “They reminded me of the place where the ocean meets shoreline. Their bodies were growing older, wrinkled. But what I saw was the rock in them; solid, with the presence of the years washing over them.” This tape is a document of that performance.

2006
Whispering Pines #7

In this episode of the Whispering Pines series, Moulton's character Cynthia is confronted with a distorted mirror image that slips between the grotesque and the exotic, depending on her posture.

2016
Sapphire and the Slave Girl, 1995, Leah Gilliam

VDB TV: Decades
1990s: The Whole World is (Still) Watching

2003
Why Not A Sparrow

Why Not A Sparrow is about a girl who enters a fairy tale land where the distinction between human and other animal species is blurred. In this kingdom, survival and extinction are on the tip of every birds’ tongue.

"An Eco-Fable about a girl, a rare bird, who experiences the pleasures and perils of another animal kingdom." --Big Muddy Film Festival, 2002

1988
The Will to Provoke

Director Jonathan Reiss and cinematographer/editor Leslie Asako Gladsjo traveled to Europe with Survival Research Laboratories to produce this entertaining and challenging portrait of the innovative group of artist technicians. The tape shows their machines in action and provides insight to their inspirations, political objectives, and budgetary constraints. The tape also reveals SRL’s efforts to confound and confront their foreign audiences with an artform that is, perhaps, uniquely American.

2010
Martha Wilson: An Interview

Feminist performance artist, Martha Wilson (b.1947), is director and founder of the alternative New York art space, Franklin Furnace Gallery, in operation since 1976. In this interview, Wilson discusses her Quaker upbringing, the impetus for her move from Nova Scotia to New York, and the founding of Franklin Furnace, as well as her involvement in the feminist punk band collective Disband.

2005
A Woman Who...: Selected Works of Yvonne Rainer

This 2-DVD collection features five early films, a historically important dance and a recent work by media artist and choreographer Yvonne Rainer, and a documentary portrait by Charles Atlas. The collection includes a booklet featuring a detailed biography, bibliography and videography of Yvonne Rainer, and the following contextualizing essays:

  • After Many a Summer Dies the Swan: Hybrid -- Bill Horrigan
  • Rainer Variations -- Carrie Lambert
  • Yvonne Rainer: The Aesthetics of Denial -- Sally Banes