Politics

1986
La Lucha

In La Lucha (the fight), families struggle to cope with frequent deportations and the constant threat of INS sweeps that, in the end, completely dismantle the community. Following up two years later, Hock reports their triumphs and setbacks. The video ends with hope—but no real promise—of a brighter future for those living on the unrecognized margin of society.

This title is also available on The Mexican Tapes: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law

1969

In October 1969, the Videofreex visited the home of wealthy political and social activist, Lucy Montgomery, as she was hosting the Black Panther Party of Chicago during one of their most fraught times — the period just after Chairman Bobby Seale was wrongfully imprisoned for inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention a year earlier. This particular video documents a discussion with Lucy Montgomery herself interviewed by David Cort, one of the Videofreex.

1990
John Malpede: An Interview

John Malpede is a performance artist and Director of the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), a performance art and theater group whose members include the city’s homeless. Through LAPD, Malpede provides an opportunity for homeless people to articulate the reality of their lives for themselves and audiences. Malpede was well known for his collaboration with performer Gill Gordh as Dead Dog and Lonely Horse. In one performance he took on the role of a street person, contrasting the wealth and excess of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles with the city’s struggle against homelessness.

1988
Laura Kipnis, A Man's Woman

This fictional docudrama—based in part on the careers of Anita Bryant, Phyllis Schlafly, and Marabel Morgan—covers the fictitious assassination of Clovis Kingsley, a powerful, pro-family, anti-feminist ideologue, and fictional author of The Power of Total Submission. The narrative is reconstructed in fractured and contradictory flashbacks by those who knew her best and liked her least. The tape travels beyond the faux biography to suggest that the logic of anti-feminism is a strategy of the disempowered.

1995
Manifestoon

Displaying a broad range of Golden Age Hollywood animation, Manifestoon is an homage to the latent subversiveness of cartoons. Though U.S. cartoons are usually thought of as conveyors of capitalist ideologies of consumerism and individualism, Drew observes: "Somehow as an avid childhood fan of cartoons, these ideas were secondary to a more important lesson—that of the 'trickster' nature of many characters as they mocked, outwitted and defeated their more powerful adversaries.

1990
Marx: The Video

Kipnis describes this tape as "an appropriation of the aesthetics of both late capitalism and early Soviet cinema—MTV meets Eisenstein—reconstructing Karl Marx for the video age.” She presents a postmodern lecture delivered by a chorus of drag queens on the unexpected corelations between Marx’s theories and the carbuncles that plagued the body of the rotund thinker for over thirty years. Marx’s erupting, diseased body is juxtaposed with the “body politic", and posited as a symbol of contemporary society proceeding the failed revolutions of the late 1960s.

1996
Valerie Maynard: An Interview

In this 1996 interview, African-American sculptor, printmaker and designer Valerie Maynard (b.1937) describes growing up in Harlem in the mid-20th Century and her awareness of the importance of community during her upbringing. Recalling the prominence of the Baptist church in her early life, Maynard discusses how religion brought her into contact with local politicians who impressed upon her the importance of affecting change. The artist notes how an early affiliation with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell and her brother’s incarceration propelled her interest in social justice and the workings of the judicial system.

1985
Mike Builds A Shelter

Mike Builds a Shelter is a performance comedy with apocalyptic overtones, a narrative extension of Smith's installation Government Approved Home Fallout Shelter/Snack Bar. In this darkly humorous morality play, Smith contrasts Mike's rural adventures in a pastoral landscape with his home fallout shelter. Throughout, the dual narratives are intercut with episodes of Mike's Show on cable, in which Mike's banal domestic activities are eagerly if passively received by living-room TV viewers.

2006
Mohamed Yousry: A Life Stands Still

Mohamed Yousry: A Life Stands Still (also known as Good Translator) is a short documentary about Mohamed Yousry, a naturalized American citizen who's life changed radically after September 11, 2001. Mohamed immigrated to the United States in 1980. For the next twenty years, he developed a full and happy life, as a husband, father, and academic. On September 13, 2001 Mohamed was approached by the FBI on his doorstep in Queens, NY. After appeal processes and an attempt to extradite him, Mohamed was sentenced to four years in a federal penitentiary in Fort Worth, TX.

1970
Videofreex, Money

Taped on Prince Street in Soho, New York, Skip Blumberg creates a one-word performance.  Shouting the word "Money" over and over, he attracts the attentions of New York's finest. 

1969

In October 1969, the Videofreex visited the home of wealthy political and social activist, Lucy Montgomery, as she was hosting the Black Panther Party of Chicago during one of their most fraught times – the period just after Chairman Bobby Seale was wrongfully imprisoned for inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention a year earlier. This video documents an interview with the wife of Bobby Seale, Artie Seale.

1983
Antonio Muntadas: Video Portrait

Antonio Muntadas was born in 1942, in Barcelona, Spain. He went to the University of Barcelona for undergraduate work, then received his MA from the Escuela Tecnica Superior Ingenieros Industriales in Barcelona. In 1971 he moved to New York and studied at Pratt Graphics Center. Muntadas is a media artist most interested in the investigation of the social and educational aspects of media.

2004
Museum Piece

Made in Germany, October 14th, 2004

While the Iraq war continues, a day's sightseeing and the features of a German hotel provoke a stream of thoughts about events large and small.

Museum Piece is the second episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world's hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

2007

In this interview, American writer, artist, performer Eileen Myles (b.1949) discusses the various philosophies that motivate her work, including the language of film, embodied performance, and the alienation evoked by bodily vulgarity. Myles links her wide range of artistic and literary practice with notions of abstraction, improvisation, and the mythology of gender, which she explores in relation to her own identity as a working, middle-class lesbian woman. She reflects on the significance of geographical locations, both New York City and San Diego, on her art, and shares how her past struggles with addiction have shaped her life and practice.

1992
Nation

Commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art and The American Center in Paris as part of their international Trans Voices project, Nation flashes contradictory formulations of language, politics, and medicine across a sharp and close screen. Blurring geography with the body's landscape, Nation reminds us that our bodies, like land, have been shaped by history into zones to be charted, conquered, divided, or made whole. "Think globally act locally," in one dense minute.