Artist Spaces

Mexican video artist Ximena Cuevas documented the preparations and opening of the Marina Abramovic Videoinstalaciones exhibit at Mexico City's Laboratorio Arte ALameda, the first Abramovic exhibition ever to take place in Mexico, in November of 2008.  Cuevas captures the self proclaimed "performance grandmother" in a number of personal and performative moments as she readies for the opening.

This video presents a history of alternative spaces in New York City during the late 1960s and early 1970s, focusing on two galleries that no longer exist. The work produced in these two spaces forms the basis of the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s 1981 exhibition Alternatives in Retrospect: An Overview 1969-1975. Curator Jacki Apple, who produced the video, assembled documentation from the galleries and reconstructed artworks for the exhibition.

A musical portrait of Vic Chesnutt and company recording the song, CHAIN.

The piece was shot during the recording session for the album, At the Cut, at the Hotel2Tango studio in Montreal, and features appearances by musicians including Efrim Menuck, Guy Picciotto, Jessica Moss, and Chad Jones. CHAIN was written by Chesnutt after viewing Cohen's feature film of that name.

Commissioned by the Oakland Museum, this video provides an artist’s interpretation of the museum’s displays and collections. The voice of a friendly narrator enlarges the image-objects with historical and social information, while a written text provides ironic commentary. “The term curator is derived from the Latin ‘curatus’ —one responsible for the care of souls.” The daughter represented in the famous Dorthea Lange photograph of the Migrant Mother recounts the circumstance surrounding the now-celebrated photograph and how it impacted her life.

Satoshi Uchiumi, Japanese abstract painter, believes that the beauty of painting lies within paint itself. He has pursued beauty by painting thousands of colored dots. He has also become known for his ability to highlight the relationship between the artwork, the exhibition space, and the viewer.

Uncomfortable journeys through the work and ideas of Christopher Cozier, a leading contemporary artist in the Caribbean. The video presents Cozier's witty and incisive drawings, installations and videos in the context of post-independence Trinidad with its oil-rich economy, complicated ethnic politics, and vibrant cultural forms.

A portrait of Luce Vigo, film critic, educator, and the daughter of pivotal French filmmaker Jean Vigo. Commissioned by the Spanish documentary festival, Punto de Vista, the film incorporates Luce's memories of her extraordinary life, reflections on her father, and images of Northern Spain.

A domestic portrait rendered at miniature scale, Dust Studies brushes along the edge of what can be seen. Staying close to the ground to collect what gathers there, the film looks deeply for everyday things and finds them drifting in the pleasant, meandering headwaters of a young child's language.

Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.

In 1975, the Feminist Studio Workshop (I was a member) at the Woman’s Building in LA, the Women’s Interart Center in New York City, and another feminist organization in Washington DC, attempted to set up a video exchange among feminist art organizations. This was the first videoletter on our end. I don’t know if another one was ever made.

The videoletter is a tour of the Woman’s Building. Pam McDonald, with microphone in hand, another workshop member, and myself, served as guides through the building. It was shot with a black and white video portopack.

A reflection on the phenomenon of the touring musician.

"I shot this film with a 16mm wind-up Bolex, and the 25th Anniversary tour of Dutch band The Ex, when they embarked on a 'convey tour' with about 25 performing comrades. If half the battle is getting there and half the battle is joy, then the other half is madness. I thank all of the musicians who float in and out — of the film, in particular, and my life, in general."

— Jem Cohen

Soundtrack music: Guitargument, an Andy Moor and Mia Clarke improvisation, arranged and edited by Jem Cohen.

J. Morgan Puett is an internationally renowned artist living on a 95-acre compound in the deciduous forests of northeastern Pennsylvania. Touching on ideas of creative domestication, radical pedagogy, and a critical engagement with one’s environment, Ms. Puett describes her unique home, which she calls Mildred’s Lane.

“It (J. Morgan Puett: A Practice of Be(e)ing) tells a unique story of an important artist that truly lives her art. It’s an exclusive biography of a woman who is widely known to the art world but, as yet, undiscovered by our culture.”

—Roderick Angle

 

In this interview, Phyllis Kornfeld, author of Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America, describes her initial interest in working with prisoners in her native Oklahoma City, stemmed from an exploration of outsider artists. Detailing her first visit to a high security prison as a ‘mind blowing and breathtaking’ experience, Kornfeld discusses how she came to her realization that prisons are fertile environments for free form experimentation with the teaching process. She learned that through personalized art education, inmates could teach themselves to make positive contributions to society. - Kyle Riley

Long for the City is a short portrait of Patti Smith in the city where she lives. Patti recites the very first poem-song she ever wrote, and then a later one, "Prayer", from the early 1970s. We take a walk in her changing neighborhood, and I ask her what she saw. Footage was shot in the moment, as well as drawn from the archive I've gathered over many years. Long for the City can be considered a non-musical companion piece to the music short, Spirit, which we collaborated on in 2007.

The viewer is whisked through a lovely cat-house, which also includes a turtle along with the whiskered pets, and then is suddenly immersed in the painted output of my old (yet still young and vibrant looking) friend, Michelle Joyce. We follow this cheerful personage on a tour of her studio and then get transported to a high-class arts center in midtown Frisco where the work is displayed to a variety of yapping youth in yo-yo mode.

A five-minute video collaboration between Dani Leventhal and Steve Reinke.

This piece purports to be about the discontinuation of the much-loved format, Kodachrome, and with it the further endangerment of super-8 film. But it has other agendas of reclamation and personal reckoning that are its true subject matter.

In 1998 I made a sculpture of a decapitated head. I featured it in a photo and video. I thought of the head as a character whose adventures would be documented. The name O’Malley was inspired by Chicago’s Irish heritage (I was living in Chicago then). O’Malley’s Head Part 1 was a photo of the head placed on top of the garbage cans in the alley behind my apartment building. I lived right by an exit ramp from the Kennedy Expressway, one of the last before you reached downtown from O’Hare Airport. Sometimes people would exit there and dump things.

An homage to Walter Benjamin and other time-traveling artists and expatriates that have inspired me, especially Chris Marker. Benjamin, fleeing from fascism in the 1930s, took refuge in Paris where Biblioteque Nacional became his home away from home.

An ex-student of mine opens up in the privacy of her home and shows me her etchings (watercolors) as we talk of art and things that slip under the fabric of daily attire. - George Kuchar

If second lives have grown into the landscape of social network space and avatars engage a full range of human emotions and experience, it follows that they would eventually encounter existential questions. A plot of land is purchased in the online network of SecondLife and a simple questions is asked: Where do discarded 3D objects go and can we build a dumpster to accommodate them? To find out eteam set aside a year to let this virtual land use problem unfold and what is captured in Prim Limit is the lived experience of avatars managing and recording this dumpster.

Since the early 1970s, Rackstraw Downes has committed himself to painting from observation, on site, from start to finish. He has painted both urban and rural landscapes, as well as interior spaces, in New York, Texas, and Maine. Although he paints exactly what he sees, through his labor ordinary sites become transformed into extraordinary scenes. 

Rome N.Y., 1971

A look at the town of Rome N.Y., including an arts panel visit to the Art and Community Center.

In this interview, Indian artist Shuddhabrata Sengupta (b. 1968) discusses his role in the initiation of the Raqs Media Collective, a Delhi-based artist collective, active since the 1990s. At the time of this interview, Raqs had been creating documentaries, art installations, and educational programs for eighteen years. Sengupta likens the driving force of Raqs to that of a game of catch, a process generated by a back-and-forth dialogue mobilized through writing and in-person meetings. As children of the late sixties, Sengupta explains how and why the members of Raqs, (himself, Jeebesh Bagchi and Monica Narula) share an interest in investigating mass communication, technologies of visibility, and the significance of memory and travel. It is also for this reason, Sengjupta explains, that the Collective’s work is committed to fostering rigorous research in addition to art-making endeavors.

Parry Teasdale, David Cort and Chuck Kennedy visit The Kitchen in New York looking for Shirley Clarke, and bump into Steina and Woody Vasulka who are overseeing a show in progress.  A few doors down they find Shirley in her studio, dressed in white and full of energy.