Body

1, 2001

"The world will devour you...."

A group of cops laugh and talk, while scanning the street for suspicious activity. An extreme close-up of a sensuously exposed neck; a soft pink fleshy ear turns to reveal an inquisitive hostile eye....

In Dani Leventhal's video, 17 New Dam Rd., we are invited along on a house visit with a familial group. There's trash in the garden, guns on the sofa, and marshall arts in the living room. A photo session records a young woman throwing punches at a man, playacting for the camera, but sweating anyway. A kitten ignores the bullets littered on the ground. Despite the foregrounding of violent pursuits, lost teeth and pool hall fights, there's a rough camaraderie here, a feeling of loyalty and belonging.

50 Blue, 2009

In 50 Blue a young man (the artist’s brother) pushes an elderly disabled man (the artist’s father) in a wheel chair through a muddy landscape. It is a long and exhausting trip to an unknown destination only discovered at the end. After an arduous struggle the two arrive at the edge of a grey lake where a 10-meter high guard tower stands. The young man ties the wheel chair to a rope and hoists the old man up on the tower platform with the help of eight men, all dressed in yellow plastic raincoats.

A Day for Cake and Accidents features a cast of animal characters — each of a different, though often indeterminate, species — who struggle with impending astrological despair and engage in absurdist dialogs, confessing various melancholic desires and transgressive secrets in poetic cartoon abjection.

A Day for Cake and Accidents is the third in a series of short collaborative animations.

An early example of video erotica from the Videofreex. A group of naked people lounge around smoking and listening to music. A male and female couple is making love on the floor in a room full of monitors.

The HalfLifers exhume cinema’s favorite incarnation of mindless, decaying mortality, the Zombie, in the hopes of breathing new life into this misunderstood figure. From a panel discussion in an old TV studio to a quarantined helicopter high above California’s rolling hills, these life-challenged entities walk, talk, and chew over some of the more difficult questions of this “whole linear birth-death system."

This title is also available on HalfLifers: The Complete History.

Snapshots of individuals from all parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands form a stream of images that blankly proves the fallacy of the title phrase. Soe challenges viewers to recognize the failure of vision that underlies this common misperception, and the failure of understanding that creates and propagates such generalizations.

Spanish subtitled version available.

 

At the heart of Alone With You is the notion of impassioned avarice, i.e. the kind of motivated acquisitiveness that drives both erotic desire and obsessive collecting.

His face is strong and seems unaffected by the trials in his life — however it is nothing but a mask — skin is what he hides behind.

Woman, monster, animal? A portrait of a woman's face, the movement slowed down and reversed, the grotesquely made-up face examined in close-up.

Animal, 2009

Masked men prowling in the bushes and not touching anything but satin, dandelions and flesh.

 

Through the testimonies of five women, this video lays out the complex problem of anorexia, detailing how the disease develops as a response to both personal and societal pressures. The common thread in these accounts is how the disease clusters around a need to control one’s body, and how not-eating becomes a way to gain that control, with anxieties and frustrations being displaced onto a negative obsession with food.

Named after Harry Smith's seminal "Anthology of American Folk Music,” Anthology of American Folk Song re-inscribes the optimistically paranoid mythological landscape of contemporary America.

"They had been unable to believe in the existence of terrorists. After all, none of them had discovered any repressed memories of terrorist abuse. They had focused instead on the more immediate and real threat of serial killers, alien abductors and Satanic ritual abusers."

This absurdist, microscopic film noir follows the activities of an underground network of ill people, desperate to create alternative methods of self-care in a world where natural resources are disappearing. While examining the meaning of health, disease, and well-being in the post-industrial world, Apple Grown In Wind Tunnel imagines the development of a culture at the margins, linked by illicit radio broadcasts, toxic waste sites, the highway, and ultimately by the overwhelming desire to find a cure.

As a document of an early performance, this video details the process of orientating the body and self in space, providing a physical metaphor for the process of adjusting oneself in society.

"Blindfolded, ears plugged: our goal is to sense each other’s movement and bearing, to attempt to assume the same movement and bearing. An off-screen voice, heard only by the audience, gives directions that would help us attain our goal."

—Vito Acconci, "Concentration-Container-Assimilation," Avalanche 6 (Fall 1972)

An episodic adventure highlighting the riff between mind and body. Through a series of animated narratives, role reversals and associations, images are driven out and stacked one on top another. "A best friend is like a four leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have. But I'm beginning to wonder if he knows something the rest of us don't."

In this interview, extreme performance artist and 1990s culture warrior Ron Athey (b.1961) discusses the genesis of his provocative performance style and the memories and desires that continue to motivate his practice. Athey describes how his particular approach to performance developed dually from his religious upbringing and exposure to devotional theater, as well as from his later interest in the DIY grandiosity of the Los Angeles punk scene.

Baby, 2006

A mother holds her child. Her face barely shows expression.

betwixt, 2014

Created from 2014 footage shot at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts Gallery with a mirrored curtain, the performer here meets a ghost of herself.

Performer: Elisa Osborne

Camera: Liliana Gao

Editor: Adam Burke

Special Thanks to Ethan Cohen

On the occasion of her 27th birthday, the artist made this work which chronicles her passage through time. In the tape, she undresses, then reveals, touches, counts, dates and recounts the story of every scar on her body.

This title is only available on Radical Closure.

Black Body is a harsh and compelling meditation on the contradictory values assigned to black bodies in American culture: they exist as both desired and feared, abject and powerful. The “black body” is a body whose surface reflects projected fears and repressed desires; as such, it exists as a site of ideological struggle, a surface which is simultaneously eroticized and denegrated.

Zach Blas is an artist, writer, and filmmaker whose practice spans technical investigation, research, conceptualism, performance, and science fiction. Currently a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, Blas has exhibited internationally, including at the Walker Art Center, Gwangju Biennale, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Whitechapel Gallery.

In The Body Parlor, both man and sheep as combined sacrificial bodies become subjects of biological investigation. As symbols of ritual sacrifice, they are bodies that give of themselves. In discovering new forms of health-care (regenerative medicine) and tissue engineering (such as stem cell research), the body becomes sacrificial material for the greater purpose of a social good. The performers employ the material objects, either as products of or as extensions of the body as a way of exploring giving from one's self in sacrifice.

Both, 1988

A beautifully ambiguous study of the nude in light and movement, this short silent film focuses on the dimly lit bodies of two women shot from Child’s distinctly non-male perspective.

Nauman is seen standing and leaning back in a corner of his studio. Just as he bounces back to a standing position, his body falls again, momentarily collapsing, only to spring forward once more. This action places his body in an intermittent space, occupying a position halfway between standing and leaning, halfway between the wall and the room.

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