Holiday

kucharg Art Space Art Space, 2009

A brief trip to the Miami '09 art festival was the moving (or swimming) force to instigate this travelogue. There are some bathing sequences sprinkled about and lots of munching going on in this latest addition to my Christmas video series. There's even a Santa Claus figure trodding across sand instead of snow; but don't let that dismaying personage in shades of gray discolor an otherwise plentiful poo-poo platter of pulchritude.

kucharg Baldies of Burgermeister Bungalow, 1994

A Fourth of July celebration ignites the Id and unleashes a digital demon hungry for imagery of the young and the restless to appease the contraption it sees through: the cannibal camcorder in a state of carniverous conniptions!

videofreex Christmas Carols in the Shower, 1971

As a testament to the Videofreex joyful investment in the medium of video, Skip Blumberg, Bart Friedman, and Nancy Cain take turns singing Christmas carols in the shower on Christmas Day. Audible from a range of proximity—from the end of the long hallway to the intimate space behind the shower curtain—the Videofreex entertain one another with rousing renditions of ‘Oh Holy Night’ and ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town,’ while playfully experimenting with the potential that the visual properties of condensation and steam, and bathroom acoustics offer up for video recording.

kucharm The First Four Sorrows: Mike Kuchar The First Four Sorrows, 2010

Performance artist and playwright Dan Carbone belts out four spooky songs in a room filled with mummy dusted lunacy.

kucharg Frigid Escapades Frigid Escapades, 2007

This is actually a rather warm, Xmas greeting which features some thawed items in full action as the Yuletide logs flicker and forks plunge earthward toward smoking piles of nourishment. Skyscrapers rimmed in brilliance loom over icy pools of skating revelers as young and old slice their way to total fulfillment on granny’s turkey carcass. 

kucharg Holiday Hang Ups Holiday Hang Ups, 2006

The annual holiday video is off and swinging with this foray into festive chatter and explosive fireworks. Sweet treats are served up along with ice cream and jungle jingles befitting this season of goodwill toward man and beast. Join the fun and meet new faces with plenty of hair both real and fake. Celebrate a New Year with primate fury and rejoice in the bonding of species that technology has awarded to those in need.

horsfieldk, garciaferr Ana Mendieta: Fuego De Tierra Ana Mendieta: Fuego De Tierra, 1987

Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.

videofreex Nancy's Party, 1970

This tape documents Nancy Cain’s birthday party and captures the inner workings of the Videofreex’s social ethos. As pipes are refilled and passed around, and the music of Aretha Franklin and the Beatles croons in the background, members of the Videofreex take turns with the camera to experiment with the effects of light, proximity, and focus in the smoke-filled room. Activity includes brief clips of a television talk show host discussing current voting turn out,  longer segments of close-ups of Nancy’s face, and Parry Teasdale’s attempt to continuously blow smoke into the viewfinder.

kucharg Oasis of the Pharoahs Oasis of the Pharoahs, 1997

Kuchar makes it to the Isis Oasis resort just in time to catch the marriage vows of his friends Rebecca and Steve. Transposing the myth of Isis in their union, Kuchar tries to make sense of this recreated paradise, this gathering of God’s creatures, and the fates of Rebecca von Hettman and Charlie Sheen—in this humid, steamy, stained story of the transmigration of souls.

riveraa Papapapa Papapapa, 1997

An experimental video about immigration. Looking at the potato (which was first cultivated in Peru) Papapapá paints a picture of a vegetable that has traveled and been transformed—following the migrating potato North where it becomes the potato chip, the couch potato, and the french fry. Papapapá simultaneously follows another Peruvian in motion, the artist’s father, Augusto Rivera. The stories of the two immigrants, the potato and Papa Rivera, converge as Augusto becomes a Peruvian couch potato, sitting on an American sofa, eating potato chips and watching Spanish language television.

fuscoc Pochonovela:  A Chicano Soap Opera Pochonovela: A Chicano Soap Opera, 1996

Pochonovela is a bilingual, bicultural blend of Latin America’s and the United States’ most popular television genres—the telenovela and the sitcom, respectively. The humor and madness of life in East Los Angeles are captured here in performances by members of the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe, Chicano Secret Service, and other U.S. Latino actors. This provocative comedy touches on political, social, cultural, linguistic, and family issues attendent to the cross cultural life of Mexican Americans living near or on the border—both psychologically and geographically.

kucharg Solstice Solstice, 2009

Solstice is a music video illustrating the feelings inspired by this holiday song written by a young man I met in Atlanta, Georgia, Andy Ditzler. My students and I, at the San Francisco Art Institute, concocted the visuals to accompany the tune and the result should evaluate all those suffereng from blues of every shade and intensity.

fulbeckk Some Questions for 28 Kisses Some Questions for 28 Kisses, 1994

Fulbeck force-feeds the viewer scores of all-too-familiar Asian female/Caucasian male pairings in Hollywood films, and combines them with contemporary excerpts from best-selling novels, magazines, and dating services. Some Questions For 28 Kisses delves into the causes and purposes of these created images and their relation to interracial dating, ethnic fetishes, race and gender wars, and Hapa identity.

“Leads the viewer on a delightfully rip-roaring jaunt through the Asian Pacific American psyche.”

-- Gerard Lim, Asian Week

springerb Spin Spin, 1995

Pirated satellite feeds revealing U.S. media personalities’ contempt for their viewers come full circle in Spin. TV out-takes appropriated from network satellite feeds unravel the tightly-spun fabric of television—a system that silences public debate and enforces the exclusion of anyone outside the pack of journalists, politicians, spin doctors, and televangelists who manufacture the news. Spin moves through the L.A. riots and the floating TV talk-show called the 1992 U.S. presidential election.

thorntonl Strange Space Strange Space, 1993

Thornton asks viewers to question how one sees “space" — whether literally or figuratively — and what is being revealed? Images of a sonogram session grant viewers access to what is typically reserved for medical analysis — “inner space.”

subrine Swallow Swallow, 1995

Based on accounts of girlhood anorexia, Swallow unravels the masked and shifting symptoms that define clinical depression. With a densely layered soundtrack, humorous and painful scenes of potential psychological breakdown reveal a critical loss of meaning, and the failure to diagnose mental illness. Weaving narrative, documentary, and experimental strategies, Swallow intimately traces the awkward steps from unacknowledged depression to self-recognition.

wilchac  The Target Shoots First The Target Shoots First, 1999

“Christopher Wilcha’s fascinating feature-length video reminds us how seldom we’re allowed to see certain businesses operating from the inside. Wilcha, a 22-year-old college graduate and alternative-rock enthusiast, was hired by the Columbia Record and Tape Club—apparently as a fluke—to help launch a whole new niche-marketing division, which brought him face-to-face with the contradictory meanings of the term ‘alternative’ once it’s been embraced by the mass market.

cohenj This is a History of New York This is a History of New York, 1988

A history of New York City from Prehistoric times through the Space Age, composed entirely from documentary street footage.

"The richness of Cohen's vision is found in his haunting imagery and the perception that the thriving city of New York is really the accumulation of humanity's failures, as well as its triumphs."

-- Steve Seid, Seduced and Abandoned: The Homeless Video by Sachiko Hamada & Scott Sinkler and Jem Cohen (Berkeley: Pacific Film Archive, 1989)

kucharg Tinseltown Tinseltown, 1999

A big splashy rendering of Hollywood in hot action. The babes, the boobs, the boo-boos and the inner triumphs all brought to the screen by the uncorked youth and uncouth old bats of the San Francisco Art Institute.

dubowskis Tomboychik Tomboychik, 1993

A series of intimate video-8 vignettes depicting the fierce love between Malverna and Sandi, 88 and 22, grandmother and grandson. The two playmates dress up drag-esque for this moving portrait of a woman’s lifetime struggle with gender and sexuality. Since Malverna's death, Tomboychik has become a living memorial to the intensity of her spirit.

kucharg Tummy Ache Times Tummy Ache Times, 2010

It's the season of joy once again and this video depicts the tasty and the troublesome in big, heaping spoonfuls.  Witness a social whirlpool of whipped confections and stripped confessions tastefully prepared in soupy symbolism.  See man and domesticated mammals share in the bounty of a cosmopolitan cornucopia.  Feast your eyes and ears on the snap-crackle-and-pop culture of a city simmering in smut. Swallow it all in the 4:3 format and good luck in the digestive department.

kucharg The Unmentionables The Unmentionables, 2009

Frisco anxiously awaits the pyrotechnic birth of a New Year while the remnants of holiday greenery still burn bright in all the right places. One of those places gives shelter to an Abyssinian animal of lethargic nature, while all about her the rumblings of tummies in turmoil foreshadow the gluttony of her bipedal guardian.

millners Unruly Fan/Unruly Star Unruly Fan/Unruly Star, 1996

TV's invasion of viewers' domiciles gets turned upside down in the video as a fan's (Millner) domestic life is superimposed onto the set of Roseanne, driving home unexpected reverberations as the nuclear family teeters on the edge of dysfunction. A schmooze-fest between Millner and Roseanne ends by detonating the UNcommon desire that both fan and star articulate, to GO TOO FAR. Note: This tape is a director’s cut of the version originally telecast as part of the PBS mini-series, Signal to Noise, about the videomaker’s obsession with Roseanne.

kucharg Urban Doodles Urban Doodles, 1996

Cartoonist Ben Katchar is profiled in his old diamond district studio. A Big Apple pumpkin patch that's 100% kosher.