There is an exhibition of videos at DiverseWorks , entitled something like "Now that I am by myself,” she says, “I can eat in bed and don’t have to worry about the crumbs." This exhibition is curated by Rachel Cook, and features the work of Brian Bress, Wynne Greenwood, Laurel Nakadate and Yuki Okumura (September 11 through October 24, 2009).
If one were to base my intellect solely in terms of my understanding and appreciation of video, then my brain would compare in size to the total weight of brains one would find in a rally of teabaggers – in other words, I’d be left standing with barely enough gray matter to fit through the eye of a needle .
One of my biggest frustrations about video is that you cannot pretend like you have paid attention to the work, like you can with other art forms. For example, when I go to an opening of an artist who paints or sculpts or when I go on such a studio visit, I can merely glance at the work, and still convince the hapless sap I have given their creative efforts my full consideration. Not so in the world of video. First of all, videos comes in a box or they are in the shape of a f&&king cd, and ever single cd and box looks the same, so you can’t even get by with saying, “What made you chose a rectilinear shape as your format? ” or “I found it interesting that you decided to place the hole directly in the center of the circle” without the artist saying to themselves a day or two later, hey she did not watch my video.
Of course there are exceptions to the actually watch the video rule. Take for an example, a Wynne Greenwood video of a vagina that is included in the DiverseWorks show. In this particular video I could have just as easily looked at the dvd itself, without ever inserting it into the dvd player, as said vagina also has a hole in the center and was very dvd like, in terms of its lack of animating qualities. At first I thought I would give the ‘ginie a few minutes, maybe it would move, maybe it would give birth or a man would walk up and stick something in it or someone would drive out of it with a Volkswagen, but no, it did nothing.
Not only, in most cases, do you have to watch the video to understand it, you also probably ought to watch the video in its entirety. For those of us who have ADD, the difficulty of doing such a thing is increased ten-fold, if what we are watching is not fully compelling. For example if a movie or video or doesn’t star Johnnie Depp, Jeremy Renner or Djimon Hounson, or it doesn’t include a squirrel, a dog playing Chopin, or a jackass engaging in hedge fund speculations, I cannot watch the entire thing. While I was at DiverseWorks I was very nearly lulled into watching Young Woman Warrior Prepared for Battle by Wynne Greenwood and Nicole Eisenman, and Little Exorcism by Laurel Nakadate, in their entireties as both incorporated images of squirrels, but soon lost interest when I saw that the lead role, in both productions, was occupied by none other than Adam Sandler.
My lack of understanding is frustrating to me and at times I wish there were a Kaplan School for people, such as myself, to attend. While there isn’t a video idiot school, it is possible that there is a time/space continuum portal that will allow you to infiltrate the confines of a video, if only for a couple of minutes. I accidentally discovered this so caled portal while visiting "Now that I am by myself,” she says, “its so much easier to go without bathing for weeks at a time."
But it was worth being there, because you text messaged a squirrel.
also by Beth Secor
- "The Art of Gaman" at the Holocaust Museum Houston - July 28th, 2015
- Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty at Contemporary Art Museum Houston - June 3rd, 2015
- Perry House at d.m. allison gallery, Houston - May 20th, 2015
- eState Sale - January 24th, 2012
- Beth Secor’s Observations on the Texas Contemporary Art Fair - October 31st, 2011