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“The direct address to the viewer and the intimate space of the video image has long inspired artists to perform to camera. This British selection ranges from the minimal performance of Smith and Stewart’s breathless evocation of a couple’s interdependence to the outrageous exhibitionism of Michael Curran’s erotic prancing in the face of female indifference. The deadpan Pythonesque delight in the absurd is also in evidence in John Smith’s work while a more lyrical note is struck by the curious childhood rituals that Angela Derby weaves around bodily hair. The tradition of free speech, exemplified by the soap box orations at London’s Speakers Corner, underlies the uncompromising realism of Anee Whitehurst’ address from her wheelchair. Keith Piper similarly leaves us in no doubt as to his subjectivity as a young black male coming to terms with the history of slavery. This collection of works reinforces video as a medium of the personal statement in the face of the reductive generalizations of broadcast television.”
Guest curated by Catherine Elwes from the Collection of London Electronic Arts. Recent British Video Part I will be presented with Cinematheque Ontario/AGO’s The Independents, Wed. Oct. 21, 7 pm in the Kinnear Education Theatre, AGO. Free!
Performance to Camera: Recent British Video, Part II is presented with the generous assistance of The British Council and London Electronic Arts.