Part of Winter 1996
Bodies careening through virtual worlds, their paths determined by gay desire…the body as commodity, the world as commodity, desire as commodity. The videos in tonight’s program are played out in the grand tradition of operatic scenarios with a libretto drawn from a new science fiction of the vulnerable male body.
New York artist Jim Anderson produces glossy hi-tech videos that are both advertisements and demonstrations of his art works. Trace Elements features a battalion of jock-strapped muscle boys in industrial overalls and gas masks who produce and install Anderson’s abstract sculptures. The four one-minute videos from Bliss Jag trace the downfall and humiliation of a rock star as he, along with a small cast of characters, demonstrates possible uses of Anderson’s sculptures that resemble electric guitar sex toys and bondage instruments.
British artist Michael Curran’s videos are lo-tech: single-shot, stationary camera. In Amami Se Vuoi the artist, scrawny and ordinary looking, lies naked on a table. A fully clothed stud crouches over him and spits into his mouth for the video’s duration. In L’heure Autosexuelle a woman sits in a chair as a Beatles song plays, oblivious to the artist hanging upside-down and spinning wildly around her.
John Maybury, a protege of Derek Jarman, recently won the LA Critics Prize for Remembrance of Things Fast. The latest computer technology is used to create dazzling dramatic universes of polysexual desire. Complex and seductive, the video features Rupert Everett and Tilda Swinton.