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The Open Channels Program and Famous for 30 Seconds

16 November 1991

The Australian International Video Festival, 1991.

[This entry is edited from the AIVF '91 catalogue entry and program notes. - SJ]

Carole Ann Klonarides

Carole Ann Klonarides is an artist and most recently has been appointed as the Media Arts Curator at The Long Beach Museum of Art in Long Beach, California. She has been working with Michael Owen as MICA-TV since 1980, producing collaborative videotapes with such artists as Dan Graham, Cindy Sherman, and Laurie Simmons, which have been shown in the United States and in Europe. Klonarides also collaborated with artists Lyn Blumental and Ed Paschke on the tape Arcade which was exhibited at Documenta 1987, Recent Acquisitions at the Museum of Modem Art, NYC, WNET TV's New Television, and in various international film festivals. She was commissioned by The Whitney Museum of American Art to make a videotape compilation of artists' representation in the media for the exhibition Image World. 

In the Summer of 1990, Klonarides co-produced and co-curated The Alternative Voice, two ninety minute compilations of independent video exhibited on a large screen in Central Park, NYC, as part of the event The Video Drive-In. TV: For Real, a two hour program consisting of the works of thirteen American artists was presented at Laforet Museum, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan, for the exhibition Images of American Pop Culture Today III, and the Centre For Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, N.Y., 1989.

Installation: Ivan Dougherty Gallery, 16-30 Nov.

Famous For 30 Seconds - artists in the media

For many Kirk Douglas is Vincent van Gogh and Charlton Heston painted the Sistine Chapel. For years the artist served as an easy target for lampooning and the perfect subject to romanticize. The film and television industry evidently felt qualified to rewrite art history and alter the image of the artist. [However] since Picasso, the modern artist has been aware of the power of the media and has used it as a catalyst for his work and /or as a promotional tool [and] today the artist wants to have a hand in writing his/her own script. With the help of the publicist and the lure of endorsements, the visual artist has evolved from the Hollywood myth to being hot news on Page Six.

Some of the tapes selected for Famous For 30 Seconds are influenced by established television formats such as the commercial, documentary, and news spot, whereas others directly collaborate with the artist (subject), using their work as a departure point to create a unique work unto itself. This is juxtaposed with actual film and television material. Whether the tapes succeed in exposing the implicit ideology of the medium (prime time) or aim merely to enhance the image of their subject (artist), this series attempts to explore the "created image" of the artist. 

Duration 60 mins: Includes Hollywood Stereotypes - The Way They Weren't; Andy Warhol's TV - Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring; Late Night with David Letterman, Man Ray and William Wegman; Joan Logue's 30 Second Spots - TV Commercials for Artists with John Cage, Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, Narn June Paik and others.

Carole Ann Klonarides is the Media Arts curator at the Long Beach Museum of Art, California. She has been working with Michael Owen as MICA-TV since 1980, producing collaborative video works with various artists including Cindy Sherman. In 1990 Klonarides co-produced and co-curated The Alternative Voice, two ninety minute compilations of independent video exhibited on a large screen in Central Park, new York City.

Artist's Talk and Screening: Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW, Sat 16 Nov, 12.30pm.

Klonarides presents selections from the acclaimed The Open Channels Program at The Long Beach Museum, Long Beach, California, where she is currently the Media Arts Curator.
The Museum, which maintains one of the most significant collections of video art in the USA, has provided a unique framework for the creation, exhibition, and cablecast of new work through this program. To date, thirty six new works have been completed by both emerging and established artists who are selected annually.

The Open Channels Television Production Grant Program - 1991 Recipients

Ritual, Lynne Hershman, 15:00 min.
This videotape, done in "Rashomon Style", re-creates the final moments leading to the mysterious demise of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, who plunged to her death from the 34th floor apartment she shared with her husband of eight months, artist Carl Andre. Her death, and the subsequent murder trial of Andre, created heated debate within the art world and raised questions of the sexual class and racial inequities of the judicial system. Hershman gives Mendieta a posthumous voice by detailing the numerous ambiguities and contradictory evidence surrounding the investigation as told by many of Ana's artist friends.

Gun Talk (Part 1), Eric Saks, 5:00 min.
Gun Talk is a diary-like approach to issues surrounding gun control. Saks uses tableau interviews, computer animation, speech synthesis, and paper cut-out puppets to focus on a childhood incident and its repercussions, The result is a strong argument against the destructive gun culture in America.

The Nomadics, Ulysses Jenkins, 12.40 min (EXCERPT ONLY).
The Nomadics presents the myth of East African peoples' sojourn into the eastern Asian continent and Pacific Islands and how their infiltration into these populations influenced the culture. Images of the earth and fire symbolically represent the evolution of the nomads from a matriarchal social structure that relied on mother earth, to a patriarchal structure, reliant on fire and tools. As the original nomadics were propelled by their spiritual quest these temporary locations created an axis through the twin realms of the fabled East and West Ethiopia. The utilization of the sand painting as oracle provides the metaphorical vehicle of dissemination. The original soundtrack accentuates the different cultures represented.

Was It Only A Dream?, Sue Kornfield, 13:40 min (EXCERPT ONLY)
Kornfield combines the look of a 1950s television puppet show for children (eg. "Kukla, Fran and Ollie") with the animation style of the Melies' film A trip to the Moon to depict the lunar allegory illustrated in Johannes Kepler's book, The Dream (c.1634). Kepler, one of the first astronomers, disguised his observations of the moon as a dream allegory to avoid persecution from the church and laymen. Because of the interpretation of his dream, Kepler's own mother was tried and tortured for witchcraft.

Other tapes to be presented:

Free Society, Paul Garrin, (1988) 9:47 min.
Garrin used his own 8mrn camcorder as a witness when he documented police brutality during a dispute in a neighbourhood undergoing gentrification. This has come to be known as the Tompkins Square Riot, Summer 1988. His footage ended up on network news, then as evidence in an investigation. Later it was incorporated in his video art work Free Society, an electronic collage of martial glory and brutality. The tape layers images of pirated TV news showing parading police and military with footage of riots from around the world. To underscore the growing violence, composer Elliot Sharp uses voice samples of Moral Majority leader Pat Robinson preaching, “In a free society, the police and the military are God's special envoys". Garrin adds religious zealotry to political spectacle, shedding light on the hypocrisy of the "free society".

The Feeling of Power, Robert Beek, (1990) 9:00 min, (Excerpt only)
This tape was the artist's first; the product of a competition entitled "Made in 8", sponsored by the Kitchen Center, N.Y.C. and Canon U.S.A.. This 8mm video equipment loan program enabled the artist to have a voice about his personal “coming out” and his empowerment through the use of the camera. This tape won the "visions" Sony 8 competition and best new work.

Vital Signs, Barbara Hammer, (1991) 11:18 min.
Vital Signs employs images and text to intervene in the Western Constructions of death in Hammer's personal interactions with a skeleton, Hiroshima mon Amour by Renais, Birth of a Clinic by Foucault, and an intensive care unit.

We, Shelly Silver, (1990) 4:00 min.
Dividing the video into four parts - an urban scene of crowds on the left; an explicit detail from a porno film on the right; text from Thomas Bemhard's novel Correction running across the lower third of the screen; and the driving score of Henry Mancini's Leaping Pad; - Silver pushes us into the visceral with a non-illusory text only to conclude with a descriptive pause that conjures up images waiting to be released.

Dances In Exile, Howard Silver, (1991) l l min.
An exploration of departures and arrivals, exile and homecoming. The video is a collaboration of Ruby Shang, playwright David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly”) and director David Silver, featuring performances by actor B.D. Wong and the dancers of the Ruby Shang and Company, Dancers. The polarities between Western and Eastern Cultures, and between the known and unknown, are explored in this dance-theatre work with resonant words, exquisite movement, and remarkable images of New York and Japan. The work premiered on PBS as part of the 1991 season of "Alive From Off Centre".

Carole Ann Klonrides (the AIVF '91), Compiled by Stephen Jones


Art Gallery of New South Wales