Proto-Ethnographic Works

Proto-Ethnographic Works

“Downey’s insertion of himself into Yanomami life... questions the place of the observer of another culture.”
—Constance Penley

Film/Video–Jack H. Skirball Series

Presented as part of Pacific Standard Time

This anthropology-themed program surveys strategies used by video artists who disavow “objectivity” in exploring cultural experiences different from their own, and instead actively participate with their subjects. In The Singing Mute (1978), Juan Downey spends nine months with a Yanomami tribe in the Amazon. Other artists critique the outsider gaze—Terese Svoboda in Headhunters (1992), Sandra Kogut in What Do You Think People Think Brazil Is? (1990). Wendy Clarke’s Love Tapes (1974–88) invites 800 people to record thoughts about love, while Lowell Darling and Ilene Segalove befriend retired prizefighters-turned-Hollywood entertainers in The Cauliflower Alley Tapes, Part One (1976). In Rahime, Femme Kurde de Turquie (1979), a Kurdish villager recounts her trials in Istanbul to Nil Yalter and Nicole Croiset, who construct imagery to complement her story. Finally, Azian Nurudin’s What Does Pop Art, Pop Music, Pornography and Politics Have to Do with Real Life? (1990) is a Warhol remake exhorting us to pay closer attention to our surroundings.

In person: Nancy Buchanan, Kathy Rae Huffman, Azian Nurudin

Curated by Nancy Buchanan. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Exchange and Evolution: Worldwide Video Long Beach, 1974–1999 at the Long Beach Museum of Art, curated by Kathy Rae Huffman.

Funded in part with generous support from the Getty Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Presented as part of Pacific Standard Time. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.  

Associated Images: 

MON 10/24
8:30 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff