Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Orleans, Orifices and Video

A visit to New Orleans

Had a weekend off and popped down to New Orleans. What a city!....

(end of semester crit)
My social documentary video of the Wood Lot got a resounding bad crit. with the tutor describing it as “ something you watch on public television. Is that how you see us?
Now I took that as a compliment but she clearly did not intend it to be one.

Over coffee break in my next class, a multimedia one containing several staff members of SAIC keen to get up to speed with new media, I ask one, Miranda, why I received such a vicious attack on my work.

After all when I had showed it at the Three Arts club one evening it had got a very good positive response.
So what’s up?

“What was your subject?”
asks Miranda a woman woman in her early 40’s who had helped me on several occasions. I trusted her judgement.

“The Wood Lot, you know that place near Maxwell St. I did a documentary on the two men who run it.”
“You what?”
She looks at me aghast.
“They would kill you for that.”
“They nearly did.”
“Didn't anybody warn you?”
“Warn me about what?”

“The Video Dep. are into orifices. Unless you do work with orifices they don't want to know.”

Aaah!....Now I understand: did I not see a recent exhibition I saw contained video projections into two coffee cups of a man and a woman masturbating , did not the artist teach in the School Video Department.? and I had naively thought I was doing a serious mini doc. on life among Chicago’s soft underbelly of homeless people.
Clearly I am barking up the wrong tree, or leg, in this case, if I want to get on in the contemporary art world.


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