Acid Rock, 1982
, 4 min 9 s, colour, sound
Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York
Since the end of the 1970s Dara Birnbaum has been making videos and installations in different formats with which she tries to recontextualise and subvert the icons of pop culture and the mass- media archetypes related to the consumer society and television. This is why her works sometimes take the form of telefilms, soap operas, sports programmes, publicity spots or music videos, into which she inserts subtexts that critically deconstruct the underlying ideology of the images. This is the approach taken in Acid Rock, a video made in 1982 for Documenta 7 in Kassel, during the period when the MTV music video channel flourished and had most influence in the American music industry. Dara Birnbaum recomposes the Doors’ song L.A. Woman and appropriates elements from advertising as though they were ready-mades, turning them into a feminist and anti-consumer tirade criticising the sexism of television advertising.
In 1998 Ben Jakober and Yannick Vu collaborated on an obvious remake of Marcel Duchamp’s Roue de Bicyclette, his first “readymade” object. Duchamp combined a bicycle wheel, a fork and a stool to create a machine which served no purpose, subverting accepted norms of art.
Between 1963 and 1966 Andy Warhol worked at making film portraits of all sorts of characters linked to New York art circles. Famous people and anonymous people were filmed by Andy Warhol’s 16 mm camera, for almost four minutes, without any instructions other than ‘to get in front of the camera’.
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