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Contemporary Video Art

Lynda Benglis is an eminent sculptor who produced many video presentations in the mid 1970s. Her main theme is female sexuality and identity. The interest and presence in her sculptural work using metaphorical, biomorphic shapes finds its way into her self-reflexive, investigative videos. The subject matter of 1970s feminist video was personal. ‘Benglis’s video work confronts issues raised by feminist theory, including the representation of women, the role of the spectator, and female sexuality. Benglis also engages the emergent practice of video in an incisive discourse on the production of the moving image.’ The art of the process is thus captured within the work itself even as the question of self is investigated. ‘Benglis negotiates a personal space for herself, maintaining a deliberate distance from the medium. Using her own body and creating multiples of her images. She interrogates the relation of the self to the body—focusing on the interface between our inner and outer realities. With Benglis standing in front of a photograph of herself, which is then affixed to a monitor bearing her image, the notion of “original” is complicated. Benglis’s work takes on another layer of meaning.’ Her video, Document (1972), suggests the impotence of media to accurately copy her, her image and herself. ‘She, as the object of our gaze, never allows a static full-face pose on the screen. Benglis’s use of the replicated image in photography and video, both in and on the TV, is a direct reveal. ...Show more
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The essay "Contemporary Video Art" analyzes the pursuit of the personal in contemporary video art. Artists who use their own images within their work are typically striving to illustrate how photographs can capture a sense of the real or to search for definition within a familiar form…
Contemporary Video Art
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