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John-Paul Stonard

(b Birmingham, Dec 10, 1963).

English photographer and video artist. Wearing has described her working method as ‘editing life’. By using photography and video to record the confessions of ordinary people, her work explores the disparities between public and private life, between individual and collective experience. Wearing has cited the influence of English fly-on-the-wall documentaries, such as Michael Apted’s 7-up and the 1970s documentary The Family. Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say (1992–3), made shortly after her graduation from Goldsmiths’ College in 1990, was produced by approaching people on London streets, asking them to write something on a card and then photographing them as they displayed it. Private lives were given a sudden and revealingly painful exposure: a policeman holds a card reading ‘Help!’. With the introduction of video and more in-depth interviewing of her subjects, Wearing began to use devices such as adult actors lip-synching the recorded confessions of children, and subjects, solicited from advertisements placed in newpapers, making confessions while wearing masks. The introduction of actors signalled an increasingly dramatic element in her work and a shift away from the use of documentary techniques. The ...


Margaret Barlow

(b Holyoke, MA, Feb 12, 1943).

American photographer, video artist, conceptual artist, sculptor, draughtsman and painter . He studied painting at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA (BFA 1965), and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MFA 1967). During these years he produced Minimalist sculptures and paintings. In the early 1970s he used video and photography, primarily as a means of documenting such conceptual works as Untied On Tied Off (1972), a photograph of the artist’s feet with one shoe on, untied, the other with the shoe tied to his ankle. These documents gave way to photographs that took on greater artistic qualities in terms of composition and technique, while he continued to use concepts and approaches seen in the earlier pieces (particularly irony, humour and satire on both popular culture and the high culture of contemporary art). He was most well known in the 1970s for his photographic and video works featuring his Weimaraner dog, Man Ray. By ...


Joyce Zemans

(b Toronto, Ont., June 30, 1931; d Toronto, June 27, 1998).

Canadian painter and film maker . She studied at the Central Technical School, Toronto. Passionately committed to the exploration of the aesthetic perspective of the woman artist, Wieland was a role model to several generations of younger artists. Her major canvases of the 1960s, Abstract Expressionist in nature, were often based on female sexual imagery. Early work in animation led her to explore serial imagery in her paintings and mixed media constructions of this period. From 1962 to 1970 she and her husband, artist Michael Snow, lived in New York where she established her reputation as an experimental film maker, creating such award-winning films as Rat Life and Diet in North America and Reason over Passion (both 1968). In 1971 the National Gallery of Canada mounted True Patriot Love/Véritable amour patriotique, the first exhibition dedicated to the work of a living Canadian woman artist. In this exhibition she collaborated with craftswomen in a variety of media, including quilting, embroidery and knitting, to create art that addressed the issues of nationalism, ecology and the traditional role of the woman artist. In ...


Mary Chou

[ Butter, Arlene Hannah ]

(b New York, March 7, 1940; d Houston, TX, Jan 28, 1993).

American photographer, performance artist, video artist, sculptor and teacher . Wilke earned a BFA and a teaching certificate from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia (1956–61). She taught at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School in Plymouth Meeting, PA, until 1965, and then moved to New York City where she taught at White Plains High School, just north of the city, until 1970. From 1972 to 1991 she taught sculpture at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Wilke is well known for examining stereotypes surrounding sexuality, femininity and feminism through the use of her body, language and visual punning.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wilke created forms that were abstract but highly suggestive of female genitalia, with layered and folded flower-like shapes, modelled from clay, chewing gum, kneaded erasers, laundry lint and latex (e.g. Needed-Erase-Her , 1974). Exhibited in groups on the floor or on the wall, in an ordered and repetitious manner that recalls Minimalism, the forms are organic and sexual—suggestive of reproduction and procreation. In the 1970s Wilke began to use her own body in a series of performances, videos and photographs that confront erotic representations of the female body and cultural stereotypes about female sexuality. Her video ...



Aurélie Verdier

English photographers, video and installation artists. Jane (b Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 6 Jan 1967) and her twin sister Louise initially studied separately, Jane completing her BFA at Newcastle Polytechnic, Louise at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art at Dundee in 1989. They both went on to Goldsmiths’ College in London, where they graduated in 1992. Their first collaborative works made reference to stereotypes associated with twins. Their early films, such as Normapaths (1995; 16 mm film transferred to video), also scrutinized the boundaries between the normal and the pathological. They focused on elements of repression and transgression through a sophisticated and careful composition. The Wilsons’ approach often entailed the production of works from the same elements: the video installation, related photographic stills and props appearing in the film presented as sculptures in their own right. In Normapaths, the setting of the charred kitchen of the video was recreated. Their sensitivity to the darker side of the psyche led them to choose historically charged buildings as settings. The video installation ...


Anne K. Swartz

Splinter group from the American, male-dominated Art Workers’ Coalition (AWC), which refused to expand its protests on behalf of minority artists to include women. The Art Workers’ Coalition was a loose collective of progressive artists, filmmakers, writers, critics and museum workers started in January 1969 in New York. They wanted art institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) to restructure, reform and become more politically involved. The artist Takis (b 1925) wanted a work removed from a MOMA exhibition because he didn’t feel it represented his current work. Several artists met to discuss the political and social role of the artists. These meetings evolved into political activism with protests, letters and demonstrations. However, women artists felt increasingly marginalized by the male-dominance of the group and splintered off to form their own collective as Women Artists in Revolutions (WAR). Many women artists had no gallery affiliation, which made museum exhibition more difficult. They were especially annoyed by the Whitney Museum of American Art’s ...


Andrew Cross

English sculptors, video artists and performance artists. John Wood (b Hong Kong, 18 June 1969) and Paul Harrison (b Wolverhampton, 30 November 1966) both graduated as painters from Bath College of Higher Education and began working together in 1993. Their collaborative video works involve both artists performing bizarre but very simple actions. While referencing the early videos and performances of Bruce Nauman or Charles Ray, the humour and irony of their work is more reminiscent of British television comedy of the 1960s and 1970s. In 3 legged (1996; see D. Batchelor and C. Esche) the two protagonists are seen tied together at the ankle and confined within a simple wooden shelter while an automatic tennis server shoots balls at them; the two tussle in idiotic fashion while trying to avoid each ball. All their collaborative works examine their intimate physical collaboration or their relationship to a particular physical environment. ...


[Latv. Nebijušu Sajūtu Restaurēšanas Darbnīca; NSRD]. Latvian association of artists, architects and designers, active from September 1982 until 1989. It introduced video and computer art, new music and hybridized art genres to a conservative public in Latvia towards the end of the Soviet period. Its very name implied preconditions of stricture and privation, and its multidisciplinary methods served to expand critical discourse when Latvian cultural identity and collective political consciousness were undergoing a symbiotic revival, with the restoration of independence as a goal. NSRD founders Juris Boiko (b 1954) and Hardijs Lediņš (b 1955), both self-taught artists, organized Actions that some critics considered to be subtle acts of political dissent. Their Walk to Bolderāja, an annual pilgrimage begun in 1982 to an off-limits Soviet submarine base (representing thwarted access to the West), took place along railroad tracks that recalled the mass deportations of Balts to Siberia during the 1940s, to which Boiko’s parents fell victim. Workshop members included ...


John-Paul Stonard

(b Llanelli, Dyfed, March 24, 1958).

Welsh sculptor and film maker. He completed a foundation course at Dyfed College of Art (1976–7), a BFA at St Martin’s School of Art, London (1977–80), and an MA in Film and Television at the Royal College of Art, London (1981–4). On graduating from the Royal College of Art, he worked as an assistant to Derek Jarman, at the same time making a number of short experimental films. Although he moved to sculpture and installation in the early 1990s, the influence of film remained strong on his work. Movement was central to a wall-hung work made in an edition of three, Inverse, Reverse, Perverse (surface-mirrored acrylic, diam. 1.73 m, 1996; London, Saatchi Gal.), a large concave mirror that variously distorts the viewer’s body. In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni (we go round and round in the night and are consumed by fire) (neon, diam. 1.40 m, ...


Akira Tatehata

(b Tokyo, April 22, 1928).

Japanese sculptor and video artist . He graduated from the law school, Nihon University, in Tokyo in 1951. In the same year he formed Experimental Workshop with the poet Shūzō Takiguchi, and others, and presented a wide range of avant-garde activities, mixing fine art, music and performance. In the series Vitrine (1952) he created two-dimensional works with an optical effect using glass sheets. In the early 1960s he created sculpture from wire-mesh and from stretched cloth. He participated in the New Japanese Painting and Sculpture exhibition at MOMA, New York, in 1965. In the same year he created his first work using light, Relation of C (Tokyo, Met. A. Mus.), and exhibited the light sculpture Bridge on May at the Venice Biennale in 1968. He organized an international exhibition Electro-magica at the Sony Building in Tokyo in 1969 and began to be regarded as a leader in the realm of art and technology. In ...


Reiko Tomii

(b Kobe, Jan 3, 1967).

Japanese photographer and video artist ( see fig. ). She received degrees in crafts (1989) and art (1991) at Kyoto City University of Arts. During her studies, she created installations with accumulative fibre elements. When she photographed them for documentation, she came to recognize the power of photography. In 1993 she presented a performance work The White Casket , at Art Space Niji, Kyoto. Making a complete departure from her fibre works, she began a Photoshop-manipulated photographic series, Elevator Girls, in 1994. The project lasted for the next seven years, and depicted a group of primly uniformed elevator girls, all looking alike and mysteriously assembled in an elevator and other commercial, urban architectural settings. Frozen in passive or inactive postures, they represent the depersonalized, claustrophobic existence of Japanese women (and women in general), who live in an artificial consumer culture and a patriarchal Japanese society.

In 2000...