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John-Paul Stonard

[Höllinger, Waltraud]

(b Linz, 1940).

Austrian film maker, video artist, photographer and performance artist. After studies in Linz and Vienna (1955–64) and work as a script girl, film editor and film extra (1965–8), she signalled her decision to follow a career as an artist by changing her name to Valie Export (a combination of the abbreviated form of her forename and a reference to a popular brand of cheap Austrian cigarettes, ‘Austria Export’). The provocative and politically engaged stance she then developed in her work constituted a relentless exploration of feminist issues and a wish for direct social change as a result of her activities as an artist. In one of her best-known earlier works, Genital Panic (1969), originally an impromptu performance in a Munich cinema, she confronted audience members wearing trousers exposing her genitals. This work was later made into a photographic poster depicting the artist wearing the same confrontational apparel, sporting a wild hair-do and holding a gun. Agitational erotic interaction had also featured in a well-known street performance of the same year, ...

Article

Reena Jana

(b Cologne, Germany, 1969).

American mixed-media artist of German birth and Asian descent. Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1990–94) before moving to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995) and an MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (2003). Ezawa is not a photographer, but his work centers around photography; he has used a variety of media, from digital animations to paper collages and aquatint prints, to revisit some of the world’s most familiar, infamous and historically significant news photographs, television broadcasts and motion-picture stills (see The Simpson Verdict). All of Ezawa’s work utilizes the artist’s signature style of flat, simple renderings that are cartoonlike and also suggest the streamlined and colorful style of Pop artist Katz, Alex.

Ezawa’s project, The History of Photography Remix (2004–6), exemplifies his approach to exploring the power of photographs as a mirror of reality and yet also a force that can manipulate memories of events and people. The project consists of images appropriated from art history textbooks, such as American photographer Cindy Sherman’s ...

Article

Michelle Tolini Finamore and Ann Poulson

The emergence of the motion picture film as a popular form of entertainment, together with the distribution networks established by the film industry and the proliferation of purpose-built cinemas in the first few decades of the 20th century, meant that films became an important method of disseminating fashionable trends as well as an important historical source of information about contemporary fashion. As American filmmaking benefitted from the disruption caused to the European film industry by two World Wars, it rose to prominence and, through the corporate consolidation of the industry in Hollywood and the concomitant rise of the ‘studio system’, which resulted in a polished and distinctive film product, it further came to dominate the global market for cinema, making it a primary source for the study of fashion.

Michelle Tolini Finamore

In the incipient years of the film industry, there was no standard source for actors’ clothing. In any given film, clothing was derived from the actor’s own wardrobe, luxury couture salons or the studio wardrobe collections, which were increasingly overseen by professional designers. The silent era saw the film industry evolve from a small-scale form of entertainment for the working class to a more refined product aimed at middle-class audiences. This change marked the beginning of what is now known as Hollywood’s ‘golden age’. This period witnessed profound changes in audience, corporate organization and design philosophy, all of which influenced how fashion was communicated to the public....

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b, Wilhelmshaven, Lower Saxony, 1949).

German painter, sculptor and film maker. After training as a carpenter (1968–72), he studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Berlin (1972–8). In 1977 he was one of a group of painters, including Helmut Middendorf, Bernd Zimmer and Salomé, involved in the foundation of the Galerie am Moritzplatz in West Berlin. This gallery became the centre of a new neo-Expressionist trend, termed ‘Heftige Malerei’ or ‘Die Wilden’, and showed works by artists such as Bernd Koberling, K. H. Hödicke, Sigmar Polke and Markus Lüpertz. It was there that Fetting had his first solo exhibition, Stadtbilder, in 1977. In 1978 he was awarded a DAAD stipend for a residence period in New York. He won the I.G. Metall Kunstpreis in 1989. Fetting’s painting Van Gogh and Wall (dispersion on canvas, 2×2.5 m, 1979; Berlin, Stober priv. col.), showing Van Gogh striding in front of the Berlin Wall, demonstrates his use of an Expressionist style to deal with contemporary concerns on both a thematic and material level. His method of working in between private and public concerns can be seen in his portraits of friends and male nudes. His oeuvre is characterised by a broad approach to subject-matter, often occasioned by travel which stimulated a turn to plein-air painting in the mid-1980s....

Article

(b Gelnhausen, nr Frankfurt am Main, June 22, 1900; d Los Angeles, Jan 31, 1967).

American painter and film maker of German birth. From 1914 to 1920 he had various apprenticeships in architecture, engineering and organ building. In 1920 he began to experiment with film using hand-drawn black-and-white abstract designs. His first four ‘studies’, set to musical recordings, were made between 1921 and 1924 and shown in Munich and Düsseldorf in 1925. These were animated abstract films using wax mouldings and involving a wax-cutting machine that Fischinger specially designed. In 1926 he moved to Berlin, where he remained for the next ten years. By 1927 he was working with Fritz Lang producing science fiction special effects while continuing his own film making. After the creation of sound on film he produced films such as Study No. 7 (1930–31), a three minute black-and-white abstract film set to Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No. 5.

Due to Nazi persecution in Germany, Fischinger decided to leave and to accept a contract with Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA, in ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

Swiss sculptors, photographers, video artists and installation artists. Peter Fischli (b Zurich, 8 June 1952) studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Urbino (1975–6) and the Accademia di Belle Arti, Bologna (1976–7). David Weiss (b Zurich, 21 June 1946) studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Zurich (1963–4), and the Kunstgewerbeschule, Basel (1964–5). Their first collaborative venture was a series of ten colour photographs, Wurstserie (‘sausage series’, 1979; Minneapolis, MN, Walker A. Cent.), depicting small scenes constructed with various types of meat and sausage and everyday objects, with titles such as At the North Pole and The Caveman. Such playful use of common objects became central to their work, an aspect of their disdain for what they term ‘Bedeutungskitsch’ (the kitsch of heavy meaning and overwrought rhetoric). Der Lauf der Dinge (‘The Flow of Things’, 16mm colour film transferred to laser disc, 30 mins, ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Geneva, June 24, 1961).

Swiss sculptor, video artist and installation artist. From the early 1990s the luxury shopping bag formed one of the central motifs of her work. Her choice of such a fetishistic object was prompted by the wider debates of fashion, luxury consumption and gender representation raised by her work. Many of her installations involved the presentation of unaltered found (or, more accurately, ‘bought’) objects within a gallery context, a strategy traceable to the ready-mades of Marcel Duchamp. The dialogues set up refer not only to the world of fashion, but also to the masculine aesthetic of certain ‘modern masters’; Fleury’s strategy involved recasting this aesthetic in the superficial yet seductive materials of contemporary fashion. Composition in the Square with Red Corner (Painting No. 3) (acrylic, synthetic fur, wood, 1×1 m, 1992; courtesy Geneva, Gal. A. & Pub.), is an ambivalent homage to Piet Mondrian, revisiting his painterly format but substituting the primary-coloured sections with synthetic fur. The use of artificial fur to cover surfaces within her multi-media installations throughout the 1990s formed part of an exploration of gender ambivalence, suggesting an increasing intermingling of male and female identities. The confusion of traditional aesthetic categories of ‘hard’ masculine and ‘soft’ feminine can be seen in her evolving work ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Karachi, Pakistan, April 18, 1968).

British film maker, installation artist and conceptual artist of Pakistani birth, active in England. She completed a BFA at Goldsmiths’ College, London, between 1991 and 1994. For her degree show she created Pushed/Pulled (1994; see 1998 exh. cat.), changing the door panels at the entrance to the college’s studios so that they read ‘Pushed’ and ‘Pulled’ rather than ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’. This kind of conceptual slippage is typical of Floyer’s work. In Light (1994; Berne, Ksthalle), a disconnected lightbulb is illuminated by the beams from four slide projectors; the blandly descriptive title, like the work itself, is both truthful and paradoxically misleading, undermining the viewer’s expectations of the object’s functionality. Floyer uses these dislocations to produce situations in which viewers are made to feel very selfconscious about what they should be seeing, often using projections as a means of producing apparent displacements of objects or sounds. In the video ...

Article

Helen Ennis

(b Melbourne, March 19, 1943; d Melbourne, Nov 6, 2009).

Australian photographer, film maker, and video artist. Ford studied photography at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1961 and worked intermittently in the field of commercial photography in Melbourne until 1967. Her daughter Emma was born in 1967 and son Ben in 1968. Ford was a key figure in the development of the art photography movement in Australia and was one of the first women photographers to establish an independent art practice. Her earliest photographs, portraits of her female friends, were not exhibited at the time but were eventually shown at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, in 1982 and published in the book Sixtieth of a Second (1987). Ford’s first solo exhibition, Metamorphoses, was held in Melbourne in 1971 and her first Time series was exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, in 1974. She continued to exhibit regularly at public galleries and art museums in subsequent decades. ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Wooster, OH, March 11, 1936; d Buffalo, NY, March 30, 1984).

American photographer, filmmaker, teacher and theoretician. He attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA (1951–4), and he went on to study at Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) in Cleveland, OH, before moving to New York City in 1958. In his early years in New York, he worked as a photographer, but during the 1960s, he increasingly embraced filmmaking over photography, and he became widely known as a key exemplar of structuralist film for his experiments in non-narrative filmmaking. Beginning in the late 1960s, he taught film, photography and design at Hunter College (1969–73) and in the Center for Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo (1973–84). He also taught film history at Cooper Union (1970–73) and the School of Visual Arts (1970–71). He died in 1984 from lung cancer after a short illness....

Article

Donna Stein

(b New York, May 29, 1940; d New York, Nov 21, 1998).

American multimedia artist, video artist, teacher and writer. She studied painting at Cornell University (BA 1961) and New York University (MA 1967). She married architect James Ingo Freed in 1967. By the late 1960s she possessed a Portapak, one of the earliest Sony portable video recorders, and was among the first generation of artists to create and define video art. At first, she used video to produce a series of artist portraits, interviewing James Rosenquist, Lee Krasner, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Morris, Roy Lichtenstein, and Joyce Kozloff, among others. Later she investigated personal, social and political issues relating to gender and sexuality. In 1972, her work was featured in the groundbreaking exhibition Circuit: A Video Invitational curated by David Ross at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY.

Her best-known videotape, Art Herstory (22 minutes long and in color), was made in 1974 while she was an artist-in-residence at the Television Lab at the media company WNET. Brilliantly witty and feminist, Freed inserted herself into famous paintings from the 12th to the 20th century by artists such as Raphael, Chardin, Ingres, Manet and van Gogh. She critiqued male-dominated Western art history by portraying a contemporary woman at odds with her depiction in the past....

Article

Donna Stein

(b Essen, June 23, 1930; d New York, Dec 15, 2005).

American architect, educator and critic of German birth. He married writer, multimedia and video artist Hermine Freed in 1967. In 1939 Freed and his 4-year-old sister escaped Nazi Germany via France and Switzerland with an American uncle. In Chicago he was placed in the care of another uncle until his parents immigrated. Freed attended classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, decided to become an architect and enrolled at the Illinois Institute of Technology (BArch 1953). There he learned the tectonics of architecture and was influenced by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

After one year working in New York with Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson on the Seagram Building, I(eoh) M(ing) Pei hired him in 1956. Freed’s earliest projects for the Pei office were award-winning high-rise residential and office buildings (Kips Bay Plaza housing complex, 1963; University Plaza towers, 1967; 88 Pine Street, 1973...

Article

Britta Erickson

(b Beijing, Oct 7, 1971).

Chinese photographer, video artist and film maker . He studied in the oil painting department of the China Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou from 1991 until graduation in 1995. In 1993, for his performance piece Elsewhere, he did not speak for three months. Returning to live in Beijing (1995–7), he studied film for two weeks at the Beijing Film School (1996), and wrote his first film script for An Estranged Paradise (filmed 1997; completed 2002). In 1998 he moved to Shanghai, and began participating in exhibitions in 1999.

The mises-en-scène and careful compositions of Yang’s photographs exhibit the influence of his rigorous education as an oil painter. Lighting and colour—or the lack thereof—contribute significantly to the tenor of each work. Yang’s ability to control the framing, not just of photographic images but also of moving images, in his videos and films sets him apart from other Chinese video artists....

Article

Michelle Yun

(b Manila, 1954).

Filipino filmmaker and photographer, active in the USA. Fuentes received a BA in Anthropology and Behavioral Science in 1974 from the De La Salle University in Manila. The following year he traveled to the United States to study at the Wharton School of Business, Philadelphia, PA, receiving an MBA in 1977. In 1981, he moved to Washington, DC to study Photography at the Corcoran School of Art under Mark Power. Fuentes subsequently received a Presidential Fellowship in 1991 from Temple University to pursue a MFA in Film and Video.

Fuentes began his artistic practice as a photographer and is best known in this medium for two series, Circle of Fear (1981–91) and Face Fusion (1986–9). These two bodies of work initially sprang from the artist’s feeling of disconnection towards both his Filipino roots and his adopted home in America. The Circle of Fear works incorporate a syncretic mix of Filipino folk culture with Western iconography to create fetishistic still lifes with a Post-modern gothic sensibility. ...

Article

Amanda du Preez

Term used to indicate the complex visual matrix incorporating the one who looks as well as the one who is looked at. This means the one who imposes the gaze and the one who is the object of the gaze are both implicated in the construction of the gaze. The concept was addressed initially by Sigmund Freud’s concept of scopophilia (‘pleasure in looking’ or voyeurism) and later in Jacques Lacan’s formulation of the mirror stage and its role in identity formation. Lacan formulated the complex role of the gaze in constructing the relation between interior self and exterior world as two kinds of subjects—not only as a powerful subject gazing at the world but also as a lacking, objectified subject encountering the gaze outside himself. For the most part the link between the gaze and power is entrenched in theories on the gaze, since the directed gaze of the powerful subject has the ability to subjugate and even petrify its objects as exemplified in the terrifying gaze of Medusa in Greek mythology. The construction of the gaze happens within an asymmetry of power. In recent times, the gaze has become a trope within visual culture for the critical analysis of several entwined ideas concerning class, race, ethnography, sex, gender, religion, embodiment, ideology, power, and visuality. In this article the powerful directed gaze is analysed through the categories of the clinical gaze, colonial gaze, touristic gaze, and the male gaze. Finally, theorizing possibilities of going beyond the gaze are considered....

Article

Russell Gullette

(b Johannesburg, May 1968).

South African installation, performance, and video artist and photographer. Geers is part of a generation of African artists who emerged during the global expansion of the art world in the 1990s. Born into a white working-class family, he studied fine arts at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg from 1985 to 1987. Geers was exiled for refusing to serve in the South African Defence Force in 1989. With the threat of imprisonment removed after the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners in 1990 he returned to Johannesburg. Then in 2000 he moved to Brussels.

Geers has described his artistic position as a TerroRealist. His work features everyday, vernacular materials such as beer bottles, razor wire, pornography, neon signs, and expletives such as ‘shit’ and ‘fuck’. He employed these materials as a means to challenge various manifestations of power, whether state terror, working-class oppression, history, or, at his most poetic, language....

Article

Canadian partnership of conceptual artists working as performance artists, video artists, photographers and sculptors. It was formed in 1968 by A. A. Bronson [pseud. of Michael Tims] (b Vancouver, 1946), Felix Partz [pseud. of Ron Gabe] (b Winnipeg, 1945) and Jorge Zontal [pseud. of Jorge Saia] (b Parma, Italy, 1944; d Feb 1994). Influenced by semiotics and working in various media, they sought to examine and subvert social structures, taking particular interest in the products of mass culture. Their existence as a group, each with an assumed name, itself undermined the traditional notion of the solitary artist of genius. In 1972 they began publishing a quarterly journal, File, to publicize their current interests and work. In the 1970s they concentrated on beauty parades, starting in 1970 with the 1970 Miss General Idea Pageant, a performance at the Festival of Underground Theatre in Toronto that mocked the clichés surrounding the beauty parade, resulting in the nomination of Miss General Idea ...

Article

Elaine O’Brien

(b Bad Oldesloe, Nov 27, 1948).

German sculptor, photographer, film maker, video artist and collagist. Genzken attended the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg between 1969 and 1971, the Universität der Künste in Berlin from 1971 to 1973, the Universität zu Köln between 1973 and 1975, and from 1973 to 1977 she studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf as a student of Gerhard Richter, to whom she was married from 1982 to 1995. Genzken was part of the post-war generation of West German artists, including Blinky Palermo and Sigmar Polke, who identified with American internationalism.

A trip to New York in 1977 marked the beginning of a long fascination with the city and Genzken’s signature architectonic oeuvre. Noted for its exceptional range of materials, methods and formal vocabulary, the coherence of Genzken’s production—both in individual artworks and the sequence of series—is largely found in the sustained dialogical tension that links the Minimalist rationalism of New York skyscrapers with the anti-rationalist carnival of real life as lived in the cosmopolitan city. Her first series of sculptures (...

Article

Paolo Costantini

(b Sarzano di Rovigo, Oct 12, 1942).

Italian photographer. He studied at Rovigo and Venice. Originally an experimental painter and printmaker, from 1968 he began to carry out research into photographic, film and video techniques. He was especially interested in combining new creative techniques with older ones and in re-examining, from this point of view, the history of photography. From 1969 he worked with the pinhole technique, which he combined, from 1977, with Polaroid materials on special supports (drawing paper, silk, wood), and from 1978 he also used the Cibachrome process. His images are largely self-referential interpretations of basic technical principles and examinations of basic photographic language.

Gioli, Paolo Spiracolografie, preface A. Gilardi (Milan, 1980) P. Dragone: ‘Paolo Gioli: Imagery di un immaginatore di immagini’, Diaframma/Fotografia italiana, 232 (Dec 1977) Paolo Gioli: Hommage à Niépce (exh. cat. by P. Jay, M. Chomette and J. F. Chevrier, Chalon-sur-Saône, Mus. Nicéphore Niépce, 1983) Paolo Gioli: Gran positivo nel crudele spazio stenopeico...

Article

Charles Green

(b Sydney, Dec 13, 1972).

Australian photographer and video artist. Gladwell graduated in 1996 from the Sydney College of the Arts with a BFA and then from the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW, with an MFA in 2001. He then studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London, between 2001–2. Gladwell’s rise to acclaim was immediate, accelerated by the art market boom that lasted until the financial crash of 2008 and the proliferation of biennales around the globe, in many of which Gladwell participated (Venice Biennales, 2007 and 2009). With extraordinarily gorgeous, slow-motion cinematography but, importantly, a minimum of post-production digital manipulation, Gladwell’s early works consistently portrayed understated, seemingly casual feats of physical coordination, grace and physical endurance by young skateboarders, break-dancers (see fig.), capoeira practitioners or BMX cyclists. In his iconic early work, Storm Sequence (2000), the artist twisted and pirouetted in balletic slow motion on his skateboard in the face of an approaching storm as ocean waves crashed against the Bondi Beach foreshore upon which he was poised. In ...