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Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in the UK.

Born 1958, in Georgetown, Guyana.

Video artist, film maker, photographer, journalist, broadcaster. Scratch videos.

George Barber has a BA from St Martin’s School of Art in London (1980) and an MA from the Slade School of Art in London (...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1966, in Lille.

Installation artist, photographer, video artist, film producer, writer, musician.

Stéphane Bérard lives and works in Haute-Provence. Both poet and sculptor, he casts a quizzical and ironic eye on the flotsam of everyday life. His inventions include the ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1950, in Brook Alexander, New York.

Installation artist, video artist, poet.

David Bunn graduated with a master's degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and has received several awards and fellowships including two National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships, the City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship and the Ethel Fortner Award for creative writing....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 27 September 1965, in Billings (Montana).

Installation artist, performance artist, video artist, writer. Multimedia.

Andrea Fraser studied at the School for Visual Arts (1982(1983) and at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, New York (...

Article

Catherine M. Grant and Margaret Rose Vendryes

(b Cleveland, OH, 1959).

American printmaker, film maker, installation and conceptual artist and writer.

Green, of African descent, has worked primarily with film-based media, and has published criticism and designed installations that reveal her commitment to ongoing feminist and black empowerment movements. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University in 1981 and also spent some time at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1980, returning in the late 1980s to study in the Whitney Independent Study Program, graduating in 1990. At the age of 24 she began exhibiting her comparative compositions containing found objects, images, and texts that question recorded history.

Green’s work deals with issues of anthropology and travel. By undertaking projects via the methodology of the 19th-century explorer, she exposed the arbitrary and prejudiced nature of classification, as in Bequest (1991; see 1993 exh. cat.), an installation she made at the invitation of the Worcester Museum of Art to commemorate their 50th anniversary. Using the museum as a ready-made stage set, she installed works of art alongside 19th-century texts explaining stereotypes of whiteness and blackness. Green characteristically intervened in the history of her chosen site to produce a fiction that included her own responses as an African American woman to her findings. In ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Newport, Wales, April 5, 1942).

British film maker, painter, writer, draughtsman, curator and installation artist. He was brought up in Walthamstow, London, studying design at Walthamstow School of Art between 1960 and 1964. After he left college he decided that he would go into the film industry and worked as a film journalist and an editing assistant before getting a job at the Crown Film Unit in 1965. He spent the next 11 years as an editor at the unit making short public information films. He continued to paint, with an increasing preoccupation being the classification and numbering of objects and events, as in Computer Vocabulary (1968; see 1998 exh. cat., pl. 12). In the mid-1960s he began to make short experimental films that often incorporated these ideas, as in A Walk Through H (1978) that includes shots of his paintings used as maps and landscapes. In the 1980s he gained a large new audience with his feature films, which continued to use painterly tableaux and intricate classification, as in ...

Article

Native American (Haudenosaunee/Cattaraugaus, Huron clan), 20th century, male.

Born in 1945, in New York.

Painter, mixed-media artist (acrylics, video/film), paper-maker, curator.

Peter Jemison received his BA in art education from Buffalo State College. His artwork combines contemporary art practices with traditional Native American themes, such as in the Haudenosaunee notion of ...

Article

Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander

(Jennifer )

(b Barre, VT, Feb 15, 1974).

Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander

American film maker, artist, and writer.

She attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, but left after her second year and never returned to school. She has had no formal artistic training. After leaving Santa Cruz, she moved to Portland, OR, where she began exploring performance art and film-making. One of her earliest projects, Joanie4Jackie (1995), demonstrates July’s early and continued interest in collaborative artistic practice. In this work July circulated pamphlets where she invited women to send her short films on VHS tapes, and in return, she would send them films made by other women. The project acted as an arena for free film distribution to create a conversation among and women film makers. Though she has worked in a wide array of media, much of her work explores similar subjects such as human relationships, intimacy, and mortality. Her online project, Learning to Love You More...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1945, in Wasco (California), United States.

Installation, video, performance, public art, photography, publishing.

Suzanne Lacy is a Los Angeles–based artist whose work addresses topics such as rape, violence, aging, poverty, racism, and issues of gender and youth culture. She focuses on social practise, creating installations, videos, and unconventional performances that often include collaborations with other artists and members of local communities. Lacy’s larger actions include media-outreach programmes and public-policy debates, effectively blurring the line between art and activism. Lacy is the chair of the Public Practices program at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She is also the cofounder of the Women’s Building, a centre of study and activism for women artists that developed from the Feminist Studio Workshop established by Judy Chicago, Arlene Raven, and Sheila Lavrant de Bretteville in ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1969, in Paris.

Installation artist, collage artist, photographer, video artist, film producer, writer.

Valérie Mréjen graduated from the École Nationale d'Arts in Cergy-Pontoise. She lives and works in Paris. Working with various art forms, the subject matter of her films, books and photographs is relationships between individuals, which are often characterised by uncertainty, and the difficulties of verbalising and specifying one´s desires. Her work focuses on the social arena and the language that underpins relationships....

Article

Susan Kart

(b Umlazi, Durban, July 19, 1972). South African photographer and video and installation artist. Muholi has identified as a black Zulu lesbian and her artworks engage with her own identity at the same time as they seek to integrate LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) identities into mainstream acceptance in South Africa and elsewhere. Muholi is part of a generation of African artists for whom photography remains a powerful tool for socio-political commentary in the post-colonial and post-apartheid era. In ...

Article

Bernice Murphy

(b Sydney, July 19, 1945).

Australian conceptual and performance artist, film maker and writer. He began writing poetry as a student at Queensland University (1965–6). Although he attended the National Art School at Darlinghurst, Sydney (1968), he was largely self-taught as an artist. He first became known for his conceptual works, filmed actions and performances and typescript pieces in 1971–2, when he ran Inhibodress, an alternative art space in Sydney, with artist Peter Kennedy (b 1945). In 1972 he travelled abroad for the first time for about a year, making Vienna his base (as he did again in 1977–8). In 1973 he carried out performances in Lausanne and Neuchâtel, Switzerland. These works (and the associated filmed record) were collectively entitled Performances, Actions, Video Systems and developed out of previous Sydney works: Word Situations (1971) and Idea Demonstrations (1971–2).

On returning to Australia Parr incorporated recent filmed records of performances into much larger, autobiographical film projects that occupied most of his artistic energy for ten years, producing three substantial, experimental films: ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 2 February 1964, in Boston.

Filmmaker, video artist, installation artist, journalist.

Laura Poitras is an artist, filmmaker, and journalist who places current events at the centre of her artistic practices. She is best known for her Academy Award–winning documentary, Citizenfour, the third film in her post-9/11 series. Poitras has received the George Polk Award, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Peabody Award, and the Nannan Prize for Press Freedom, among many other awards.

Poitras’s work exposes information to the average American by granting access to material that was formerly confidential or not shown in Western media outlets. Her films focus on her reporting as in one of her best known works, Citizenfour (2014), where she exposed the National Security Agency’s data collection and surveillance activities using information leaked by former CIA employee Edward Snowden. Poitras travelled to Hong Kong for an interview with Snowden in which he gave her classified documents with proof of the NSA’s actions....

Article

Swiss, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in Zurich.

Born 21 June 1962, in Rheintal.

Sculptor, video installation artist, video artist, director, musician, poet. Artists' books.

Pipilotti Rist studied at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, then trained in audiovisual techniques at the school of design in Basel. She won the Premio ...

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in Italy.

Born 18 November 1955, in Baden-Baden.

Painter, draughtswoman, engraver, environmental artist, video installation artist, photographer, writer.

Alicia Schmidt-Hungerer studied sculpture and art education at the Kunsthochschule in Münster and Berlin from 1973 to 1979. She taught at the university of Giessen ...

Article

South African, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 5 February 1958, in Pretoria.

Printmaker, sculptor, watercolourist, curator.

Joachim Schönfeldt spent his childhood in Windhoek, Namibia, and graduated with a fine arts degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in 1980. He began his career as a researcher into old African art and curios and spent time during the 1980s as a curator of the Meneghelli Holdings. His work in the field of African curios was seminal to the development of his art, which explores the idea of casting mythical realities on African value systems, involving found objects, multiple-headed animals, and peri-urban local landscapes drawn from photographs of his childhood holidays....

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b San Francisco, CA, May 14, 1962).

American video artist, film maker, installation artist and writer. She studied Art History at New York University, graduating with a BA in 1984. She then studied for an MFA at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, graduating in 1990. In 1989 she began to make indices as a way of restructuring and re-presenting narratives, with the private view cards for most of her shows consisting of an index of the content of the exhibition. In one of her first major video installations, Oo Fifi, Five Days in Claude Monet’s Garden (1992; see 1996 exh. cat.), she played with the three colours of video, disrupting the imagery of the flowers that covered the walls of the exhibition space by splitting the image and fitting it back together to reveal its structure. Throughout the 1990s, Thater made installations that challenged assumptions about what is natural, with her subject-matter often featuring domesticated animals performing tricks, as in the large-scale work ...

Article

Native American (Muscogee Creek/Seminole and Diné/Navajo), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1954, in Phoenix.

Photographer, filmmaker. Video, collage.

Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie is a member of the Bear and Raccoon Clans of the Seminole and Muscogee Nations, as passed down from her mother. Her Diné/Navajo father, Andrew Van Tsinajinnie (b. ...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....