New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsArtist's Showcase

Video clip of Art Talker

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Art Talker

Extent:
1 videoreel of 1 (ca. 30 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) (ca. 30 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) (ca. 30 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 1/2 in.

Copyright Date:
1980?

Copyright Holder:
Copyright status is unidentified.

Artist:
Connor, Russell

Background:
It is unclear whether this work was originally created with WGBH or WNET, since the work itself is uncredited. It appears to have been broadcast at some point by WNET as well as having been shown on "Artist's Showcase."

Scope:
Includes the 2" master of the complete work, a Betacam SP preservation master, and a VHS screening copy.

In this commentary on biography, autobiography, and television, Russell Connor uses the medium of video to comment on his own work. Russell Connor was the host of a WGBH and Boston Museum of Fine Arts show in the early 1960's entitled "Museum Open House." In "Art Talker," Connor's image is superimposed over an episode of the show from 1963 -- a spot on the painter James McNeill Whistler. The "contemporary" Connor critiques and observes his younger self. He deconstructs the mystique of television, pointing out that rather than reciting biographical information about Whistler from memory, his younger self is actually reading off cue cards. "It's almost poignant," Connor tells us at one point, as he responds to his earlier image, "But he was a ham." Autobiography and biography merge, as Connors simultaneously relays details of Whistler's life and of his own (referring to himself in the third person). Little credit information is provided.



Subjects:
Television
Autobiography
Biography

Whistler, James McNeill


Genre:
Educational/cultural works





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