Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
1 videocassette of 1 (28 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
Originally created with the support of the Walker Arts Center, "City Archives" was broadcast as an episode of the WNET Television Laboratory's series Video/Film Review, ca. 1979. At WGBH, it was broadcast as part of "Artist's Showcase."
A 3/4" tape, which appears to be at least a second generation copy and shows signs of deterioration, is the only "master" of this work.
"City Archives" was written and directed by Richard Foreman, founder and director of the Ontological Hysteric Theater. He serves as the narrator for this work, discussing the power of "the foreign" and images, talking directly into a microphone in a purposely stilted manner and addressing questions to the viewer. A sort of classroom overpopulated by adults sets the stage for the work. Phrases are written and erased on a blackboard, and women gaze out a window, physically supporting planks of wood. The cast gathers around the makeshift bedside of a woman and wanders through what appears to be a library. The performers appear in a small garden and at a movie theater, speaking only to occasionally echo Foreman's remarks and with elaborately choreographed movements and stillnesses. Foreman's text questions strategies for documenting experience, the notion of place and a city, and the process of writing.
Minnesota Public Programming Corporation
Zappia, Marco (Videotape Editor)
Western, T. J.
Ontological Hysteric Theater
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