New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsArtist's Showcase



Modern Times

Copyright Date:
1979

Copyright Holder:
Max Almy

Artist:
Almy, Max

Extent:
1 videocassette of 1 (33 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.

Scope:
A single 3/4" tape of the completed work exists. This is scheduled for reformatting.

In the first section of this work, domestic objects are seen, which a woman's voice describes as "nice." "Nice house," "nice woman," "nice living room," "nice table"; she reels off in an endless litany. In the second section, a man leans back against the blue ocean while the same woman describes his qualities. "He's perfect absolutely perfect," she says at first and begins listing his admirable attributes. Gradually, more unpleasant qualities emerge and by the end she is telling us that he is selfish and boring. In the next section, a woman's voice recounts details of a suspected affair. A seemingly one-sided conversation occurs between a troubled woman and her friend. In another section, a woman's voice describes what she is attracted to sexually while a woman's body is viewed on screen. In the final shot we see that this body belongs to the speaker. Against a backdrop of still images of a woman's face, the speaker questions the relationship between actions and results. Lips on four different monitors recite words of love, detailing getting together, breakup, reconciliation, and further breakup. These vignettes serve as a commentary on consumption and contemporary relationships.



Editors:
Levy, Norman
Sachs, Michael

Funder:
National Endowment for the Arts

Performers:
Almy, Max
Minor, Jeanne
Wims, Claudine
Collins, Tim
Barnes, James

Subjects:
Interpersonal relations
Consumption






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