Barbara Rosenthal – video program

05/02/2019 - 05/02/2019


dinA - Nieuwbrug 3 Rue du Pont Neuf, 1000 Brussels

Tuesday 5 February 2019 – 18:30 (doors) – 19:00 (screening) curated by Alexandra Dementieva

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[EN] Alexandra Dementieva and nadine invite you for an evening of video screenings by Barbara Rosenthal on Tuesday 5 February at 19:00 (doors open at 18:30).
A selection of 15 analog and digital videos from 1976 to 2019 will be screened for 51 minutes, followed by a discussion with the author.

Raconteur and Video
 with “Old Master of New Media”, by Barbara Rosenthal

A native New Yorker, Barbara Rosenthal is a prolific, idiosyncratic, Media and Performance artist. Her major books are Clues to Myself, Sensations, Homo Futurus, Soul & Psyche and the new novel Wish for Amnesia. She has made 130 video shorts since 1976, often combining photography, text, philosophy and performance. Her existential work explores the intersection of the individual, the greater agragate, and the concept of communication. A pioneer in intermedia, she has been referred to “Media Poet” by The Village Voice and elsewhere since the 1980s. At her 2016 performance at Waterloo Action Center, London, she was introduced as an “Old Master of New Media”. Her bookworks are part of the collections of MoMA, The Whitney, Tate, and Artpool Budapest. The last time she presented a video show in Brussels was at the Brussels Super-8 Film Festival in 1990.
The curator for this event is the Brussels-based artist, Alexandra Dementieva.


BOGGLE, 1990. Always expect the unexpected when you read a newspaper, or put together some letters to form words. Premiered at Berlin Lettrétage Feb 2010. (1min 4sec)

SHADOW BOX, 1986. What is a movie? The ultimate entre-acte comes to a theater near you. One of Rosenthal’s deceptively simple pieces, this was one of her shorts that received big applause at the Boddinale Film Festival in Berlin, Feb. 2013. Originally shot in Super-8 film (1986), then transferred to VHS in 1992, premiered in “Old and New Masters of Super-8” at Anthology Film Archives, 1996. Featuring Ola Creston (age 7) and Sena Clara Creston (age 4). Synthesizer percussion by Ola Creston. Originally shot in Super-8 film. (46sec.)

WORDS COME OUT BACKWARDS WHEN SPOKEN, 2003. Composited photo and text animation created via a realization Rosenthal had in the middle of one night: “Last night I was up talking to myself, when the words appeared visimagically before my lips, and kept coming out. If you were on my right and saw them also, they’d be backwards coming forwards as they were.” Premiered at the Nihilist Film Festival, LA/Santa Monica, CA, Dec. 8, 2004. (1min 25sec 18fr) Version TWO: Premiere tonight, Feb. 5, 2019, Brussels.

AMERICAN DENOMINATIONS, 1991-2009. Extensively revised 2009. Religion or money? (1min 10sec)

NEWS TO FIT THE FAMILY, 1988. With Bill Creston, Ola Creston and Sena Clara Creston. There are several ways that various news sources fit the individuals in this artist’s family, and visa versa. As in many of her videos, a single observation in her Journal from real life sparks rich insights yeilding zany visual and performative results. Premiered at Nexus Multiples, Atlanta, GA, 1990. (2min 27sec 1fr)

WORLD VIEW, 1990. An animated drawing and text video illustrating the philosopher John Redford’s model. Premiered Pickled Art Center, Beijing, June 2006. (3min 22sec 11fr)

POSTCARDS, 1992. An exchange of three curious “video-postcards.” Two from NYC, one from Florida. What is the writer’s relationship to “Friends”? Does she mean us? Premiered at Berlin Lettrétage Feb 2010. (1min 54sec)

WORLD VIEW, 1990. An animated drawing and text video illustrating the philosopher John Redford’s model. Premiered Pickled Art Center, Beijing, June 2006. (3min 22sec)

HOT AND COLD SHAKEUP, 2010. Seemingly simple and straightforward, as is characteristic of all Rosenthal’s work, this video was actually fabricated using one trick of videography, and one fakery of physics. Also characteristic of this life/art creator, is that puns and idioms appear, and that her inspiration sparks from real experience. The idea for this piece came in a flash while thinking about a love affair. So you get the idea, alternate titles included the following: I’m So Stuck On You I’m Not Normal; He’s No Great Shakes But He Gets Me Off; I’m No Great Shakes But I Get Him Off; No Great Shakes But We Get Off; Can’t Shake Him When He’s Hot, Can’t Shake Him When He’s Cold; Can’t Shake Him When I’m Hot, Can’t Shake Him When I’m Cold. (2min 36sec 9fr)

NONSENSE CONVERSATION, 1988. With Ola Creston, age 9. Improvisation with brilliant child actress.

DOG RECOGNITION, 2000. (Eng, Russian, German, Chinese, Latvian, Finnish, Flemish, French) Animation: line drawings. A small dog meets other dogs and animals. Somehow he knows who is like him and who is not, and how to classify those others. (1min 16sec 2fr)

HOW MUCH DOES THE MONKEY COUNT, 1988. Both Rosenthal and The Monkey vie for the honor of counting the most, but each must count on each other. And the video asks how much our ancestries have made us what we are, individually and collectively. Ventriloquism performance by Rosenthal was reprised live at The Living Theatre, NYC 1991 and CBGBs, NYC 1992, where her caricature with The Monkey was drawn by the artist Bokov. (4min 24sec 19fr)

MANDATES FOR ART, 1989. Barbara Rosenthal extemporaneously listing her philosophical, visual, and production mandates during a panel discussion at the Charles Plohn Gallery of Contemporary Art, Fairfield CT, USA, hosted by critic Ellen Handy. (4min 18sec 19fr)

IDENTITY THEFT MASKS MORPH, 2013. As one ages, does their core identity change? Is a young “Barbara Rosenthal” stolen by an older one, to be subsumed? Or what? In this video, portraits and still-frames of Rosenthal at important junctures in her life morph disturbingly, yet amusingly. Premiered in 2013 as part of her live performance at Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, NY. Harmonica audiotrack by Mike Markham.

PUSH ME, 2010. Over Rosenthal’s stationary nude torso, single words scroll upwards in vertical columns at increasing speed, as she recites them in voice-over. A powerful experimental short about what people do to each other. Premiered Oct 2010 when Barbara Rosenthal represented the U.S. in Performance Art and Text-Based Art at Tina B: Prague Contemporary Art Festival. (7min)

TOIL OF THREE CITIES / LIEBESMüH, 2012. Possibly Rosenthal’s “magnum opus video,” an absurdist piece, in a narrative form rare for this artist, is an experimental documentary- performance-photo based work shot in New York, London and Berlin. It is a tongue-in-cheek fable that tells the tale of an artist struck by the exertion of ordinary workmen. She seeks meaning in her own life by searching for the reasons behind their seeming enjoyment of “backbreaking work for the pleasure of others.” By the end, a construction worker’s words of wisdom provide a surprising insight that can only exist in Rosenthal’s absurdist universe, which, of course, tells much about our own. Includes evocative, powerful original jazz and experimental music by Charlie Morrow, Brandstifter, Matthew Lee Knowles and DJ RoBeat, additional text, video, audio and performance by DJ RoBeat, Super-8 footage by Bill Creston, images from Rosenthal’s extensive library, and hundreds of her Surreal Photos. Premiered at Directors Lounge Internat’l Film Festival, Berlin, Feb. 2012. Featured at Chain Film Festival, NYC 2015 and New Media Film Festival, LA 2016. (15min 23sec 7fr)

[NL]Video programma

Alexandra Dementieva nodigde de New Yorkse Barbara Rosenthal voor een video screening in dinA. Ze maakte een selectie van 15 analoge and digitale videos van 1976 tot 2019 waarna een discussie volgde met de kunstenaar.

Barbara Rosenthal is een eigenzinnige, media- en performance-artiest. Sinds 1976 creëerde ze 130 video’s, waarin ze fotografie, tekst, filosofie en performance combineert. Haar existentiële werk verkent het kruispunt van het individu, en het concept van communicatie

[FR] Alexandra Dementieva et nadine vous invitent à une soirée de projection de Barbara Rosenthal le mardi 5 février à 19h (ouverture des portes 18h30). Une sélection de 15 vidéos, argentiques et numériques, de 1976 à 2019, d’une durée de 51 minutes, sera suivie d’une discussion avec l’auteure.