My 2004 Video Art Top Ten Seven

melee_high_life.jpgI first compiled this list for the NY Times, who, after clearing up (mis)communication from some over-eager assistants, didn't ask for it after all. I am publishing it here, as is. The works in the order I wrote them, nothing else. In my mind, they're all winners:

  • Pierre Huyghe, Huyghe & Corbusier: Harvard Project - The story of the creation of Corbusier's only US building, told in puppet opera.
  • Christian Jankowski, What Remains - Jankowski interviews aspiring actors at Cinecitta about their ideal roles, then casts and directs them in their dream scenes.
  • Robert Melee, High Life [image above]- A nearly nude woman in clown-like makeup--the artist's mother, it turns out--runs along the side of a dark New Jersey highway, then desperately attempts to guzzle a forty of her favorite beer, Miller High Life. It's as if Bruce Nauman remade Mommie Dearest.
  • Jonah Freeman, The Franklin Abraham - An endlessly gliding camera offers glimpses into the lives of residents in an imaginary yet familiar centuries-old, 1.5-mile long building. A hipper Russian Ark, with Sokurov's Hermitage replaced by the Pentagon, an Airport Marriott, and P.S.1.
  • Inventory, Sleepwalkers - In an attempt to understand the two countries' 'special relationship,' the London art collective visits a Nottinghamshire Americana festival, where Brits show off their motor homes and customized trucks.
  • Eve Sussman, 89 Seconds at Alc·zar - A gorgeously realized costume drama which happens to culminate fleetingly in the scene "captured" by Velasquez in Las Meninas. I've been a fan of Eve's work since she first projected images from hidden pigeon nestcams on the wall; it's good to see her get some recognition.
  • Scott Sforza et al, George W. Bush Biopic - Maybe not art, but an undeniably brilliant piece of Evil Hollywood appropriation. The video intro to George W. Bush's speech at the Republican National Convention took its visual style from the 2002 documentary, The Kid Stays In The Picture, starring producer Robert Evans, the legendary louche who never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  • Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

    Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

    comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
    greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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    first published: December 23, 2004.

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