Yonemotos' 80s Videos

Thursday, March 29, 2012, 8:30 pm
Judson Memorial Church

55 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012


Bruce + Norman Yonemoto, Blinky (with Jeffrey Vallance), Video, 15 min., 1988
Kappa, Video, 26 min., 1986
Vault, Video, 12 min., 1984
Garage Sale II, Video, 30 min., 1980

Dirty Looks presents an evening of early video by Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, brothers who have worked in collaboration on a body of work since 1976. In their acclaimed 1980s video work, the Yonemotos deconstruct and rewrite the hyperbolic vernacular with which the mass media constructs cultural mythologies. Ironically employing pop narrative forms like soap opera, Hollywood melodrama, and TV advertising, the Yonemotos work from "the inside out" to expose pervasive media manipulation of contemporary reality and fantasy, individual and collective identity.

Blinky, made in collaboration with artist Jeffrey Vallance, documents the purchase of a frozen chicken, which Vallance names Blinky, from a supermarket and its burial in a pet cemetery, paying tribute to the billions of hens sacrificed each year for our consumption.

Kappa, which stars the great Mike Kelley as the name sake creature, deconstructs the Oedipus myth within the framework of an ancient Shinto folk story about the Kappa, a malevolent water imp. Quoting from Bunuel, Freud, pop media and art, Kappa juxtaposes the Oedipal and Kappa myths in a delirious cross cultural collusion of form and content. Former Warhol Factory star and cult actress Mary Woronov plays Jocasta as a B movie vamp.

A tour-de-force of stylized deconstruction, Vault soap opera editing and normative film forms to decode the Freudian symbology and manipulative tactics that underlie media representations of romance.

Garage Sale II centers on the search for something good to watch on TV, but finds that fetishes may get in the way of programming. Focusing on a sexually dysfunctional punk couple, the film features performances by artists Tony Oursler and Mike Kelley.

The event will also feature a complimentary publication featuring writings and original artwork.

Images copyright of the artist, courtesy of Video Data Bank