For this assignment, I was told to watch a list of videos and write about three of them that I was interested in, liked, or were influenced by. I have posted the three video links below and my thought about them.
“Semiotics of the Kitchen” by Martha Rosler:
I thought that the “Semiotics of the Kitchen” by Martha Rosler was really interesting. I love how she was just using items that women use “all the time” in the kitchen. Her message was to show what women go through and which tools and utensils they used for a job everyone assumed they did. This job of theirs became the social norm for women during the 1960’s, and Rosler decided to take a stand with her performance.
While watching her performance, I saw that she would say the title of the kitchen item, and then she proceeded to use it in an aggressive way, which was very intriguing to me. It was like she was using it as any woman would use the item and the aggression was what she felt (or any other woman this standard applied to) on the inside while doing the task. The one that stuck out to me the most were the items that were sharp and the ones that were used to scoop things up. With the sharp items, she would pretend to be stabbing something and did this in an aggressive manner. For the scooping items, she would pretend to scoop something and then roughly toss it behind her, as if she was throwing it at someone.
When her performance got to the part where she was shouting “U”, “V”, “W”, “X”, and “Y”, I was very confused at first, but then the idea hit me and I had to rewatch to see that the whole thing was in alphabetical order. Overall, I was most attracted to how Rosler’s performance was her opinion about a controversial topic at the time and how aggressive she was during it.
“Three Transitions” by Peter Campus:
First off, I think “Three Transitions” by Peter Campus had an interesting title and interesting way of being performed. There were three different performances and each has its own unique way of creating a “transition.” I am not exactly sure of the details of how each one was performed but I have my assumptions. I believe the first one was performed with two cameras, with one on each side of a big screen. He cut through the screen and walked through it, and then he put the two videos on top of each other while lowering the opacity of the footage. For the second one, I assumed he had a green screen effect one when he was recorded and put green paint on his face to make it disappear. For his final one, I assumed he used a green screen effect again and burned a green piece of paper while having two cameras recording him. All of these are just my ideas on how Campus created his performances, but I could be entirely incorrect.
I know that all of Campus’s performances were done live with all of the special effects included. This method of creating his videos is so unique and required a high level of skill to be able to do it. I was attracted to the illusions that he created while performing and how he was seeing himself do it. He reacted to what he saw and did his best to make the transitions run as smoothly as possible. I’m still not sure how he was able to record with the effect or how he put them together, but overall, Campus’s performance was both successful and interesting.
“No Sunshine” by Bjorn Melhus
Was this one of the weirdest videos I have ever seen? Probably. Writing words for what Bjorn Melhus’s “No Sunshine” is about is very difficult because I did not understand what was going on. One could simply just ask, “why?” Why did Bjorn Melhus do this and what point was it to do this? I’m sure Melhus had an answer to that question, but even then, I still might not understand what is happening. The video overall is just something you would never see normally in your life but there is just something about it that makes it interesting.
The randomness and weirdness of the video performance is both uncomforting and also intriguing at the same time. Like to be able to do this, you would have to be skilled and have enough time and effort.
The thing I am most attracted to in this performance is how random it is and how it was hard to not watch it because it draws you in. I felt disturbed but I could not look away and stop watching Melhus’s performance. Of course, it made me question how my life came to this point but that did not take away from the actual performance. I know that I am a strange person, so I think being able to see how far other artists have gone shows me the potential that any work of art can have. I know some people would probably question if this should even be considered art, but art is everywhere and usually is made to be art.