John Baldessari (b. 1931)
The Meaning of Various News Photos to Ed Henderson (1973)
1973, 15 min, b&w, sound
Writes Baldessari: "For most of us, photography stands for the truth. But a good artist can make a harder truth by manipulating forms. It fascinates me how I can manipulate the truth so easily by the way I juxtapose opposites or crop the image or take it out of context." Here he introduces eight news photos to Ed Henderson — ranging in subject matter from geese at the zoo to an accidental electrocution — and asks him to identify them. Henderson's associative responses suggest the projection of unconscious desires and fears onto these arbitrary images, which are removed from their original contexts. The implied narratives that emerge from the seemingly random juxtapositions and sequences of photographs give rise to questions of manipulation, inference and meaning.
This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.
John Baldessari in UbuWeb Sound