Lynda Benglis (b. 1941)
Female Sensibility (1974)
Two women, faces framed in tight focus, kiss and caress. Their interaction is silent, muted by Benglis' superimposition of a noisy, distracting soundtrack of appropriated AM radio: bawdy wisecracks of talk-show hosts and male callers, interacting in the gruff terms of normative masculinity; male country-western singers plying women with complaints about bad love and bad coffee; a man preaching on the creation of Adam and Eve. The tape's challenge may, in part, direct itself at the viewer. While one might find it easy to dismiss the gender clichés of the soundtrack, it may be harder to resolve the hermetically-sealed indifference and disconcerting ambiguity (lovers? performers?) of the two women. By turns conscious of the camera and seemingly oblivious to it, their dreamy indifference is a rebuke to the disruptive chatter hovering around them, and perhaps also to the expectations of those who watch. --EAI
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.