Stan Douglas b. 1960
Television Spots/Monodramas (1987-1991)
TELEVISION SPOTS (1987/88)
In 1989, his first series of short works for television, the twelve Television Spots, were broadcast in Saskatoon and Ottawa amid regular programming, as if they were commercials. Unidentified, the short scenes depicting open-ended, banal activities baffled viewers.
Douglas's "Monodramas," ten 30- to 60-second videos from 1991, conceived as interventions into commercial television, interrupted the usual flow of advertising and entertainment when broadcast nightly in British Columbia for three weeks in 1992. These micronarratives mimic television's editing techniques, but as kernels of a story they refuse to cohere. They are tales of dysfunction and dislocation, misanthropy and misunderstanding. When the videos were aired unannounced during commercial breaks, viewers called the station to inquire about what was being sold, their responses evincing how the media can refocus attention from content to consumption. -- Nancy Spector