Juan Downey (1940-1993)
Las Meninas (Maids of Honor) (1975)
1975, 20:34 min, color, sound
Las Meninas is a brilliant essay on illusionism, mirrors and perception in art, life and video, articulated by Downey as a subjective interpretation of Velasquez's eponymous Baroque masterpiece. Through a theatrical reenactment of the painting's pictorial tableau and a re-articulation of its complex perspectival structure, Downey brings to life the spatial dynamics, illustrating the psychological tension of the relationship between viewer and subject. Placing Las Meninas in a historical context, Downey relates the painting's thematics to Spain's economic and political systems of the late 17th century.
Performers: Carmen Beuchat, Suzanne Harris. Camera: Elaine Summers. Texts: Michel Foucault, George Kubler, Juan Downey. A production of the Artists' Visitation Program, Synapse Video Center, Syracuse University. -- 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.