Tony Conrad Video Work
Tony Conrad, still from In Line, 1985. Video transferred to digital, color, 7 min. Courtesy Tony Conrad Archives and Greene Naftali, New York.
Tony Conrad, still from Eye Contact, 1985. Video transferred to digital, color, 8 min. Courtesy Tony Conrad Archives and Greene Naftali, New York.
Tony Conrad, still from Weak Bodies and Strong Wills, 1985. Video transferred to digital, color, 8 min. Courtesy Tony Conrad Archives and Greene Naftali, New York.
As part of the exhibition Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective, is a two-part program of Conrad's pioneering video work presented in collaboration with Harvard Film Archive.
In 1976, Conrad was invited by Woody Vasulka, head of the Center for Media Study at the University at Buffalo, to join the faculty as a professor of video. Although before taking the job Conrad had actually never made a video, he quickly immersed himself in the medium and by the early 1990s had created around two dozen video works. The sharing of videos on the internet would not become common for another two decades, so in order to show his works more widely, Conrad organized a six-hour compilation of his videos that could be easily shipped and screened. Entitled Authorized to Surrender, the compilation reveals the stylistic range of Conrad’s video projects, including simple single-take videos, videos with special effects, and footage of performances. As indicated by the compilation’s title, many of these works deal with questions of authority and power, often with a focus on the triangular relationship between Conrad, his work, and its audience. Produced in Buffalo with the support of Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center, which Conrad helped cofound, and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, where Conrad had his first retrospective in 1977, Authorized to Surrender notably was shown in New York City as early as February and March 1991, when it was screened daily in its entirety at The Kitchen, an experimental media space where Conrad presented his work on several occasions beginning in 1972. –from Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective, Albright-Knox Art Gallery
The following is a selection of video works principally from Conrad’s Authorized to Surrender: A Video Retrospective, 1977-90.
Weak Bodies and Strong Wills (1986, 5 min.)
In Line (1985, 7 min.)
Run Dick, Run Jane (1985, 3 min.)
Eye Contact (1985, 8 min.)
An Immense Majority (1987, 7 min.)
Grading Tips for Teachers (2003, 13 min.)
Tony’s Oscular Pets (2001, 5 min.)
The program continues on Friday, November 30, 7 pm.