Mary Stofflet

  • Joe Rees

    When Joe Rees was a sculptor, he created performance environments. That was over five years ago, before he founded Target Video, and long before he became the first video artist to receive the San Francisco Art Institute’s annual Adaline Kent Award. Rees created yet another environment for the award exhibition—projecting 20 hours of Target Video’s productions onto a screen 25 feet wide and 18 feet high.

    Target Video (whose initials are, only incidentally, TV) has attempted a gargantuan task under Rees’ direction. By presenting themselves at most of the Bay Area’s New Wave music clubs with a

  • G.P. Skratz and Linda Lemon

    What happens when a poet (G.P. SKRATZ) and a printmaker (LINDA LEMON) spend a year or more making videotapes? The results of this collaboration were shown in the University Art Museum’s Sunday video program. Skratz and Lemon make tapes about words, and poems, and manifestoes, and political flip-flops, and they include just enough action that you don’t realize until later that the unifying thread was words. They do it without becoming literary and precious, and they do it in a way that, in general, is entertaining.

    Self Portrait, An Art TV Magazine, of which there are two issues so far, consists

  • Nina Wise & Lauren Elder

    In the performance Singing My Mother to Sleep, NINA WISE collaborates, as she has done before, with visual artist LAUREN ELDER. Without lapsing into the kinetic story line shifts, which left the viewer dizzied by some of Wise’s previous work, _Singing clarifies and illuminates two earlier themes, survival (Glacier, 1978) and the end of life (Death Meditation of Helen Brown, 1976).

    The setting is a hospital room and the time.dream time. Wise rests fitfully on a white. rollaway bed while enormous slides of wild animals are projected onto a three-part privacy screen. Off stage, a music1an plays and

  • Peter Richards

    Peter Richards constructed a 30-foot diameter, flat, wooden circle for Time x Candlelight, and installed 276 evenly spaced small candles on it. The circle filled the space and the audience sat outside of the circle in a ring of chairs. A wooden circle, four hanging buckets, and two suspended cones dramatically heightened audience anticipation. When the lights gradually went out and the piece began, Richards moved to the center of the circle, put a hanging cone in motion and lit a single candle. His efforts to coordinate the marking of time had begun.

    Richards’ science background influenced the

  • “La Mamelle Videozines”

    The decade which gave us Betamax also saw the rise of the alternative art space and its logical extension, the video magazine. La Mamelle, a San Francisco space which has presented a generous quantity of nonstatic art events, has anthologized many of these in Videozine, not an ink-and-paper manifestation but a series of videotapes produced as multiples for sale and distribution, like any other intermittent periodical. Videozines Five and Six, shown at Video Free America, reflect in their difference two nonsequential chapters in the history of Bay Area performance art. Even the appearances, in

  • Doug Hall

    Doug Hall, who was once associated with Jody Proctor in the performance duo T.R. Uthco, has attempted an ambitious seven night, live, soap opera as part of the San Francisco Art Institute’s Annual. The Annual, which was first held in 1891, takes place at various locations this year, and Hall’s piece was performed at SITE, a San Francisco art space.

    The difficulty of performing a different activity for one hour on seven consecutive nights could only be surpassed by the difficulty of attending such an ongoing event. However, since the remains from Seven Chapters From the Life . . . (A Soap Opera)

  • Martha Rosler and The Kipper Kids

    As one of many recipients of MARTHA ROSLER’s installment mail art piece chronicling some events in the life of a woman of increased consciousness, I found myself curious about Domination and the Everyday, Rosler’s most recent videotape which had its Bay Area premiere at the University Art Museum in Berkeley. The same program contained four earlier Rosler videotapes, seen previously by this reviewer in a public showing at Video Free America in San Francisco. I mention this merely to demonstrate that while the University Art Museum is to be commended for its commitment to video and performance

  • Nancy Blanchard

    Nancy Blanchard’s recent performance piece is the sort of event that leads one to do some serious thinking afterward, though not necessarily about the piece, which was called I Learned It At School, and billed as a tableaux theatre event.

    The major problem, and one over which the artist had very little control, was the location, Herbst Theatre, a standard proscenium stage with a large house, plush seats, etc. Because the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is eliminating its current performance space, Blanchard’s piece, which was presented by the museum, had to take place elsewhere. The Herbst

  • Masashi Matsumoto

    All too often, an elusive figure bites the dust upon close examination. En route to see recent work by Masashi Matsumoto I hoped this wouldn’t happen, and was pleasantly reassured at the sight of 15 works using the door imagery which the artist made highly visible in a San Francisco billboard in 1977.

    Matsumoto is something of a legend in certain circles. Mysterious sentences attributed to him have turned up on broadsides and in museum exhibition catalogues (in Tom Garver’s 1974 New Photography in San Francisco and the Bay Area, at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, he is quoted, “You are

  • Manuel Neri

    MANUEL NERI’s recent work continues to reflect ideas which the artist has pursued for 20 years or so, ever since he gave up his connection with the Bay Area figurative painters and turned to constructing and extracting expressionist human forms from plaster. The connection has not been totally abandoned because Neri still applies paint to his figures in such a way that one would never think of them as painted figures, but rather as plaster figures to which different colors of paint have been desultorily applied.

    Neri’s color is brushed on in fragments. Some of his figures are fragments, some of

  • Suzanne Hellmuth and Jock Reynolds

    Navigation, A Visual Theatre Performance by SUZANNE HELLMUTH and JOCK REYNOLDS, provided a bona fide contender for the type of reminiscences upon which performance art, by its temporary nature, must rely heavily for the creation of its own mythology. For about 25 minutes. Then, as do so many performance pieces, Navigation overworked a potentially good but rather single-minded idea (neatly encapsulated in the title, so there really weren’t any surprises) and, unlike the paintings it so often resembled, gave the weary viewer no chance to escape until the nearly ad nauseam, wavy end.