TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE UNCANNY RESURRECTIONS OF “AMERICA IS WAITING”

BRUCE CONNER HAS MADE FILMS since 1958. America Is Waiting, 1981, like Conner’s earlier films, is a compilation, a wacky assortment of bits and pieces of old newsreels, educational films, Hollywood movies, ’50s TV commercials, and hermetic fragments of industrial “film features” that one remembers dotting the devotional desert of Sunday morning programming long ago. Conner’s films are resurrections of sorts (film and photography are perhaps the ultimate forms of mummification) and, like most resurrections, there is something about them that is both ghoulish and uncanny. Certainly, his sculpture and collages were both. They are rarely seen now, but it was as a maker of assemblages and collages that Conner came to film, as did Joseph Cornell, whose earliest films were also compilations.

Though it would be simplistic and even wrong to push the analogy too far, both collages and compilation

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 1982 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.