New York

Whitney Biennial Film

In the mid-’70s a dissatisfaction with the limitations of gallery production and what were perceived as the preponderant styles of American avant-garde film emerged in certain circles in the art world. A generation steeped in movies and rock ’n’ roll wanted out from the strictures of Greenbergian nuance and conceptual ’pataphysics, wanted to admit that they never wanted to go to the Rothko chapel, that they fell asleep watching the filmic transformation of a tree through summer, fall, winter, and spring. To these artists, the return to imagery and to the play and disruption of the narrative were welcome. They considered what they thought to be the masochism of the spectator a drag. And their production echoed these concerns.

This confluence of ideas and activities around film and rock ’n’ roll created a lasciviously ironic gutter salon, whose work was the recipient of uncritical, desperately

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