• Gretchen Bender, Total Recall, 1987, eight-channel video on twenty-four monitors and two rear-projection screens, sound, 18 minutes 2 seconds. Installation view.

    Gretchen Bender

    The Poor Farm

    Seeing video art as “ghettoized [by] the eighties art world,” Gretchen Bender (1951–2004) described herself not as a video artist, but as a visual artist working with television as her material. It is in part because of this wary definition of her practice—one rooted in a commitment to art’s “public vision”—that Bender’s work remains so important today. Thanks to curator Philip Vanderhyden, a survey of the artist’s commercial output and two of her central installations from the 1980s can be experienced firsthand in “Tracking the Thrill,” an exhibition of Bender’s videos on view this

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