A few months back we were invited to a splendid lunch at that 10-year-old white castle in the sky where we learned of, among other things, the first major survey of video art produced in California. The lunch was at the Getty, of course, and the show is called “California Video,” which opens on March 15. The exhibition spans 1968 until the present, and includes 58 artists, duos, and collectives like John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Jim Campbell, Meg Cranston, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Jennifer Steinkamp and Bill Viola, to name a few. And then there’s this, which we got to see a clip of, and boy, oh boy was it weird:
A highlight of the exhibition will be the reconstruction of the original installation of The Eternal Frame (1975-76), by the Bay Area collectives T. R. Uthco and Ant Farm. The well-known video in this installation depicts the artists re-enacting the iconic Zapruder footage of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, while also documenting the puzzled and emotional responses from tourists and passersby. When presented at the Long Beach Museum of Art in 1976, the video was exhibited on an antique television within an elaborately constructed 1960s living room filled with dozens of pieces of JFK memorabilia. For the first time since its original installation, a full reconstruction of this piece will be featured in the Getty’s exhibition.
As you envision that in your head you can watch a trailer of some of the other pieces (try to watch the William Wedgman clip without laughing, we dare you.) More about the show by Carol Kino at the NY Times. “California Video” closes June 8.