Critical Writing Index

Writing on the wall: Image and Text at the Woman's Building, Los Angeles, CA Jan. 23 - Feb. 26

by Robert Raczka

Artforum, May 1988, v. 15, no. 10, pp. 19-20

Review of an exhibition featuring words and pictures together combining video, photography, and installation. A companion to the symposium The Way We Look, The Way We See, language is addressed critically in the exhibition as a medium that transmits and reinforces social and political roles. Jerri Allyn portrays language as a projection of male fantasy in Raw Meet, which features a couple fighting while a woman recounts different ways in which women and men can speak and are spoken of. Barbara Hammer uses rapid editing to examine homophobia in news coverage of AIDS. The author sees Laura Kipnis's examination of the commercialization of sexual liberation as lukewarm parody, likewise taking exception to the vague and confusing arguments of Christine Tamblyn's similar parody of the journalistic obsession with personal fantasy. The author rejects Cecelia Condit's poetic fairy tale of an old woman as too polished to be effective, preferring work that deconstructed language as a medium.

ITEM 1988.057 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Raw MeetJerri Allyn

Snow Job: The Media Hysteria of AIDSBarbara Hammer

Ecstasy Unlimited: The Interpenetration of Sex and CapitalLaura Kipnis

Not a Jealous BoneCecelia Condit

As the Worm TurnsChristine Tamblyn