Critical Writing Index

Sexuality and Video Narrative

by Chris Straayer

Afterimage, May 1989, v. 16, no. 10, pp. 8-11

Straayer introduces the article by stating that narrative and sexuality in film are inextricably bound, contained within narrow limits of sexists and heterosexist determinations, disguised within "the love story". "The new "narrative" strategies of certain video art violates the sanctity of the conventional narrative for breaking what has been an unbreakable formula". New narrative video uses the performers body in an I-you (artist-viewer) discourse, along with layering images and the appropriation of mass-produced imagery for individual expression. These tropes draws the viewer in on a participatory level, and in regards to sexuality, assert the individual while expressing a commonality. In a discussion of some central video artists who's work addresses sexuality and narrative, Straayer develops post-modernist self-reflexivity within video art, making the viewer aware of themselves within the artist's narrative.

ITEM 1989.118 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

UndertoneVito Acconci

Remy/Grand Central Trains and Boats and PlanesDara Birnbaum

Technology/Transformation: Wonder WomanDara Birnbaum

Female SensibilityLynda Benglis

Female SensibilityMax Almy

Modern Times: Modern SexualityMax Almy

Semiotics of the KitchenMartha Rosler

Beaver ValleyJanice Tanaka

The Kipling TrilogyJohn Greyson