Critical Writing Index

Graham Cracklings: Rodney Graham's Conceptual Energy

by Robert Enright

Border Crossings, 2010, v. 29, no. 113, pp. 20-37

Robert Enright interviews performance and video artist Rodney Graham, following through the artists reinvention of himself and his artwork in 1997, when he moved away from text-heavy conceptual work in to performative video. The seminal piece which began this transformation was Vexation Island, presented at the Venice Biennial in 1997, a intersection of performance and music, playing with spectacle, and re-creating Graham as an art star. Graham's work artfully pays tribute to high art and popular culture with a ironic twist. "In Graham's art, dignity and truth, along with beauty and humour, are in a constant state of being reconfigured". Enright's interview leads in to a discussion of Graham's beginnings in Vancouver and his music career, the turning point in 1997 and specific works detailing conceptual and methodological approaches to creation and performance. This detailed and engaging article provides insight in to Graham's body of work, touching on his interests in music, spectacle, technology, his unscripted narratives and much more.

ITEM 2010.015 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Vexation IslandRodney Graham

Halcion SleepRodney Graham

How I Became a Ramblin' ManRodney Graham

A Reverie Interrupted by the PoliceRodney Graham

City Self/Country SelfRodney Graham

Illuminated RavineRodney Graham

Camera ObscuraRodney Graham

Flanders TreesRodney Graham

Dance !!!!!Rodney Graham

Paradoxical Western SceneRodney Graham

Torqued Chandelier ReleaseRodney Graham

Rotary Psycho-OpticonRodney Graham

Rheinmetall/Victoria 8Rodney Graham

The Gifted AmateurRodney Graham