Common Mistakes

Jeanne C. Finley

1986, 15:00 minutes, colour, English


Common Mistakes uses the four synonyms of the word mistake (fallacy, error, accident, and blunder) to present a sample of widely held "truths" that have later proven to be misconceptions. The mistakes are illustrated with documentary before and after photographs, diagrams, and video footage, and prefaced with a clip from a childrens educational film on how to prevent accidents. Intercut between each mistake a silhouetted figure gives a brief monologue on the manner in which these broad social errors affected their individual lives. This contrast suggests both a compliancy and victimization of the individual in relation to issues such as racism, environmental pollution, and imperialism.

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Critical Writing

A History of Mistakes
by Christine Tamblyn. Artweek, Mar. 28, 1987, v. 18.
Critics' Choices-Art
by Andy Grundberg. The New York Times, Nov. 8, 1987.