Ashley Animal Charm (USA, 1998, video, 9:20)
After the opening sequence, which consists of manipulated television images in a typically “experimental” idiom, “Ashley” seems to develop into a clear story about a modern mother and wife with modern longings. Yet when the more or less complete soap scenes (replete with commercials) are edited in, the seductive images take on an absurd and oppressive charge.
A Conversation – (About Work) Lily Markiewicz (GB, 1998, video, 9:40)
Markiewicz keenly observes how the male sex communicates. In colorful images, she exposes the everyday body language of men, right through their gleaming suits. One rolls up his sleeves, another spills coffee on his trousers; the work floor is the place where the clothes ultimately make the man. On the soundtrack, there are fragments of personnel conversations in which the employees are demeaningly questioned about matters such as improving their performance, their situation at home, and collegiality.
Wekker Natasa Heydra (The Netherlands, 1997, video, 1 :44)
This video slowly but surely works up to a ‘dead point’.
Preserve Your Estate Animal Charm (USA, 1999, video, 8:00)
Hypnotizing music, idiosyncratic singing and soft yet insistent voice-overs accompany television images which disseminate notions of happiness, the work ethic and social success: another very subtly alienating video collage from Animal Charm. “Repeat with me: I now feel confident about opening to others and projecting charisma”
La vie heureuse Valerie Pavia (France, 1998, video, 3:00)
Accompanied by a close-up of her lace with a blonde wig on her head, we hear Pavia’s voice monotonously reciting a summary of things she has never done before. The statements give the impression that Pavia leads an uninteresting life. Yet at a certain point handwriting appears in the picture, where all of the announcements she makes are written and crossed out with vigorous strokes. Does this mean that she has gone through the whole list and thus done all of these things? When we hear her yawning, is it out of boredom with her dull existence or out of satisfaction?
Three Waltzes Monique Moumblow (Canada, 1998, video, 7:07)
Each of this video’s three sections portrays a form of contact between people: a game of attracting and rejecting. The repetitive actions, the soundtrack and the montage all reinforce the suggestion of dependence within the relationships. Towards the end of the video, Moumblow reveals the experiences and qualities which have inspired her to make these “video performances”. In so doing, she suddenly imbues them with a very personal significance, alongside their more general symbolism.
Boy Talk George Kuchar (USA, 1998, video, 10:00)
Kuchar on a studio visit to an academy student who makes mischievous paintings.
Octet Saskia Olde Wolbers (GB, 1997, video, 5:00)
A large flower-parade cart slowly passes by the camera. On the soundtrack, a woman tells an unbelievable and hilarious tale based on a scandal in the English tabloid press. As the story progresses, it becomes clear what the cart is meant to represent.