Performing for the Camera

Artists rest the molds of video and film, and broaden the boundaries of art.

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Intersecting Identities

Artists often attend to their multiple, intersecting identities in a job-related of art.


In 1979, after functioning in The Museum of modern Art’s curatorial ranks for 12 years, artist Howardena Pindell was in a auto accident that left her v partial storage loss. Eight months later, throughout what she describes as “one that the hottest summers in brand-new York,”1 she set up a video camera in her apartment, concentrated it ~ above herself, and also made Free, White and also 21, a deadpan account of the racism she experienced coming of age together a black woman in America. She arisen the occupational out the her should heal and to vent: “My job-related in the studio after ~ the accident assisted me come reconstruct missing fragments native the past….In the tape ns was bristling in ~ the women’s movement and also the arts world and also some the the usual attack encounters that were heaped on optimal of the racism of my profession.”2

Born in Philadelphia in 1943, Pindell flourished up when the southern was quiet lawfully segregated and also racism to be rampant nationwide. She to be 21 once the Civil legal rights Act passed in 1964. In Free, White and 21, she illustrates the distinguishable divide in between black and also white american by appearing as both herself and also as a white woman. The video opens with a glancing shooting of the artist in whiteface and wearing a blond hair wig, in the guise the a white woman from the 1950s or 60s. This personality is the free, white, 21-year-old come which its location refers, who appears throughout the video, discounting Pindell’s searing experiences v statements like, “you really need to be paranoid,” and also “you won’t exist till we validate you.”3

When she comes onscreen as herself, Pindell first recounts the abusive racism the her mother endured, and then talks viewers with the milestones of her own life—including elementary and also high school, college, and also young adulthood—via the discrimination that made her breakthrough such a struggle. At one point, she peels a translucent film turn off of she face, together if to recommendation the face masks and other cosmetic commodities marketed to females to beautify and transform their looks. Yet this film has not adjusted the artist’s looks, and especially no the shade of she skin. Instead, it serves to re-emphasize the reality that they were reinvented by a white-dominated American society—into a liability.

Howardena Pindell, quoted in pedestrian Art facility Collections, http://www.walkerart.org/collections/artists/howardena-doreen-pindell.
Howardena Pindell, quoted in walker Art center Collections, http://www.walkerart.org/collections/artists/howardena-doreen-pindell.
Howardena Pindell, quoted in Brooklyn Museum Elizabeth A. Sackler center for Feminist Art, Feminist arts Base, http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/gallery/howardena_pindell.php.
Howardena Pindell, quoted in “Howardena Pindell,” Brandywine Workshop, http://brandywineworkshop.com/howardena-pindell/.

A camera that catches moving images and converts them into digital signals so the they have the right to be conserved on a warehouse device, such together videotape or a hard drive, or perceived on a monitor.

A term describing moving-image artworks videotaped onto magnetic ice or digital formats, or produced using other mechanisms such together image-processing tools, and obtainable for prompt playback.

1. A method involving the use of 2 or more artistic media, such together ink and also pastel or painting and collage, that are an unified in a single composition; 2. A designation for an artist that works v a variety of different imaginative media.

An image, specifically a positive print, tape-recorded by exposing a photosensitive surface ar to light, particularly in a camera.


One who uses paint to canvas, wood, paper, or an additional support to produce a picture.


A work-related of arts made through a pencil, pen, crayon, charcoal, or other implements, frequently consisting the lines and marks (noun); the act of creating a picture with pencil, pen, crayon, charcoal, or other implements (verb, gerund).

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A very closely woven, sturdy cloth of hemp, cotton, linen, or a comparable fiber, typically stretched end a frame and used as a surface ar for painting.