Screening of Terry Fox films
Children’s Tapes, 1974
Lunar Rambles: Canal Street, 1976
on Sunday, November 6, 2011, 7 pm
Terry Fox was a central participant in the West Coast performance art, video and Conceptual Art movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Working in the San Francisco Bay Area, his political, site-specific performance actions explored ritual and symbolic content in the objects, places, and natural phenomena of everyday life.
Fox’s work in video was an extension of these concerns. His 1974 Children’s Tapes is a classic early investigation of the medium. With wit and ingenuity, Fox used the intimate scale and time-based properties of video to translate the aesthetic and formal tenets of minimalism, real time, perception and performance into the realm of the everyday. These engaging phenomenological dramas, which illustrate basic principles of physical science with household objects, unfold as anecdotal narratives of the quotidian.
The Lunar Rambles series documents five unannounced performances by Fox in five outdoor locations in New York, which took place over the course of a week. In each of the downtown sites, which ranged from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Fulton Fish Market and Greenwich Street, Fox would play a large metal bowl and a parabolic steel plow disc with a rosined violin bow. The resulting tapes were then screened each day as part of a larger installation at The Kitchen. In each piece, Fox’s ritualistic performance is observed by a distracted camera, which also scans the surrounding urban landscape and passersby. The near-ambient, droning sound, together with Fox’s minimalist performances within the mid-1970’s New York environment, result in oddly mesmerizing studies of time and place.
(text from EAI website, with thanks)