Film

Lawrence Weiner

Created over several decades, Lawrence Weiner’s films and videos comprise a little-known but fascinating facet of this pioneering Conceptual artist’s practice. According to Kathryn Chiong, Weiner’s primary artistic concern is “the reconfiguration of existing relationships of human beings to objects, relationships that the artist has condemned as ‘perverse.” Weiner’s self-described “home movies” are theatrical, playful and bawdy. Employing recitation and quotation, the sparring bodies on display compete for physical and verbal territory, the words spoken animate the space between one individual – or object – and another. Titles range from early action-oriented tapes like Broken Off (1970) to self-reflexive dialogic works that dramatize tense or absurd moments between performers such as There But For (1980) and Passage to the North (1981) – which famously features Weiner sucking a woman’s toes as he dictates a telegram – to his recent text-based digital video Inherent in the Rhumb Line (2005).