John Baldessari: Films Transferred to Video 1972-1977
Published by JRP|Ringier/BDV Bureau des videos.
Edited by Nicolas Trembley.
Title (1972), 4 Short Films (1971), and 6 Colorful Inside Jobs (1977), three seminal but rarely seen films by the groundbreaking west coast Conceptualist John Baldessari, are assembled here for the first time on DVD. The films are built around the same principles as the artist's photographic work, and Baldessari's obsession with the non-link, with fragmentation and gaps, is all the more striking in moving pictures. His images do not arrive in a narrative progression, but appear as a succession of near-still, suspended moments, autonomous but integrated, for which it is up to the spectator to build a structure. Title is one of Baldessari's most radical projects, a juxtaposition of minimal images without hierarchy or direction, and particularly pointedly so because the subject is a conventional film, broken into its component parts. First come the objects, the characters, the landscapes, then the frames associating two shapes, and finally the start of an action, of a dialogue. Baldessari's splicing and categorizing reveals the tricks of cinematic space-time. Six Colorful Inside Jobs shows a room being painted in six different colors, each corresponding to a day of the week, leaving the artist a comic figure, and 4 Short Films is the product of a similar ironic twist, a free and absurd association between time, matter and objects. An essential document.