Pier Marton

Addressing an intensely private discourse through the public forum of video, Pier Marton has produced a body of work that is unified by a confrontational, psychodramatic search for identity. Marton's early, performance-based work is highly charged and theatrical, executed with immediacy and aggression. These exercises in psychological self-revelation often culminate in attacks on both the body and the body politic as the site of despair, corruption, and weakness. Marton's visceral exorcisms operate through transference, shifting the focus from himself to the viewer.

In later image-processed works, which deconstruct the apparatus of television both formally and metaphorically, he also implicates the audience's passivity as perpetuating the media's dominant ideology. This scrutiny of collective guilt, memory, and responsibility, as well as a restless search for self-identity, emerge in his recent issue-oriented documents, SAY I'M A JEW (1985) and (are we and/or do we) LIKE MEN (1986). Both works focus on "silenced" topics, things that are "hard to hear and hard to say." Confronting identity in the face of self-abnegation and cultural conditioning, Marton allows the unspoken to be voiced.

Marton was born in Paris in 1950. He received a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and the Illinois Arts Council. He has taught at UCLA; Occidental College, Los Angeles; the Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other institutions. Marton's work is in the permanent collections of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the JVC Collection, Tokyo. It has also been exhibited at museums and festivals throughout the world, including the Berlin Film Festival; Tokyo Video Biennale; Long Beach Museum of Art, California; Venice Biennale; American Film Institute National Video Festival, Los Angeles; World Wide Video Festival, The Hague; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.