EAI is pleased to collaborate with Migrating Forms, the new incarnation of the New York Underground Film Festival, on a special screening devoted to the video works of Los Angeles-based artists Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, brothers who produced a body of collaborative video works beginning in 1976. The program will include two works, the feature-length video Made In Hollywood (1990, 56:12 min) and the classic short video Vault (1984, 11:45 min). Bruce Yonemoto will be present to introduce the screening and participate in a conversation with Josh Kline of EAI.
Produced in Los Angeles and influenced by their proximity to Southern California's culture industry, the Yonemotos' experimental videos are stamped with Hollywood's imprint, and feature collaborators drawn from their eclectic circle—an amalgam of film industry and art world types. The cast and crew of Made in Hollywood includes a star-studded roster of cult figures, including actress Patricia Arquette, star of Lost Highway, True Romance and Ed Wood; John Wentworth, who had just assisted David Lynch on Blue Velvet and would go on to produce Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive; artists Mike Kelley and Michael Smith; and the Wooster Group's Ron Vawter, among many others.
In Made in Hollywood, the Yonemotos quote from a catalog of popular styles and sources, from TV commercials to The Wizard of Oz, to construct a parable of the Hollywood image-making industry from a pastiche of narrative clichés: A small-town ingénue goes West to find her dream and loses her innocence; the patriarch of a Hollywood studio nears death; a New York couple seeks screenwriting fame and fortune in the movies. With deadpan humor and hyperbolic visual stylization, the Yonemotos layer artifice upon artifice, constructing an image-world where reality and representation, truth and simulations, are meaningless distinctions.
Vault, dedicated to the memory of Luis Bunuel, uses the psychoanalytic language of advertising, cinematic and television texts to tell the love story of a pole vaulter/concert cellist and a cowboy/Abstract Expressionist painter. In this tour-de-force of stylized deconstruction, the Yonemotos rewrite a traditional narrative of desire—boy meets girl, boy loses girl. Employing the melodramatic syntax of Hollywood movies and commercial TV, they decode the Freudian symbology and manipulative tactics that underlie media representations of romantic love, and expose the power of this media "reality" to construct personal fictions.
For more information about the video works of Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, please click here.
Bruce Yonemoto was born in 1949. He studied at the University of California at Berkeley and Sokei Art Institute in Tokyo, and received an M.F.A. from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. He has taught video and photography at universities in California and Japan, and is currently a Professor and Chair, Studio Art, at University of California, Irvine.
Norman Yonemoto was born in 1946. He studied film at Santa Clara University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the American Film Institute. He has been a contributing writer for Artweek magazine, and is the author of the commercial films Chatterbox (1976) and Savage Streets (1983).
In 1999 a mid-career retrospective of their collaborative work was held at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Their work has been exhibited extensively around the world, including in California Video at the Getty Research Institute, California; at the Long Beach Museum of Art, California; 11th Paris Biennale; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Image Forum, Tokyo; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; American Film Institute National Video Festival, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Among their awards are a Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, a production grant and a Visual Arts Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Phelan Award for Video Art/Docu-Drama, and grants from the Rocky Mountain Institute of Film and Video and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (German Television). Bruce and Norman Yonemoto both live in Los Angeles.
About Migrating Forms
Migrating Forms is a 10 day festival presenting a program of film and
video from more than 50 artists representing a broad spectrum of contemporary
moving image practices. Also featured are nearly a dozen guest-curated
and retrospective screenings. Migrating Forms is the new incarnation of
the New York Underground Film Festival (1994 - 2008). www.migratingforms.org
Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI's activities include a preservation program, viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists' talks, exhibitions and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting and preserving media art: