Lawrence Andrews

The video works of San Francisco-based artist Lawrence Andrews explore cultural and mass media constructions of history and identity. Compelling in their energy and tension, unflinching in their political and social critique, Andrews' collage-like video essays are discursive inquiries into the ideological and economic functions of culture.

In Andrews' works, violence, exploitation, and racism are seen in relation to media representation, art-making and art history, institutions, social systems, and cultural difference. In the powerful An I For An I (1987), for example, he represents the causes and effects of racism and violence within the contexts of the cultural and the personal.

Andrews' works reveal a bold, fresh approach to strategies of appropriation and multi-textuality. Employing a fragmented, disjunctive structure that is by turns visceral and didactic, narrative and formalist, he constructs associative pastiches of on-screen text, original material, and found film and television footage.

Often seen as a dynamic physical presence in his tapes, Andrews speaks through his work in an assertive and original voice. He states, "Art can be a force for change no matter what the level of production. Culture is all we are as people; we speak about it, look at ourselves through it, and ultimately change because of it."

Andrews was born in 1964. The 1989 recipient of a Fulbright Grant in Amsterdam, he studied photography at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and received a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. Winner of the San Francisco Museum of Art's SECA Video Invitational, he has also received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Long Beach Museum's Open Channels, Film Arts Foundation, and the Rockefeller Intercultural Documentary Fellowship. His work has been exhibited at numerous festivals and institutions, including the Bonn Videonale, Germany; San Francisco Museum of Art; Berlin Film Festival; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; American Film Institute National Video Festival, Los Angeles; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, and Rene Coelho Gallery, Amsterdam. Andrews currently lives and works in San Francisco where he has been an instructor at the San Francisco Art Institute.