T.R. Uthco

T.R. Uthco was a San Francisco-based multi-media performance art collective that engaged in satirical critiques of the relation between mass media images and cultural myths, using irony, theatricality and spectacle as its primary strategies. Founded by Doug Hall, Diane Andrews Hall, and Jody Procter in 1970, T.R. Uthco focused on the irreverent staging of fabricated events, also producing installations and video documents of its performances. Through a parodic interplay of reality and illusion, truth and artifice, T.R. Uthco examined pop iconography, political symbolism and cultural mythology.

The artists' best-known work is The Eternal Frame, a 1975 collaboration with Ant Farm. This statement on the power of media images to transform historical events into myth took the form of a re-enactment of John F. Kennedy's assassination. In an ironic collusion of media image and reality, the artists staged the assassination as a simulation of the infamous "Zapruder film" — Super-8 footage of the shooting, recorded by a bystander, which became the American public's collective memory of the "real" event. In T.R. Uthco's works, America's cultural fascination with myth, heros, symbols and spectacle is inextricably linked with mass media representation. T.R. Uthco disbanded in 1978.