Ed Henderson Reconstructs Movie Scenarios

1973, 24:04 min, b&w, sound

Demonstrating how pop cultural narratives are embedded in the American collective unconscious, Baldessari introduces his sometime collaborator Ed Henderson, who is called upon to interpret a series of movie stills. The blurred photographs, which are virtually indecipherable to the viewer, act as springboards for a series of self-contained narratives. The ease and humor with which Henderson improvises these scenarios (spanning Hollywood cliches from musicals and Westerns to a prison drama and a horror film) demonstrate the extent to which the mythic language of cinematic genres has permeated the American consciousness. Baldessari has commented on his attraction to pop cultural material: "I guess I'm using images from movies, from newspapers and so on, because... we have to talk in a language we know."

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