Reverse Television -- Portraits of Viewers (Compilation Tape)

1984, 15 min, color, sound

Viola inverts the position and gaze of the television viewer in a series of forty-four portraits of individuals sitting at home in their living rooms, staring silently at the static camera as though it were a TV set. Produced specifically for broadcast television, the original one-minute segments of over forty subjects from the Boston area were intended as unannounced inserts during the daily programming schedule. Viola essentially subverts the time and space of broadcast television, as the extended duration of these real-time portraits interrupts the spatial and temporal field of TV scheduling like edits. Writes Viola, "Two classical poses emerge in this work — the formal photographic portrait and the posture of the private television viewer at home. The work momentarily inverts the classical TV/viewer relationship, and television becomes a medium of reverse portraiture."

(Note: This compilation includes fifteen-second excerpts of the original one-minute portraits, presented in the order in which they were recorded.)

Production Assistant/Still Photographer: Kira Perov. Supervising Producer: Susan Dowling. Produced in association with the New Television Workshop at WGBH TV, Boston.

 
 

SCREENING REQUIREMENTS for museum or gallery presentation:

The video should be presented as cinema. Projection in a dedicated, darkened gallery is strongly preferred. Accompanying floor plans and technical specifications regarding projection equipment is appreciated. Videos must be shown in original 4:3 aspect ratio, either using projector settings, as available, or pillarboxed with black masking.

Seating must be provided for the audience, and works must be shown according to a published schedule, not presented as an automatically repeating loop. Works cannot be incorporated into looping programs with other titles. Audio must be handled through a separate stereo sound system (amplifier and two speakers).

Please contact the EAI office (info@eai.org) for further information regarding monitor displays. Presentation on monitor may be permitted in certain instances, but the use of headphones or sound through built-in speakers is not permitted.

 

Ordering & Fees

  
Educational Rental
DVD NTSC
$75.00
 
Screening Rental
DVD NTSC
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Digital File
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BetaSP, DVcam, MiniDV NTSC
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BetaSP, DVcam, MiniDV PAL
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Exhibition Rental
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Digital File
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Educational Purchase
DVD NTSC
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Archival Purchase
BetaSP NTSC
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BetaSP PAL
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Digital Beta NTSC
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Digital Beta PAL
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