William Wegman: Selections from 1970-1978

1981, 19:11 min, b&w and color, sound

This compilation of works, selected by Wegman himself, has become a classic in its own right. Composed of many of Wegman's best-known comic pieces, this selection provides a hilarious retrospective of his video work of the 1970s. These short episodes demonstrate Wegman's brilliant application of minimal elements — his body, the dog Man Ray — to create unexpected moments of conceptual humor. Among the most memorable pieces are Spelling Lesson, in which Wegman corrects the dog's spelling test ("You spelled it B-E-E-C-H"), and Dog Duet, in which Man Ray and a canine friend follow the movements of an off-screen object in perfectly synchronized unison. Wegman uses his own body as comedic material in Singing Stomach and Deodorant Commercial, both of which are as absurdly humorous as their titles suggest. Other pieces illustrate his ingenious approach to fiction and storytelling, as he parodies television advertisements and delivers anecdotal monologues with deadpan absurdism. Throughout, Wegman finds ironic humor in the unexpected incongruities of the everyday.

William Wegman: Selections from 1970-1978 includes the following pieces: Milk/Floor; Stomach Song; Randy's Sick; Pocketbook Man; Anet and Abtu; Out and In; Rage and Depression; Massage Chair; Crooked Finger, Crooked Stick; Deodorant; Growl; Spelling Lesson; Drinking Milk; Dog Duet; Starter; Bad Movies; House for Sale; Baseball Over Horseshoes

Compiled in 1981.