A new installation in Trexler Hall showcases time-based media recently donated to AAM by Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz. The nine works in this gift are the first examples of video art to enter the Museum’s permanent collection, and range from performance-based videos to animation that explores the process of painting as narrative.

On view now through July 17, 2022:

Kate Gilmore (American, b. 1975), With Open Arms, 2009, digital video with sound, 5 minutes 39 seconds, edition: 5. Allentown Art Museum: Gift of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz, 2019 (2019.29.2)

In this video, artist Kate Gilmore beams and flings out her arms as though receiving applause, even though she actually faces a barrage of tomatoes. Gilmore often bases her work on humorous and uncomfortable physical struggles: in other videos she crawls through impossibly narrow spaces or kicks through sheet rock, all while wearing a dress and high heels. By juxtaposing these challenges with feminine attire, Gilmore highlights both the absurdity and harmful impact of gender norms.


Previously on view:
For several years artist Rachel Perry saved and transcribed misdirected messages from her answering machine, consistent with her artistic practice of accumulating and preserving the mundane and ephemeral detritus of daily life. In Karaoke Wrong Number (2005-09), the second in a series of videos utilizing this found material, Perry assumes the personality of each caller, taking on the body language and facial expressions she imagines from the snippets of spoken language she’s mistakenly received. While the effects are absurd and hilarious, there may also be empathy in her embodiment of these misguided voices and memorializing of missed connections.

Three short animations by Yui Kugimiya (Japanese, born 1981): Story about a Bird, 2004; The Love Story, 2004; and System of Tears, 2002. Yui Kugimiya digitally records the evolution of her thickly and energetically painted images through stop-motion animation. Animals—most frequently cats and birds—stand in as universal figures, eliminating any cultural or political specificity. With her strange, poignant, and humorous tales of transformation, Kugimiya asks the question, “What if a painting could come to life?”


Featured image, above: Installation view of video screening area, with (at right) image from Yui Kugimiya (born 1981 in Tokyo, Japan), System of Tears, 2002, DVD, 1 minute, 47 seconds. Allentown Art Museum: Gift of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz, 2019