Wednesday, July 25, 2007


There will be a preview of the posthumous work by Hannah Wilke at "The Incubator" (Varak Park, 15W Main Street- in the main entrance of the large brick factory building...follow signs) in Cambridge, NY, Sunday July 29, 2007, before it travels to SoHo in New York City, this fall. The Incubator will be open from 1 to 5 PM and again from 7-9 PM .

The IntraVenus Tapes is a world class artwork dealing with the personal and communal experience of living and dying. Although it is not an easy piece- joy and pain exist simultaneously- IntraVenus is hugely compelling and transformative work of art.

The piece runs about 2 hours. It is not necessary to see all of it or to see it chronologically. Viewers are invited to come and go as they please.

Don and Helen Goddard will be at the gallery on the 29th as well. Don was Hannah's husband and producer/participant of/in IntraVenus. They are delightful, articulate people, and more than willing to talk about the work, Hannah's work, feminism and art… life.

For more information

The IntraVenus Tapes opens along with other works by Hannah at the Ronald Feldman Gallery, 31 Mercer Street, New York, NY on September 8, 2007 and runs through October 13, 2007. Please spread the word. --John Carlson and Katy Schonbeck.

Don Goddard on the making of the piece:
"The IntraVenus Tapes of Hannah Wilke is a video grid of 16 monitors, each of them showing almost two hours of video (cumulatively about 30 hours transferred to DVD) shot during the last two and a half years of Hannah Wilke's life. She died of lymphoma on January 28, 1993 in Houston, Texas, and the tapes record parts of her life from summer 1990 until her death.

I did much of the shooting, Hannah did a lot, and other friends and relatives joined in. The tapes begin in Easthampton, Long Island, and end in Houston. Hannah lived with her illness throughout this time, and its presence becomes more and more evident in the later tapes. There are times with friends, swimming, eating, talking, Hannah working, me working, Hannah's show in Boston, flowers, trees, birds, ocean surf, trips to my parents in Arizona and Hannah's sister in Los Angeles, listening to music, Hannah in our loft, Hannah in the hospital, chemotherapy, radiation, bone-marrow transplant, our wedding, treatment and final days in Houston. Some of it is funny because Hannah was. Some is not funny at all.

About halfway through the shooting of these last tapes, she began to think of them as a video installation, and she and I often discussed how it should be done. Several times on these tapes she talks about her ideas for the installation

The installation uses all 30 hours of tape, almost two hours on each monitor, so that, chronologically, the first two hours are in the upper left-hand corner of the monitor grid and the last two hours in the lower right-hand corner. The simultaneous showing of all sixteen tapes creates a compression and an overlapping of time and space.

All tapes begin at the same time and end near the same time, in a closely staggered finish. No editing of the visual material has been done except to eliminate some of the blank spots. Sound has been edited so that tracks from all 16 tapes are not heard at the same time but are structured in a comprehensible and evocative way. At any given moment one source may be heard, or none, or three, or even as many as six, if appropriate, the sounds of Hannah talking, others talking, conversations, waves crashing, birds singing, opera singers singing, cars, laughter, crowds, weeping, television, wind, etc. The sound comes not from a single source but from the appropriate monitors. In a way that I think conforms to Hannah's ideas and the nature of the piece, the monitor screens are hung in a grid on a plain white wall, at a level that can be intimately or comprehensively viewed both standing up and sitting down.

The sixteen videotapes were originally shot as 8mm on a Sony camcorder. I had Beta and VHS copies made of these with timecode in 1995 so that I could begin the viewing and timing process. The IntraVenus Tapes were transferred to DVDs which are shown on flat-screen monitors. Digital masters were made from all the existing original tapes and a graded log of all the soundtracks was created to provide the structure for the final master matrix control system."


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