I am curious about the possibility of using televisual tropes outside of the television set. Television is nearly ubiquitous, and so, many people know how to read it. We understand the episodic structure, the quick editorial cutting, the didactic use of music. Often, the narrative can be predicted, the tropes functioning as a sort of foreshadow.

Melanie Gilligan’s Popular Unrest (available to watch online) and Amar Kanwar‘s The Torn First Pages (I have not seen this work in person, only read about it) both make use of some of television’s tropes, but their work intends to take up space as much as it does to take up time. These works are gallery projects. I wonder if transposing the form of television into art land allows for a broader audience or a deeper understanding of the serious, political subject matter Gilligan (capitalism and body horror) and Kanwar (the struggle for democracy in Burma) address?

Or, can form function as a method of translation? Does translation require content?

Relatedly, as my residency research progresses, I am being challenged by the textual cinema project because I am proposing form as an organizing framework. Yet, all these works I am looking at are full of content and sit in uneasy, absurdly juxtaposed relations to each other. I am not sure how to navigate the breadth of subject matter through their shared method.


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