Peter Campus Three Transitions 1973

  • Not on view

In Three Transitions, Campus presents three introspective self-portraits that incorporate his dry humor. He begins with an image created by two cameras facing opposite sides of a paper wall and filming simultaneously. His back to one camera, Campus cuts through the paper. In the double image, it appears as if he is cutting through his back, which is both disconcerting and tongue-in-cheek. Campus then uses the "chroma–key effect" of superimposing one video image onto a similarly colored area of another image. He applies blue paint to his face, and during this process another image of himself is revealed; he then superimposes his image on a piece of blue paper, which he sets afire. As Three Transitions moves between deadpan humor and seeming self-destruction, Campus explores the limits of visual perception as a measure of reality.

Faces and masks have long been subjects in art, but, with the advent of television, these analytical discursive figures intimately entered our daily lives. Campus's video art is concerned with exploring the subtle balance between remote but penetrating and formal, but unsettling, elements.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999.
Medium
Video (color, sound)
Duration
4:53 min.
Credit
Acquired through the generosity of Barbara Pine
Object number
730.1976
Copyright
© 2018 Peter Campus
Department
Media and Performance Art

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