Robert Wilson: Video 50
The tiny dramas that comprise Robert Wilson's Video 50 contain aspects of his hallmark aesthetic: surreal or dream-like imagery, the absence of a linear narrative, the conflation of seemingly unrelated characters and micro-stories, and a mesmerizingly slow pace. Video 50 consists of a randomly arranged set of 30-second "episodes," a few of which feature notable French personalities of the 1970s-perfumier Hélène Rochas stares down a mugger, culture minister Michel Guy struggles to open a dresser drawer-and Wilson thought of these as miniature portraits or character studies. The creator and director of aggressively experimental theater, Wilson first came to prominence with works from the mid-1970s such as The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin (1973) and Einstein on the Beach (1976). These lavish, unusually long productions broke and then redefined every convention of theater. In Video 50 his shorter time-based portraits explore the intersection of narrative and still-life, seductively dissolving the distance between viewer and subject.