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Television Interview

Kevin Atherton

UK, 1984
28 minutes, Colour, sound
Available formats: SD Digital file

In Television Interview, a two channel video installation, we again meet Atherton as interviewer/inquisitor, haranguing the cast of the popular soap opera Coronation Street on the status of video art, the monodirectionality of broadcast television, and the disempowered status of the viewer/consumer. Whilst taking television to task for its condescending attitude toward its viewers, Atherton also takes a few swipes at video art, telling the hapless Coronation Street character who professes no knowledge of the medium that “you have to force yourself to watch video art”. Thematically and procedurally in this piece, the artist lays bare and discusses the construction of the media image, both in relation to televisions mode of representation, and video arts appropriation/deconstruction of these modes. Blending wry humour with sharp observation, Atherton succeeds in crystallising several of the themes that were central to the burgeoning field of video art at that time. – Jeremy Welsh