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This Is A Television Receiver

David Hall

UK, 1976
9 minutes, Colour, Sound, 4:3
Original format: SD video
Available formats: SD digital file / Digibeta tape / DVD

Commissioned by BBC TV as the unannounced opening piece for their Arena video art programme, March 1976. Programme produced by Mark Kidel, conceived by Anna Ridley and presented by David Hall.
‘Richard Baker [the well known newsreader] describes the essential paradoxes of the real and imagined functions of the TV set on which he appears. The second shot is taken optically off a monitor, the third copied from the second, and so on, until there is a complete degeneration of both sound and image, removing the newsreader from his position of authority…’ – Tamara Krikorian, Art Monthly, February 1984.
‘This figure of authority is reduced to what, in essence, he is – a series of pulsating patterns of light on the surface of a glass screen. In this way, paradoxically, the verbal statement is realised by its own disintegration, along with that of the image. The illusion of both transparency and of power are shattered. This is deconstruction in its primary, irreductable form; only by remembering these important lessons have artists subsequently been able to venture out of the enclosure of self-reflexivity and into the perilous world of representation and narrative…’ – Mark Wilcox, Deconstruct, Subverting Television cat., Arts Council of Great Britain 1984.