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MOCA/FM:
Interview with Dennis Oppenheim (Oct. 1970)

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 30 min
Event Type: Interview Program Origin: KPFA

From a program recorded in October of 1970, Charles Amirkhanian speaks with San Francisco Museum of Conceptual Art founder Tom Marioni and earthworks artist Dennis Oppenheim about the show called “Body Works” which was to open at the museum on October 18, 1970. Organized in collaboration with artist Willoughby Sharp, the exhibit was to include video works by Vito Acconci, Terry Fox, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Keith Sonnier and William Wegman. All artists were primarily sculptors who had devised works featuring the human body as their primary medium. Oppenheim describes his own featured work “Hair Piece” which involved a video shot of the top of his head that he then used as a mirror while he touched and manipulated his hair with his hands. Dennis also talks about some of his other works, including a piece “Deformity” which featured his big toe that had had an object dropped on it, thus showing the “fusion of material and process without any extraneous matter.” His other film projects highlight the aspects of limits and micro projections of skin, blood, and saliva with enlarged shots of thumb prints or “identity transfers.” Dennis also describes his evolution as an artist beginning as a painter and moving into sculpture, conceptual art, and video/film. Also touched upon is process art, which is anti-end product and instead focused on simply how something was made rather than the object itself. This leads to a conversation about the “fetishization” of documentation, and the use of photography to view site specific sculpture as opposed to the photo being the art object itself.

Genre:  Modern Art
Subject:  Art, Modern; Conceptual art; Video art; Process art
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Marioni, Tom, 1937-; Oppenheim, Dennis, 1938-
 
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