Robert Beck (b. 1959)
Nine Years Later (Girlfriend In A Coma) (1998)
12 minutes Colour, stereo
Digibeta tape, DVD, SD Digital file
Robert Beck recontextualises videotaped performances he created in the late 1980's to music by The Smiths. By turns gruesome and ironic, these three home-made 'music videos', including Panic, Big Mouth Strikes Again and Girlfriend In A Coma, are brought to their ultimate and canny conclusion only with Beck's long delayed return to them. Revisiting his highly self-concious and idiosyncratic performances Beck betrays the apparent ease and economy of the original clips by deftly editing them against the awkwardness and obsessiveness of their numerous out-takes. Wittingly, with intertitles and voice-over, Beck calibrates his performances retrospectively with the video technology that recorded them, and inadvertently traverses a decade of video history...from the mainstream-media inspired work of the 1980's to the more reflexive performance-based practices of the 1990's.