Hot Property (1979-80)
If GI are ‘archaeologists’, however, they’re the kind with a TV deal and a coffee table book to promote, as their video Hot Property (1978–80) – shot a year after The Ruins of the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion – reveals. Set in 1984, on the night of the pavilion’s ‘destruction’, the piece shows the group inaugurating the final pageant in front of a live studio audience in the manner of a cheesy talk or variety show. Following a parade of contestants dressed up as various pieces of geometrical and mark-making equipment (during which a giggling Zontal asks ‘can we leave the pen’s lines on the cutting room floor?’), the ‘fire’ takes hold, and we cut to footage of guests fleeing from the smoke, for all the world like extras in a 1970s’ disaster movie. As the video comes to its conclusion, a stentorian voice-over informs us that, despite this (apocryphal) apocalypse, ‘mystery will make the pavilion rise again’.
This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.