Cheryl Donegan b. 1962
Head (1993, 3:00 min, color, sound)
With Head, Donegan ushered in a new era of brash, low-tech performance video. Here she confronts sex, fantasy, and voyeurism in an autoerotic work-out performed to pop music. The tape records a direct performance action: Donegan unplugs the spout of a plastic container; a stream of milk spurts out. She catches the liquid in her mouth, swallows it, dribbles it back into the mouth of the container, licks the spout. As a culminating gesture, she spits the liquid against the backdrop, creating a kind of irreverent Action Painting. In this image of sexual "pleasure" and fantasy, Donegan is both subject and object, directing the action and performing for the camera without acknowledging its presence. When she exits the frame, the empty container and splattered wall look less like a scene of passion than the scene of a crime.

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