Total Art Videos

Total Art: Contemporary Video highlights the inventive processes that sustain women artists’ position at the forefront of video.

Explore related videos, interviews, and other works from the ten artists included in the Total Art exhibition.

Dara Birnbaum

Recognizing television as the common visual experience of most people in the 1970s, Dara Birnbaum (born 1946, New York) recast content from sitcoms, game shows, and soap operas in her early videos. Catch a sneak peek of Transformation/Technology: Wonder Woman (1978–79), which is in the exhibition.

Dara Birnbaum, “Transformation/Technology: Wonder Woman”


Kimsooja (born 1957, Daegu, South Korea) works in a broad range of media, including video, site-specific installation, and performance, with many of her works focusing on the metaphorical meaning of textiles and sewing. In this interview, Kimsooja talks about how her artistic creations “started from just daily life activities.”

“Kimsooja: Art & Everyday Life” | ART21 Exclusive series

Mariko Mori

A former model, Mariko Mori (born 1967, Tokyo, Japan) transformed her own body into an extraterrestrial-like being in her video Miko no Inori (1996), which is featured in the exhibition. The short segment of the video below shows Mori’s cyborg-style costume and provides a glimpse of this work that was filmed in Osaka’s Kansai International Airport. Miko no Inori translates to “The Shaman-Girl’s Prayer” and speaks to Mori’s interest in merging Eastern spirituality with elements of popular culture such as video games and animation.

Mariko Mori, “Miko no Inori”

Mwangi Hutter

After moving to Germany as a teenager, Ingrid Mwangi (born 1975, Nairobi, Kenya) studied new media with video artist Ulrike Rosenbach, who encouraged her to make socially conscious works. She later joined in a collaborative partnership with Robert Hutter (born 1964, Ludwigshafen, Germany) to develop artistic content based upon Mwangi’s personal experiences. In this clip, Mwangi discusses her partnership with Hutter and the use of new media. interviews Mwangi Hutter

Alex Prager

Los Angeles-based artist Alex Prager (born 1979, Los Angeles) creates works that demonstrate contemporary video’s frequent alignment with Hollywood-style cinematic tools and production elements. This short interview with Prager about her most recent project, Face in the Crowd (2013), shows her interest in working with the tools of Hollywood to present something “beautiful but awkward.”

NOWNESS presents a video portrait of Alex Prager

Pipilotti Rist

Pipilotti Rist (born 1962, Rheintal, Switzerland) disrupts the conventional viewpoints of the eroticized female body that dominates both art history and Hollywood. In this 1997 work, Ever is All Over, the artist installed two overlapping projections into a corner and filled the entire length of the wall to create an encompassing space for the viewer.

Pipilotti Rist, “Ever is Over All”

Michal Rovner

Michal Rovner (born 1957, Tel Aviv, Israel) records staged or actual scenarios with a photographic or video camera, under- or overexposing her images using software to change colors and break down image resolution. This video clip shows an installation of the artist’s work in a 2009 exhibition in Madrid. It documents Rovner’s use of striking moving images of abstracted figures that provide commentary on the human experience.

Ivorypress on Michal Rovner’s recent exhibition

Margaret Salmon

Margaret Salmon (born 1975, New York) describes her work in the exhibition, Ninna Nanna (2007), as a “time-based portrait” of three young Italian mothers. The video incorporates both color and black-and-white 16-mm footage that conveys the artist’s interest in post-war realist film movements. The same aesthetic can be seen in a music video Salmon directed for folk singer Megan Wyler as seen in this clip.

Megan Wyler’s official music video “Through the Noise,” directed by Margaret Salmon

Eve Sussman/Rufus Corporation

Eve Sussman (born 1961, London) formed the Rufus Corporation as she developed 89 Seconds at Alcázar (2004), a reimagining of the scene from Diego Velázquez’s painting Las Meninas (ca. 1656). Watch the official trailer for another single-channel video work created by Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation, The Rape of the Sabine Women (2007), that was similarly based on a famous painting of the same title.

Eve Sussman/Rufus Corporation’s “The Rape of the Sabine Women” trailer

Janaina Tschäpe

In Lacrimacorpus (2004), Janaina Tschäpe (born 1973, Munich, Germany) adapted her imagery from legends and folklore. The video work, which is part of the exhibition, presents mesmerizing images of a dancer within an 18th-century castle. In this video, Tschäpe talks about her interest in the past as inspiration for her paintings.

BLOUIN ARTINFO presents “Janaina Tschäpe Paints her Artistic Journey”
National Museum of Women in the Arts