WGBH Openvault

Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund; Irony

Part of New Television Workshop.

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund
Series Description

Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund -- WGBH's collaboration with the Institute Of Contemporary Art (ICA) -- offers a co-venture among TV producers from seven countries, each seeking to capture the spirit of a specific environment. Titles include: O PANAMA: a video by James Benning and Burt Barr evoking the mental landscape of a sick man confined to his apartment; TIME CODE; L'IMAGE; STORM AND STRESS; SOLOS, DUETS AND PIZZA: Three dance videos: "Rotary Action", a duet featuring Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane; "Watermotor for Dancer and Camera", with Trisha Brown, and "From and Island Summer", with Karole Armitage; SET & RESET (#4) VERSION 1: Choreographer Trisha Brown performs to music by Laurie Anderson in this video dance piece DAMNATION OF FAUST: story of Marguerite of the Faust legend; MORE TV STORIES: satirizing the relationship between people and their TVs; NEW ENGLAND FISHERMEN - Joan Logue's brief vignettes of fishermen. Series release date: 1985

Program Description

“Irony,” 1985, by Ken Feingold, was made in association with The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund. Though ultimately fictional, “Irony” includes scenes where characters talk directly to the camera as if being interviewed. These layered scenes are interspersed with footage shot during travels in India, which include documentation of a film shoot in the desert (featuring brightly costumed Indian dancers) and villagers looking into the camera. Two female characters emerge as director/filmmaker figures, and seem to mirror or double each other, sometimes sharing dialogue. The suggestion that develops is that “Irony” is a film about the making of a film that is about a woman and the making of a film. In addition to examining the process of filmmaking, the work looks at the translation or representation of experience, especially the experience of travel. At one point, one of the directors/filmmakers says, “How she [the character in the film] follows these threads is our story -- the story of a woman in between things.”

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Motion pictures
Film and Television
Feingold, Ken, 1952- ()
Dorman, Madeline Sosin ()
Hawkins, Yolanda ()
Zerfas, Francine ()
Dorman, Andrea ()
Block, Ricardo ()
Edwards, Jon Marc ()
Harris, Harold Branson ()
Chicago: “Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund; Irony,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 23, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5C05AEC057AB4051B13D647E2E050F9D.
MLA: “Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund; Irony.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 23, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5C05AEC057AB4051B13D647E2E050F9D>.
APA: Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund; Irony. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5C05AEC057AB4051B13D647E2E050F9D
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.