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WGBH Media Library and Archives

Sudden Difficulties

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Summary
It documents a collaborative performance and installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston by the painter and sculptor Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz and the theater artist Peter Sellars. The video work was created by Katherine Gulla. In "Sudden Difficulties," Sellars and Spatz-Rabinowitz talk about the process of creating the piece. Dancer Bonnie Zimmering performs the actual work, in which a woman arises from bed and interacts with transforming props. Produced and directed by Katherine Gulla.

The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund was a joint venture between Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) and WGBH's New Television Workshop. Funding came from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities' New Works program in 1983. Co-directors were WGBH's Susan Dowling (New Television Workshop Director, 1982-1993), and David Ross (ICA Director). Kathy Rae Huffman served as curator and producer. The Fund's primary objective was to award money to video artists for new works. The goals were to foster excellence in the exploration of television as a creative medium, broaden video arts international audience through broadcast and gallery exhibition, and increase revenues for artists from the distribution of their works in all markets. Many of the works were broadcast as part of "New Television," and appeared in festivals worldwide. The Fund was also used to sponsor international symposia among curators, distributors, and producers to help promote the growth of video art. In 1990, the ICA assumed full sponsorship of the Fund, where it continued for another year.
Topics
Documentaries and factual works, Drama, Experimental theater, Installations (Art)
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