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WGBH Media Library and Archives

Vestibule (In 3 Episodes)

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Summary
Episode 1: "Place" -- The color image of an apartment building vestibule shot from across the street is accompanied by a sound track of street sounds and narrated text adapted from The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. Excerpts of the text are displayed in the lower third of the screen. The image of the vestibule is interrupted by a girl riding a bicycle, a child riding a scooter, a man carrying a glass vase, and a man driving a red Pontiac. Each of these actions occurs in slow motion from right to left and is accompanied by text in the lower third of the screen that describes the action.

Episode 2: "Obsession" -- The black-and-white footage of a man standing at a cluttered desk showing black-and-white photographs of vestibules (by Flip McCarthy) is accompanied by a soundtrack of dialogue between the man showing the photographs and the man holding the camera. The image then cuts to a woman, dressed alternately in red and blue dresses, wandering through a maze of hallways. Text displayed in the lower third of the screen describes the images as belonging to a dream or memory in which the speaker is led by a woman identified as "C" through a maze of hallways.

Episode 3: "A Melodram(ia)" -- Color footage of a man, naked but for white socks, stepping into a vestibule to pick up and eventually discard a crumpled letter before leaving by the stairs. The final section is accompanied by a soundtrack of piano and operatic singing in Italian mixed with another song possibly entitled "Mr. Lonely." The work is approximately 23 minutes in length. Produced and directed by Ken Kobland.

This work by Ken Kobland was acquired by the Workshop to be broadcast as part of "Artist's Showcase."

"Artist's Showcase" was a series designed to showcase video art and experimental work from WGBH. The program ran on Sunday evenings at 11 P.M., from the fall of 1976 through 1982. In the early 1970's, "Artist's Showcase" was the only consistent broadcast outlet for many of the Workshop productions. Most materials of broadcast quality created at WGBH in the mid-1970's were shown as part of this series. Additionally, earlier video art experiments and segments of related shows, such as "Mixed Bag" or "What's Happening Mr. Silver" were broadcast under these auspices. This series was also a broadcast outlet for a handful of works by video artists that were not created at WGBH but only acquired for this purpose. Some compilation reels showing highlights of Workshop activity were also broadcast.
Topics
Entrance halls, Percy, Walker, 1916-1990. Moviegoer
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