Sunday April 28, 7pm
Videos by Dale Hoyt
admission $6 – artist in attendance

Still from The Complete Anne Frank (Dale Hoyt, 1985) – © image courtesy of the artist

Microscope welcomes San Francisco-based artist Dale Hoyt to present a night of videos during a rare visit to the East Coast. This screening is one we have been anticipating for over two years. For the occasion, Hoyt has selected a special program of works made primarily in the 80s including his “The Complete Diary of Anne Frank”, which is in the permanent collection of MoMA and The Getty Museum. Most of the works have never before screened in New York.

Hoyt lived in the city from 1989 to 1992 and like the filmmakers of the No Wave and Cinema of Transgression film movements of the 70s & 80s Lower East Side, his works share a DIY aesthetic and reject the troupes of the previous avant garde generation. Hoyt was among the first of the underground/experimental/personal moving images makers using solely video (not film).

Hoyt’s body of work also includes the mediums of painting, drawing and writing. In addition to his show at Microscope, the artist is in town to present a music video he directed for Annette Peacock’s song young, as part of the current Blues for Smoke exhibition at the Whitney.

Dale Hoyt will introduce the evening and answer questions after the screening at Microscope.


Over My Dead Body
Dale Hoyt, 1983, video, color, mono, 15 minutes
Hoyt visits a neighborhood, insinuating himself and his party as a news crew, to interview its residents about a horrible series of murders recently committed (when in fact no murders had been committed and the entire event has been fabricated).
“Dale Hoyt’s Over My Dead Body starts off with a bang: a suburban dad has massacred his family. We never see Pop, but come to know him through a collection of trite images that place him in a void of consumerism while the unstoppable Hoyt interviews unsuspecting suburbanites about the domestic disaster down the block.” — Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archive

The Complete Anne Frank
Dale Hoyt, 1985, video, color, sound, 37 minutes
In The Complete Anne Frank, Dale Hoyt has dared to render the seemingly inviolable Diary of Anne Frank as a “psychedelic soap operetta”: audacious? iconoclastic? bratty? Not really. The Complete Anne Frank is a more faithful reading of Anne Frank’s ordeal than might be imagined. It is irreverent, but purposely so: Hoyt wanted to give back to the Anne Frank of the diaries some of the dignity she has lost in becoming a sacrosanct icon, and he did it in the way he knows how. The text, taken from Anne’s diary “Kitty,” is shot as a teleplay on cluttered Kucharesque sets of vivid colors, lurid angles, squalid images. Four actresses portray Anne Frank, further defeating our natural attraction to the très triste. Moreover, the tape is littered with the debris of contemporary media fallout: Anne’s “Hello Kitty” diary, Kevin Collins’ freckled face on a milk carton, shots of animal fascism and terrified tots from The Birds. But it’s all strangely relevant to a portrait of youthful claustrophobia and the psycho-sexual tensions of family life, and the extreme cruelty to children that seems to fester in a time of general crisis. The Complete Anne Frank is about complete domination, complete usurpation-of image and soul. (via  Pacific Film Archive, 1987)

Don’t Be Cruel
Dale Hoyt, video, color, sound, 2003, 12 minutes
At the outset of the video “Don’t Be Cruel,” artist Dale Hoyt reads a letter into the camera. Written in 1979, it describes the senseless torture and eventual murder of a baby deer, condemning both the couple who attack the animal and a witness who does nothing to help it. Hoyt becomes the weeping author (or witness?), a bystander implicated by the inability or unwillingness to intercede. I wept with the artist as he read the letter, bound in censure until the shocking conclusion implodes our fragile complicity: Hoyt, looking into the camera, asks with dry eyes, “Did you catch that? Do you want me to do it again? I can do it again.” (Danielle Kelly, 2011)

Ringo Zapruder
Dale Hoyt, video, color, sound, 1981, 4 minutes
A video remake of Brakage’s Desistfilm done in a PunkNew Wave setting.
Both an homage and a declaration of independence. — DH

Who Shot MM
Dale Hoyt, video, color, sound, 1981, 2:10 minutes
Completed following my first cross country bus tour, [it] reflects my personal obsession with the phone medium that more often than not has represented my alienation. It co-stars AT&T and other ever uninterested employees. M.M. stands for Marshal McLuhan, whose parting was almost ignored in light of the first day of this, our most dubious decade. However, it can mean Mickey Mouse, Maria Montez, Marilyn Monroe, or Marie Menken. What ever you want, it’s your nickel. — DH

Your World Dies Screaming
Dale Hoyt, video, color, sound, 1981, 5 minutes
Desperate women weep over the breakdown of their relationships. They are depressed, suicidal and isolated. Hoyt is both sympathetic and contemptuous as he describes their sordid spaces, emotions and crys for reinforcement. This isn’t the kind of lost love the we are used to seeing on screen.

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Dale Hoyt has been involved in the making, curation, and criticism of media art for over 32 years. His videotapes, drawings, and paintings are in numerous permanent museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA. During the ’90s he spent several years curating the Video Program at The Kitchen in NYC and, in San Francisco, founding C.A.L.F., the Coalition of Artists and Life Forms, the world’s first artist-run think tank devoted to researching Biotechnology and its impact on society. Hoyt’s works have been shown among others at Pacific Film Archives (CA), Berkeley Art Museum (CA), Anthology Film Archives (NY), Whitney Museum (NY), Museum of Modern Art (NY), New Museum (NY), The Kitchen (NY), Museum of Moving Image (NY), Harvard Film Archive (MA), Krowswork Gallery (CA).

Still from Who Shot MM (Dale Hoyt, 1981) – © image courtesy of the artist

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