CATE: Lynda Benglis: Works in Video

Expired October 15, 2021 4:59 AM
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The Amazing Bow Wow tells the tragic tale of a hermaphroditic dog, reduced to performing as a tent-show freak. Problems begin when Bow Wow's owners, small-time carnival impresarios Rexina (Lynda Benglis) and Babu (Stanton Kaye), discover that their dog can not only talk, but is also highly intelligent. Its extraordinary abilities provoke fear and jealousy in Babu, and, conversely, affection and protectiveness in Rexina. A provocative study of gender and sexuality, The Amazing Bow Wow was remarkably prescient in its approach to sexual identity and its canny troubling of gender definitions. Benglis and Kaye also suggested that their intention was to examine the ways media rewards, exploits, and ultimately normalizes subversive creativity. (Adapted from Electronic Arts Intermix)


Renowned for her bold and tactile sculptures, Lynda Benglis produced a body of groundbreaking videos in the mid-1970s. Immediate and visceral, these works gave new form to Benglis’s ongoing exploration of gender, self-presentation, and the media. She also used them to translate many of her radical experiments with physical materials—dayglo latex poured directly on the floor and large-scale polyurethane foam structures cantilevered off of walls—into the electronic pulse of video, layering sound and image into provocative collages of the body and time. This program brings together her earliest experiments, including Document (1972) and Mumble (1972), produced as part of an ongoing exchange with the artist Robert Morris; such seminal tapes as Now (1973) and Female Sensibility (1973); and her only narrative work, The Amazing Bow Wow (1976), a tale of gender, family, and difference, produced with the director Stanton Kaye.


Lynda Benglis lives and works in New York, New York, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Using materials as an extension of her own body, she has created biomorphic forms that explore the physical gesture. Over the course of her career, these materials have included wax, polyurethane, latex, cast metal, glass, and video. Benglis is the subject of a current exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and a forthcoming exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2022). She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants, among others. Her work is in the permanent collections of public institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Art Institute of Chicago; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Tate, London.


Presented in partnership with Video Data Bank.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    30 min
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Filmmaker
    Lynda Benglis