Mom Tapes (1974)

Genres - Visual Arts  |   Run Time - 27 min.  |  
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Ilene Segalove is a California-based video artist. The Mom Tapes is one of her earliest and best-known projects. Shot over four years, The Mom Tapes is comprised of a series of scenes of Segalove and her mom engaged in a kind of absurdist theater of the domestic sphere. In a typical segment, we see the mom sunning herself by their pool that overlooks Los Angeles. The mother applies sun tan lotion and then casually puts on a Richard Nixon mask and goes for a swim. Most of the scenes feature such comic undermining of women's roles and Segalove's dry sense of humor. Known for her iconoclastic support of television within the video community, one could see this video as an early example of consumer side art, focused as it is on pleasure, humor, and commodity.