The Link
Raul Marroquin, 1981, 8'03''

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Late in December of 1981, cable television stations in New York and Amsterdam transmitted a simultaneous satellite broadcast that most likely bewildered viewers on both sides of the Atlantic. A dubious newsfeed called Fandango's News Central relays the shocking story of a vampire epidemic sweeping the streets of New York City. Dick Tracy is already on the case, but the only hope is Juan Miguel Marañas, our well known hero from Marroquin's cast of misfits. We learn that since his revolutionary triumphs in Mexico, Marañas has been exiled in a remote island of South America, but he is now coming to the attention of panic-stricken New York to help rid the city of its predators (and gain political support, of course!). Using his connection to the aging Dutch profssor Van Helsing, 'The Link' follows the adventure from both angles, even discussing the potential ethical isssues involved with restricting the political and social rights of vampires. In this way the narrative plays out like a special news report, mystery detective melodrama and wacky talkshow all in one. Close inspection, however, reveals the piece to be a strong sociocritical critique of television made using all of the principles and/or 'tricks' of the medium. Broadly publicised in both cities before the event, 'The Link' can even be said to be more of an experiment in marketing as art project. Marroquin makes the crucial gesture of sandwiching the video between two clips of an episode of Donahue such that when Phil points to us and says, "We'll be right back after these messages", the commercials one would expect are replaced with Fandango's newswire. This leaves us to question how much of these 'messages' are real information, entertainment, or simply advertising ploys. By deliberately using an unsophisticated style and incredible story, Marroquin demystifies the professional image of television and our blind faith in the truth of what we see. At the same time that 'The Link' makes video art more accessible to a broader public, Marroquin is looking for alternative formats to the hegemony of television media. (Elaine W Ho) Read more...

  • Date: 1981
  • Length: 8'03''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: fiction (artwork genre), satire / parody, television art (artwork genre)
  • Keywords: television (subject), mass media