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Rona Yefman & Michel Auder: Video Portraits

Michel Auder, Louis Waldon in Chronicles:

Los Angeles/Bel-Air (July 1999)

2002, 42 minutes

This chapter of the Chronicles is in many respects a sequel to the portrait of his good friend and former Warhol actor Louis Waldon.

It is also a cliché of the good life served-up Los Angeles style – the sun, the implants, and the traffic. Waldon invited Auder to spend a few days at the home/compound of his wealthy friend Don. The situation recalls Waldon and Auder's first meeting in Rome thirty years prior as documented in Auder's earlies surviving work, the film Keeping Busy.

Neither Waldon nor Auder (recently divorced from his second wife, Cindy Sherman) has lost his penchant for shooting the breeze. This time they find themselves in the lap of luxury with the same estranged relationship to the good life, i.e. forever outside looking in albeit from close-up.

In this instance, Auder uses a shiny black Mercedes with fallen blossoms from surrounding flora scattered on its hood as a means to construck a stunning vanitas. Since Auder's 1994 video portrait, Waldon has some new wrinkles and has gained more weight but these do not reflect age as much as an increase in his charms which are in full effect throughout. (He gives a poolside performance not to be believed.)

Excerpts from:

Taylor Mead Special, 1978

Louis Waldon earlier videos 1970-1994

Annie Sprinkle

Rona Yefman, Martha Bouke in installation

2002-2009, 20 min

The piece documents long-term collaboration with an 80-year-old male Holocaust survivor who has assumed a feminine persona in both body and mind. Wearing a non-expressive female mask, a blonde wig and tight sexy outfits, Martha challenges the conventional perception of an elderly man and tires to defy the Jewish trauma myth. In the video Fucked Bonny 2009, Martha acts as a real diva by trying to control every aspect of the process: the pose, the shooting location, the outfits, our interaction, and ultimately refuses to reveal her/his bearded face. The video in which she stars, addresses the myth of the power relationship between model and photographer. Although hiding a painful soul and living in a hard core reality, Martha represents a radical departure from conventional parameters. Her persona exhibits so much contradiction that it defies the viewer’s ability to create a concrete assessment of her intentions.

Excerpts from:

Dame of the world. 2011

Beach story 2002-2010

Radio Lady, work in progress

About the artists:

Michel Auder has been recording, reviewing and releasing electronic footage. The terms ‘chronicle’, ‘portrait’ and ‘voyage’, which he himself uses, capture important aspects of the work. A chronicler knows that he is authoring a particular version of history and that he is not necessarily a reliable source. A good portrait is more than just a record of someone’s distinctive features; it is the result of a process of subjectivation requiring the participation of both artist and model. A voyage, finally, is not always defined by geographic distance or physical displacement.

Rona Yefman, received her MFA from Columbia University in New York City in 2009. In her work she often explore identity and close relationships through photographing, videotaping, collecting text and collaborating with individuals that have formed a radical persona. “My work is people who are for the raw and the authentic. …”


White Slab Palace
77 Delancey St., NYC 10002
(South East corner of Delancey, entrance on Allen St.)
Tuesday October 11, 2011, 8pm