The Hundred Videos
20 January to 27 February 2000
In 1989 Canadian artist Steve Reinke vowed to "complete one hundred videos before the year 2000 and my thirty-sixth birthday. These will constitute my work as a young artist."
Finished well ahead of schedule, The Hundred Videos, is a remarkable project that comprises five hours of material and can be viewed in two very different London locations, at the Peer office in the East End and at Soho House, in the heart of the West End. The shortest videos last less than a minute and the longest, just over ten. They are not linked by an overall or linear narrative, so instead they can be browsed, dipped into or revisited a number of times.
At the core of Reinke's project is a fascination with the artifice of manufactured truths. He knows that anything he presents as real must always ultimately be fiction. This is sometimes explored in a humorous or a tragicomic way, such as the video about Dr. Asselbergs' "important Canadian invention" of the instant mashed potato flake. And sometimes we are witness to an almost excruciating pathos, as in his love letter to Corey, the good looking young bowling champ who is the object of his obsessional adoration.
Much of the work is about desire and the need for fulfilment, both sexual and intellectual. But like accepting the impossibility of representing the real, desire, too, is frustrated. The confessional quality of the work is sometimes unsettling and sometimes downright confrontational. The raw honesty of the confession is often used in documentary making. But by incorporating various other genres, the quasi-scientific, the home movie or homoerotic pornography, Reinke sets out to play with the authority of filmmaking as a whole and documentary in particular.
This simultaneous presentation of Steve Reinke's The Hundred Videos was at: Peer, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT, and in the Blue Sitting Room, Soho House, 40 Greek Street, London, W1V 5LP.