George Barber: Beyond Language

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Average: 3.3 (3 votes)
George Barber: Beyond LanguageLux continues its steady publication of consumer DVD editions (separate from its institutional-oriented Afterimages label). After the releases last year of Emily Richardson: 6 films and Guy Sherwin: Optical sound films they switch to videoart with George Barber: Beyond Language Selected video works 1983-2008, a selection that covers the nearly 30-year career of this british videoartist, once referred as the 'Henry Ford of independent video' (Art Monthly).

George Barber - Absence of Satan (1985)

George Barber (Georgetown, Guyana, 1958) is probably one of the best (if not the best) known artists from Great Britain. His early 80's works with the Scratch video movement (video-collages of television and film footage that make use of then state-of-the-art video editing techniques, and politically charged) are among the best output of that movement, and usually his best known work. This DVD compilation covers three of these pieces (Tilt, Absence of Satan, Yes Frank No Smoke), but as Barber's work, doesn't stop there. If one were to seek one common denominator in the whole scope of his videography, that would probaly be, his use of humor and parody, that he uses to criticize some aspects of society (Taxi Driver II, The Venetian Ghost), the false perspective of reality used by advertising (Schweppes Ad, Bovis Ad, Following Your Heart Can Lead to Wonderful Things), and of art itself George Barber - The Venetian Ghost (1980)(1001 Colours Andy Never Thought Of, 2001 Colours Andy Never Thought Of). One also wonders if his later conceptual/performative works (Body Language, Automotive video painting) haven't got a bit of his sarcastic humour in their conception too.


- Tilt (1983, 5:37 min)
- Absence of Satan (1985, 4:46 min)
- Yes Frank No Smoke (1985, 6:00 min)
- Secret Society (1986, 2:46 min)George Barber - 1001 colours Andy never thought of (1989)
- Taxi Driver II (1987, 6:41 min)
- Arts Council GB Scratch (1988, 1:34 min)
- The Venetian Ghost (1988, 13:25 min)
- 1001 Colours Andy Never Thought Of (1989, 2:26 min)
- Schweppes Ad (1993, 2:19 min)
- Hovis Ad (1994, :52 min)
- Curtain Trip (1994, 5:00 min)
- Passing Ship (1994, 6:34 min)
- Waiting For Dave (1994, 3:52 min)George Barber - Passing Ship (1994)
- Say Hello To Lottery Park (1995, 6:04 min)
- The Story Of Wash & Go (1995, 2:54 min)
- The Weather (1995, 1:29 min)
- 2001 Colours Andy Never Thought Of (1996, 5:47 min)
- Withdrawal (1997, 4:57 min)
- I Was Once Involved In A Shit Show (2003, 6:56 min)
- Walking Off Court (2003, 10:30 min)
- Beyond Language (2005, 9:46 min)
- Automotive Action Painting (2007, 6:03 min)George Barber - Automotive motion painting (2007)
- Following Your Heart Can Lead to Wonderful Things (2008, 6:03 min)

The selection has been curated by Matthew Noel-Tod. Includes a new audio commentary track by George Barber and a 12-page booklet with an essay by Matthew Noel-Tod.


DVD data:


Release date January 2009
Content 1 DVD9 + booklet
0 (region free)
Dolby Stereo
Language English
Subtitles None
Length 121 min.


Additional info:

- George Barber's info page at LUX.

- Some online video excerpts at the Video Data Bank.

- George Barber - Minigraph 8, a publication by Film and Video Umbrella.

- George Barber's profile at the UCA (includes extensive bibiliographical info).

- Full screen captures at our gallery section.