A brief humorous history of John Baledessari

“A Brief History of John Baledessari” is an up tempo humorous retelling of the life of a great artist.  After watching the three options for the blog entry I was most intrigued by Baledessari’s video portrait.  Not only is it attention getting, it also has impressive video editing as well as interesting shots and pictures.

This video has a unique audio-visual storytelling feature I believe.  It uses video, voiceovers, and pictures to tell one fluid story.  The quick cuts of pictures as well as the quick cuts of past videos Baledessari’s shot I believe gives it it’s own tone/ feeling. It makes it both causal as well as fun. When I first think of documentary my immediate thought is a long boring history lesson.  However, Baledassari gives us his own take on “documentary.”  He inserts his personality into the audio clip and makes it more relatable for the audience.

As Annie said in her blog post, from this video it seems as if Baledassari has a very dry sense of humor- which he shows through the set up of this video.  He inserts the cuts of him sitting at his desk talking at perfect locations to highlight his humor.  In addition, the topics highlighted in the video highlight his humor.  He prefers to talk about the “fun” aspects of his life, not drone on about all of the awards that he has won.  Both of these features add to this video as well as make it more “John”.

One thing that I can take from this video moving forward is that you do not have to have the person being highlighted narrate the story.  This video portrait uses another individual to tell a story, as contrasted to the ones that we watched in class.  For the project my group and I need to complete I believe it would be easier for us to narrate the story (due to time constraints) and this video is a good example on how to do that.

Question for class discussion:

How quick is too quick for different cuts? Did Baledessari loose some of his viewers with this tactic?


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