William Wegman

William Wegman

Work from his oeuvre.

While some of the shorts may be duplicates due to the nature of various compilations, they are all well worth watching.

“As he describes such influences — Nauman, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha — his tone is measured, respectful, sort of Wall Street Journal meets Artforum. He really lets go when I ask about his favorite comedians. “My heroes were always Bob and Ray,” he says, recalling the Boston radio team of Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding, who did dry, Down East bits, describing summer vacation photos on air or running spelling bees where one contestant gets “interfenestration” and the other gets “who.” Wegman gushed about them — their minimalist approach, how they could be so funny with so little. “They were kind of lazy, too. They didn’t try very hard, it seemed,” he says. “But you can’t if you’re going to be funny.”

Wegman’s videos — his contribution to the conceptual canon — combine these approaches. He’s a combiner by nature (Can’t walk along a river without a fishing rod, he explains, because “just to take a walk in the woods isn’t interesting, but to pursue trout!?”), so when Man Ray, the Weimaraner he got in his first months in L.A., kept barging into the videos he was making, he decided to go with it. Wegman compares this offhand video work to drawing — sketch comedy, as it were — and Man Ray fits perfectly into the mood of straight-faced ludicrousness. In one, Wegman, on his hands and knees, backs across the floor, and the dog follows, licking off the line of milk that Wegman spits out onto the tiles.” – excerpt from an article on Salon.com by Kevin Conley.

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