Irish Media Nation by John Lee
Irish American's Pioneering Video on View at MOMA
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 05:13 PM
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Pioneering video art by Irish American Paul Dougherty is now on view in the Museum of Modern Art’s current show, “SELECTED WORKS FROM THECONTEMPORARY GALLERIES: 1980-NOW.”
From the punk era, Frankie Teardrop (1979) combines superimposed projector manipulations and high-end video post-production technology, generally unavailable to artists. The resulting video is described by John O’Connor of the New York Times as “an urban ballad of mental break-down” and is included in Rolling Stone‘s “Book of Rock Video.”
"Frankie..." gets down at MOMA
The museum website describes Frankie Teardrop this way:
“This coarsely textured film-video hybrid combines superimposed projector manipulations and high-end video post-production. An insightful collaboration between videomaker Paul Dougherty and Art-Rite zine editors Walter Robinson and Edit DeAk, the work interprets a strident song by Suicide--with vocalist Alan Vega and Martin Rev on synthesizers and drum machines--about a poverty-stricken Vietnam vet pushed to the edge.”
An EMMY Award winning video editor, Dougherty started working in college with video artists, creating innovative art in that emerging genre. His video work has been screened in over 25 museums, exhibitions and festivals
For the last year Dougherty has had a on-going assignment of editing short art documentaries for the Gagosian iPad App. Featured artists include John Chamberlain, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Richard Prince and Picasso.
Dougherty’s main indie effort of late is Punk Before Punk, a documentary origins story set in New York City which according to Vanity Fair‘s James Wolcott “explores fresh tracks of what led up to the punk scene, the bohemian burlesque that preceded it, its bleached roots.” On screen in Punk Before Punk is David Byrne, Lenny Kaye, Marty Rev, and Danny Fields, who dryly describes the backroom of Max’s Kansas City as a “sewer of creativity.”
Dougherty lets his inner Irishman shine through in a few of the videos he grouped together on YouTube at OutsiderTV, a casual compilation of legacy work and “just for fun” videos.
A lifelong New Yorker who traces his roots back to Donegal, Dougherty played an instrumental role in the seemingly hopeless but ultimately successful effort to save the Lower East Side’s St. Brigit’s Church–known as the Irish Famine Church–from demolition. He’s also a member of the Irish American Writers and Artists.