Video to Placate Artaud is a videotape to placate the 20th-century artist Antonin Artaud, who was not very calm. Certainly transgression and nervous energies or violent impulses once went hand-in-hand, but perhaps today requires a calmer, more considered approach. —Steve Reinke

It is no small occasion when Steve Reinke lets out three as-yet-unseen videos onto the world. These three works stack upon each other to create a tower with building blocks of beauty, terror, absurdity and logic. Glenn Gould, Antonin Artaud and Nathaniel Dorsky each prompt concise ruminations on febrile topics which seem obvious once spoken but could only have come from Reinke’s unique viewpoint. Terrifying and tender images and ideas spring forth from these concentrated, short bursts of rhetoric and provocation. — Herb Shellenberger

Steve Reinke

Steve Reinke is an artist and writer best known for his monologue-based video essays. His work is screened widely and is in several collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris) and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). His videos typically have diaristic or collage formats, and his autobiographical voice-overs share his desires and pop culture appraisals with endearing wit.
Born in a village in northern Ontario, he is currently associate professor of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University in Chicago. In the 1990's he produced the ambitious omnibus The Hundred Videos, and a book of his scripts, Everybody Loves Nothing: Scripts 1997-2005 was published by Coach House (Toronto). He has also co-edited several books, including By the Skin of Their Tongues: Artist Video Scripts (with Nelson Henricks, 1997), Lux: A Decade of Artists' Film and Video (with Tom Taylor, 2000), and The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema (with Chris Gehman, 2005).


Devotional Cinema (2019), Libidinal Empathy (2019), Video to Placate Artaud (2019), Eat Your Secrets (with Jessie Mott, 2018), What Weakens the Flesh is Flesh Itself (with James Richards, 2017), ‘The Genital is Superfluous: Final Thoughts, Series Four’ (3 videos, 2014–16), Semen in the Piss of Dreams (2016), Atheists Need Theology, Too (2016), ‘Rib Gets in the Way (Final Thoughts, Series Three)’ (2014), A Day for Cake and Accidents (with Jessie Mott, 2013), ‘The Tiny Ventriloquist: Final Thoughts, Series Two’ (12 videos, 2009–12), A Branch is Too Big to Come Out of a Twig (with Turner Prize*, 2012), Blood & Cinnamon (with Jessie Mott, 2010), Disambiguation (with James Richards, 2010), Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (with James Richards, 2010), Vomit Star (with James Marriott, 2010), Music at Night (with Dani ReStack, 2009), Everybody (with Jessie Mott, 2009), ‘Final Thoughts, Series One’ (9 videos, 2004–07), Picnic (with Dani ReStack, 2006), Anal Masturbation & Object Loss (2002), The Chocolate Factory (2002), J.- P. (Remix of Tuesday and I by Jean-Paul Kelly) (2002), Amsterdam Central Vacation (2001), Sad DIsco Fantasia (2001), 1998 Afternoon (March 21, 1999) (1999), Fireball (1999), Spiritual Animal Kingdom (1998), Art Minutes (1998), How Photographs Are Stored in the Brain (1998), Incidents of Travel (1998), Echo Valley (1998), ‘The Hundred Videos’ (100 videos, 1989–1996) Everybody Loves Nothing (Empathic Exercises) (1996), Andy (1996)