Against the "subject" of video, circa 1976 : Joan Jonas's Good night good morning and an archive of "narcissism"
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This thesis analyzes the relationship between Joan Jonas’s 1976 videotape Good Night Good Morning and the existing historiographical discourse on video art from the 1970s. I begin with a careful analysis and historical contextualization of Rosalind Krauss’s seminal 1976 essay on video art, “Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism.” I then compare her essay with a number of present-day interpretations of video art that are in part motivated by a departure from Krauss and identify a range of presuppositions that have persisted through the art historical discourse on video art from the mid-1970s forward. Finally, I demonstrate that the terms of this essentially medium-specific discourse are too limited to offer a satisfying analysis of Good Night Good Morning and argue that understanding Jonas’s work requires an intermedial analysis.