Against the "subject" of video, circa 1976 : Joan Jonas's Good night good morning and an archive of "narcissism"

Access full-text files




Williams, Robin Kathleen, 1981-

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



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.



LCSH Subject Headings