Junger Ankauf


Tom Burr - Video Booths


“Tom Burr belongs to a generation of artists for whom the term “context art” emerged in the 1990s, although it never really caught on. The contexts activated by Burr include different disciplines like the public architectures, social dynamics and political restrictions in urban space […].”

Tom Burr, Video Booths, 1995
Tom Burr: Video Booths, 1995, installation view Museum Ludwig 2007 © Tom Burr and Galerie Neu, Berlin, Photo: Lee M.

Video Booths, 1995
Tom Burr “primarily references marginalized settings (parks, public toilets, porn cinemas, gay bars) in which (homo)sexual identity can be fashioned. The relaxation of legal restrictions from the mid-1960s onwards suddenly created the need to design a new architectural element which would permit (semi-) private enjoyment of pornographic films or peepshows in a public area. This architecture is the starting point of Burr’s work Video Booths. Made of simple plywood and measuring 304 × 120 × 214 cm, it corresponds to the dimensions of a real video booth. Given the subject matter, this is a surprisingly reduced aesthetics which does not present provocative images, but in fact strictly bans any erotic material. Burr brings the site of a subculture, a sexualized zone, into the context of a public art exhibition, thereby implicitly raising the issue of demarcation between the public and private sphere, of sexual spaces and architectures, gay locations and of the way they construct meaning and identity.”

Text: Kristina Scepanski, from the publication “Junger Ankauf”, Cologne 2012