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 John Sturgeon  (1946 - )

About: John Sturgeon


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Lived/Active: California      Known for: performance and video art

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Biography from Long Beach Museum of Art:
Sturgeon's work can be seen as a continuing process of concentration and abstraction.  Through the process of a continuing introspection, the viewer of Sturgeon's work is confronted with the conflict between the rational and observable aspects of an outer landscape coldly portrayed in black and white video, and a 'mystical' non-objective set of symbols and activities constructed from the language of a variety of non-rational symbol systems. Both worlds are posed as mutually inclusive; both seem clearly related to Sturgeon's exploration of his consciousness." -

- "Sturgeon's use of state-of-the-art communications technology to express this basic concern (the coexistance of a highly personal yet completely universal kind of self-knowledge) is similarly rooted in his desire to propound the timeless in terms of the most immediate and ephemeral form of communication available to him. Initially, his work took the form of environmental sculpture, in which he dealt with what he perceived as the split between the individual and his or her environment. But as it became clear to Sturgeon that this mistaken perception had its roots in a more internalized conflict, he found that video was a medium well-suited to the kind of reflective and synthetic work he had to pursue. After making a series of dense, heavily-edited tapes, during which time he evolved a highly evocative personal symbolic language drawn from Jungian and Cabalistic archetypes, Sturgeon's work evolved from pure videotape into combined live and taped performances which even further exemplified the distinctions he sought to unify. The dialogue between live performance and recorded time created for Sturgeon a space in which he could fully explore his universal, yet personal, dialogue."

David A. Ross, director

Two Video Installations catalogue

Long Beach Museum of Art, 1978

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