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Unwrapping "Reality Bites" on VHS

An obsessive, repetitive gesture: hands turning, picking, and pulling the shrink-wrap off of a VHS copy of the 1994 Gen X hallmark Reality Bites against a plain blue screen backdrop. Over the course of this ten- minute undressing, the artist mimics the excitement of teenage fandom, reciting in cool detail the film’s plotline, character types, cast, and current market value of the outmoded VHS. It’s clear, this VHS is more than the object a teen’s pop-culture fetish and fascination. Rather, the unopened Reality Bites VHS represents, for the narrator, a line to be crossed. The transgressive act is the narrator making plans to unwrap and watch the film – an act that will alter the value of the object as a still sealed, original, unblemished, and authentic copy to a tampered with, used, and ultimately not collectable VHS edition.

Country, Year United States, 2015
DirectorEileen Maxson
Runtime10 MINS, 25 SECS
GenreExperimental, Short