The Live! Show

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
Dec 2, 2013 10:37PM

The artistic exploration of television has recently come into the artworld's spotlight, though in practice this is a history as old as the technology itself, especially for artists interested in furthering the provocations of the avant-garde movements of the early 20th Century.

Jaime Davidovich is one such artist, and his pioneering television projects are featured in Churner and Churner gallery's "Museum of Television Culture," on view in New York through December 21st, 2013. This show is currently an Artforum critics' pick.

Below is text by Leah Churner, excerpted from the show's accompanying Catalog:

“…Davidovich launched The Live! Show on Channel J in December, 1979. It was jerry-built vaudeville: a vehement half-hour of comedy sketches and guest performances (by Michael Smith, Marshall Efron, and others) interviews, on-location news reports, and homemade commercials. In the first few episodes, Davidovich directed, only tentatively venturing onscreen. But as he acclimatized to the blinding lights of the studio, he found his inner “television personality.” He pattered his stage identity after Ernie Kovacs, the visionary video-manipulator and charming emcee, best known for his series of television specials on the ABC network in 1961-62. Like Kovacs, Davidovich paired absurdist physical comedy with paltry “special effects” using green screen, and appeared in each episode as his bizarre ausländer alter-ego: Dr. Videovich, a clinician fresh off the boat from Buenos Aires, trained by German psychologists and specializing in “Television Therapy.” Sitting behind a desk in a lab coat, the doctor gave advice to home viewers who suffered from TV addiction. Each Friday night at 11 p.m., Davidovich/Videovich opened the phones and faced his audience – not only peers in the art world, but skeptical viewers at home.”

Churner, Leah. “Television Therapy: Jaime Davidovich and Manhattan Cable Access.” Museum of Television Culture. Churner and Churner, 2013. 25.

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)