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In the Video Databank: Lawrence Wiener

Michelle Zis

A Bit of Matter and a Little Bit More
Lawrence Weiner 1976

Warning: Must be over 18 to see this film. "A Bit of Matter and a Little Bit More" is pornographic in the most literal sense of the word; the entire film consists of sexually explicit images. This film is about the filming of people having sex. Yet, you forget about the filming proccess and you find yourself just watching people have sex. Weiner, a central figure in Conceptual art in the 60s and 70s, finds a variety of uses for language in this film. Words, syllables, or single letters move in and out on the screen imitating the movement of the subjects being filmed. The film also contains layers of dialogue: The voice of a Kinsey-esque questioner asks, "Do you think there is a difference between fucking and making love?" A girlrambles on about sex: "Some people are really into breasts and other people are into hips...and other people are into eyelashes and other nostrils ... you can have sex with your ears." One funny thing about this film is that the music playing in the background is the exact same music used in present-day porno films. If you are questioning the issues of art versus pornography, this film pitches in its two cents' worth.

February 2005