"I am mentioned in the credits
but the ghost
Chaotic hostage situation, dead partner, local celebrity, prison time, political embarrassment, Hollywood blockbuster, and loss of control over identity-just a partial list of the fallout from that fateful August day in 1972 when John Wojtowicz attempted to rob a Chase Manhattan Bank in Brooklyn. Huyghe, who has long been interested in how fictional media re-imagine and in turn reinvent our lives, uses the video camera to allow Wojtowicz to reinterpret the events of his life that have become forever entwined with Al Pacino and the movie Dog Day Afternoon. Not a correction, but rather a new fiction created by a combination of1972 news footage, the Hollywood invention, and Wojtowicz's re-interpretation, the work (as its title tells us) becomes a third memory of the events of that steamy August day. The video tellingly underscores that the first memory of the event is irretrievably lost and that we continually add more layers, true and untrue, relevant and irrelevant, to the story. Huyghe's practice is contextualized within the larger field of video and media arts by Christine Van Assche, curator of new media at the Centre Georges Pompidou, while Jean-Charles Mass?ra's "The Lesson of Stains," modeled after Debord's Society of the Spectacle, uses Huyghe's appropriation of Dog Day Afternoon as the starting point for a treatise theorizing a more complex relationship between our selves and our roles in mass media events.
Published in conjunction with the Centre Georges Pompidou
2000, 144pp., 30 color illus., paperback