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Tally and Russ Johnson

Last Name: 
Johnson
First Name: 
Tally and Russ

From distinct backgrounds, Taly and Russ have been creating visual art since they met. Their work is a mixture of video, photography, collage and book art. Taly, a Film and TV graduate of New York University, was born in Israel and has directed and produced several short narrative films. Russ, a Detroit native and a Cooper Union graduate, has been showing media art since 1984. They met in New York in 1988 and worked together producing multi-media music shows with the performance group The Leisure Class. As a team, they continued to produce collage, artist books, short video pieces, and documentaries. They married in May 1992. Taly and Russ' video subjects range from protests (in "A Few Protests And A Parade", a Gulf War documentary); Rock bands (The Rutles, RamonesÖ); Herbert Huncke (the late Beat writer) reading in a downtown basement; Jerry Brown (Presidential hopeful) on the campaign trail, and Ira Schneider (one of the fathers of video art) is in their newest conceptual piece "Surveillance Tapes". Their videos have been shown in such distinct venues as The Kitchen and The Knitting factory in New York; Festival Der Nationen in Linz, Austria, International Video Summit Videomedeja, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, McMurdo Station in Antarctica as well as the internet at The Sync Online Film Festival. The Rabin Center in Tel Aviv, Israel has recently acquired Silent Voices, a video-poem documenting a spontaneous graffiti tribute that appeared on the site of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination. In their artist book editions they juxtapose images and words to explore new effects in communication. They strive to expose the unseen and overlooked. Their humorous photo book "DEAD TREES, A Holiday Album" is a strangely hopeful collection of discarded Christmas trees on New York City streets. The late William S. Burroughs said their apocalyptic collage book "More Satanic Verses" was "Great". Their books are in diverse collections such as The Museum Of Modern Art library, The New York State Library, International Art Archive in Pisa, Italy, and The City Art Museum, Koenigsberg-Kaliningrad, Russia. With generic toys as their subject, Taly and Russ are currently working on an ongoing conceptual series of short dadaist videos. They choose common objects and toys to focus on a fascination with how the camera captures and communicates ideas. For poetic adventure they will turn the camera upside-down, spray water, cover video monitors in industrial gray machine parts, snow etc. In video work they love to play with the medium, as well as, the idea of what we expect from the televised image, always bending, blending, turning, spindling, and ripping to reveal something new. Often humorous and sometimes political their work has always drawn comment: "Decidedly weird" The Stranger, Seattle WA "Delicious" Umbrella Review "Nifty" Dragon's breath, international small press review, UK "The epitome of a slacker" The Herald, Pennsylvania "...A refreshing blast of comic, arty observations" Beet magazine, NY "Overwhelming" DJ Times And even "most troubling" and "irresponsible" New York Newsday, NY They continue to present work in galleries, performance spaces, festivals and shows throughout the world. Taly and Russ live in New York City with their five-year-old daughter, Truly. http://www.talyandruss.com