The Hundred Videos

Steve Reinke

100 videos (black and white, color, and sound).
Runtime: 04:38:43
The Hundred Videos is a project undertaken by prolific video artist Steve Reinke, including 100 video works made from 1989-1996. Discussing death, sex, the body, philosophy, and contemporary art, The Hundred Videos defines a unique style of video-essay for the end of the 20th Century.


Made on a limited budget, Steve Reinke’s multiyear project The Hundred Videos, reflects a moment in the late 1980s when the declining costs of video production made it possible for young artists to work quickly and inexpensively in the medium. Instead of aiming to produce a single long-form masterpiece, Reinke used The Hundred Videos as a moving-image sketchbook, a space for experimentation across a series of short-form works. While the videos draw upon many sources—combining lo-fi original footage with archival, pop-cultural, and pornographic imagery—they are united by Reinke’s droll narration. His voice-overs offer observations and stories that are apparently unrelated to the images on screen, articulating the artist’s skepticism about the conventions of documentary filmmaking.

In Excuse of the Real (1989)—the first of The Hundred Videos—Reinke ironically adopts the position of a mainstream documentary filmmaker making a film tracing the slow death of a person with AIDS. By 1989, the AIDS epidemic continued to reach new heights, with tens of thousands of infections and deaths in the United States alone. Reinke’s voice-over details his search for “a white, Anglophone homosexual male…under 30,” a subject whose age and race would ostensibly garner empathy from middle-class heterosexual audiences. By pointing toward the ways people with AIDS were often positioned as spectacles of hapless victimhood, Excuse of the Real offers a sharply satirical take on the politics of representation.

- Brandon EngMellon-Marron Research Consortium Fellow, Department of Media and Performance Art

full text here: MoMA Magazine

Accessed through Video Data Bank with funds provided by the Queer Curatorial Fund from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Department of Film, Video, Animation and New Genres.

April 1, 2022
April 16, 2022