Paul Pfeiffer, still from The Pure Products Go Crazy, 1998. Digital video, DVD player, miniature projector, and metal armature; color, silent, looped; image, 3 × 4 in. (7.6 × 10.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee and the Film and Video Committee 2000.151
PAULPFEIFFER: Pretty much at the center of this image is this butt in white underwear that’s doing this thing which is very simple, very suggestive, but it’s unclear whether this person is having a fit, or is dancing, or doing something sexual, or you know, going crazy, like the title says.
NARRATOR: Paul Pfeiffer talks about his piece, The Pure Products Go Crazy. It incorporates a brief excerpt from a scene in Tom Cruise’s 1983 film, Risky Business.
PAULPFEIFFER: This video is actually the first video that I ever made. It was really just a matter of doing a very simple edit that involved kind of looping the image and causing it to go backwards and forwards. At the time I wasn’t really interested in a narrative use of the medium of video in the way that I think people usually assume that’s how you’re going to use it. For me, the looping, aside from being kind of the most direct and easy way to work with the images, my feeling is that it also, in a very simple way, capitalizes on an inherent iconic power that certain images to me have. This image for example, was one that sort of stuck in my mind since I was a kid when I first saw it. I actually tried editing different sections of that dance scene, but it really ended up being that particular moment, when sort of detached from the other two hours of the movie, seemed to have its own kind of iconicity and its own suggestive meaning to it.