Peter Rose: Witness

The Pressures of the Text

Pressures of the Text (excerpt) from peter rose on Vimeo.

The Pressures of the Text (1983, video, color, sound) integrates direct address, invented languages, ideographic subtitles, sign language, and simultaneous translation to investigate the feel and form of sense, the shifting boundaries between meaning and meaninglessness. A parody of art/critspeak, educational instruction, gothic narrative, and pornography, it has been performed as a live work at major media centers and new music festivals in the US and Europe. The piece was written, directed and delivered by Peter Rose; co-directed by Jessie Jane Lewis; with sign language and ideographic symbols by Jessie Jane Lewis; and with English simultran by Fred Curchack. The work was featured in the 1985 Whitney Biennial, won a Red Ribbon at the American Film Festival, and has been awarded major prizes at festivals around the world. For the complete work please go to: (read script)


", witty, and relentless..vigorously  and accurately deflates academic pretensions."
Helen De Michiel, Afterimage

"Rose's terrific sense of humor and genius at timing make him a cross between an intellectual Eddie Murphy and an old-time  vaudeville  comedian with a Ph.D."
Ann-Sargent Wooster, Afterimage

"This  acute and logical parody of newspeak of every kind bites, like Ouroboros, its own tail."
Erik Daams, Worldwide Video Festival

"As Rose sits before his tape deck, gathering dust and harvesting confusion, he ponders the way a word can seem both phenomenological and polemically encoded, and The Pleasures of the Text takes on the character of a deconstructivist 'Krapp's Last Tape.'"
Jay Carr, Boston Globe

"VOX 13 collection"
David Finkelstein, FilmThreat

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