Derrick Adams: "Network"
"Colorful has taught them that they don't need a man," an actress says in artist Derrick Adams' short film On. "They need Colorful." The actress holds a cardboard box with the word "Colorful" collaged onto it, and stands on a comically DIY set. A big, fake TV screen made of fabric squares and plastic hangs on the wall behind her. Several actors peddle cardboard boxes in On, pitching their products as if on a morning show or infomercial. They're enthusiastic if confusing. A girl-guy team peddles "More for Less" by saying it's just nice sometimes to have more, especially when it's for less. Sometimes, the camera zooms out, Brady Bunch–style, so you can see all the actors with their boxes at once, their perky voices overlapping. In On, which plays on a loop in Adams' show "Network" at the California African American Museum, all actors are black and their cultural position is ambiguous, because the set is so esoteric and their boxes all seem empty. Regis and Kathie Lee they are not, but what role do they play, exactly? They seem at least to be parodying on-screen consumerism and polish while acknowledging the sincerity of the desire for more, less or whatever.
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