Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Stan Douglas (Canadian, b. 1960)

Evening, 1994

Color video installation, 20 minutes

Dimensions variable


Restricted gift of Frances and Thomas Dittmer; and Bernice and Kenneth Newberger Fund
1996.40

The video installation, Evening, presents three news broadcasts that were reconstructed by the artist using original news scripts from three specific days in 1968 and 1969. Actors read the news, which includes coverage of such major political stories as the murder of Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, the trial of the Chicago Seven, and H. Ross Perot’s failed trip to Hanoi to return American prisoners during the Vietnam War.

In restaging the broadcasts, Stan Douglas drew attention to two contradictory developments: the increasing gravity of events and the introduction of the “happy talk” news format in Chicago in the late 1960s. This lighthearted style of news presentation was first introduced by the ABC-owned, Chicago-area station WLS, and was then quickly imitated across the United States.