Peter Vronsky (Peter Wronski)
created numerous formal
art works consisting of sculptural video installations and video-art
tapes. His works were exhibited both in Canada and internationally.
Some of the many venues in which Vronsky exhibited are:
Flavio Belli Gallery,
Vronsky's emergence as a video artist was the result of a network television project gone horribly wrong: a 1980-81 undercover assignment to film inside KKK activities in Toronto. Vronsky assembled video material never broadcast, producing a videotape entitled REICHLAND which was shown in parallel art galleries and video festivals across Canada and Europe.
Taping live unedited
satellite feeds during the day from the scene of Egyptian President Sadat's
assassination in Cairo in October 1981, Wronski tracked them to their eventual
"packaging" in the evening network news programs later that same
"Everyone who works for
TV news should see the brilliantly edited installation and discover how clichéd
and comical all the major newscasters of our time really seem when portrayed
in this wickedly witty and manipulative manner."
During massive anti-nuclear demonstrations in New York City in June 1982, Vronsky followed and videotaped TV news crews at work on the streets of the city and then taped their network edited footage as it was broadcast hours later. The combination of Vronsky's unedited footage and the edited network footage of the same events show that while it is true, the camera never lies, the pictures it takes, often do.
A chance encounter with a group of Vietnam war veterans lobbying the American Psychiatric Association during the annual convention in a Toronto hotel, led to the making of this video. The veterans were seeking the psychiatrists' recognition of PTSD -- Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome or "Flashback Syndrome" as a certified psychiatric disorder. Vronsky's video was one of the first to describe what was then mostly an unknown disorder. The video documents the unique circumstances leading to the development of PTSD among some former Vietnam War combatants and visualizes what a PTSD episode might feel like for the sufferer.
WAR CAN BE LIKE THIS is described by
"television art" as opposed to video art. His position was
representative of divisions in the video art community at the time between those who
believed that video art should remain a formal art form for gallery viewing with
academic critical criteria and those artists who believed that video art can
be popular and broadcast on television to wider audiences and should not be necessarily
limited by formal art criteria.
An extract from WAR CAN BE LIKE THIS can be viewed
by clicking on the links below.
He is currently completing his Ph.D. in history at the University of Toronto. His first book, Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters is scheduled to be published by Penguin Group/Berkley Books in New York in October 2004. Vronsky is working on his next book, American Extreme: Insurrection, Terror and Conspiracy in the USA Since 1945.