Hollywood and Vine
20 minutes black and white 1977


Hollywood and Vine
is the final tape in the Malibu series. The Woman from Malibu character tells anecdotes about her late husband and then walks off into the Mojave Desert in search of pony skeletons to re-assemble in her basement.

Hollywood and Vine is the final tape in the Woman from Malibu series, where Campbell assumes his persona as the Woman herself, and “assembles” her onscreen. She rambles on about nearly running over Liza Minelli at the (famous) corner of Hollywood and Vine, and about her desire to follow through with her late husband’s hobby of assembling skeletons of animals found in the Mojave Desert. We last see her as she wanders out into the dunes, under a baking sun, searching for a pony skeleton; it appears that she doesn’t return. Once again, Colin Campbell is the entire visible cast.” (Peggy Gale, Invention Catalogue, Art Metropole, 1993)

Hollywood and Vine is the final tape in a six-part series, The Woman from Malibu, which marked Campbell's shift from solo performances and improvised text to the fully scripted mode characteristic of his subsequent work. The piece was in part a response to life in southern California, with its strange inhabitants and bizarre realities. The Woman from Malibu was inspired by actual news items, but the character soon took on a life of her own. As Campbell says in an interview with Sue Ditta, "I ended up playing the Woman from Malibu sort of by accident. I didn't know anyone in California, I had no money—it just seemed like a natural to play her. [...] I became quite involved with her. That's why I didn't try to separate her from me in terms of appearance and certainly not in terms of voice."

As the piece opens we see Campbell sitting by a TV screen as he becomes the Woman from Malibu with her mascara and earrings, her blond wig and sunglasses. She talks about recent events and her desires for the future, then—ready—she walks out into the desert, alone, searching for pony skeletons, and disappears into the distance. As critic Stuart Marshall has written of this work, "I was unsettled and disturbed; but this play with my emotions, this movement, this shift from the secure place I expected to occupy as a viewing subject was accompanied by a thrill, a sense that the world of representation was being broken up to allow new possibilities to be glimpsed-the possibilities of other dramas, other fictions, other realisms, other subjectivities." (“Hollywood and Vine description” by Peggy Gale, www.videoart.virtualmuseum.ca)

Cast: Colin Campbell.

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