Dieter Meier: YELLO Video Performances


WhiteBox at PERFORMA13 present
Dieter Meier
YELLO Video Performances
Nov. 3-21 | Daily 11-6pm

Dieter Meier in conversation with Anthony Haden-Guest
Surprise guest performer Nin Brudermann
Nov. 21 | 6pm
Closing reception Nov. 21 | 6-8pm

Since the 1960s Dieter Meier has been an active film director, performance artist, conceptual artist and musician. Dieter Meier became known to the broader public as part of the influential Electro Pop duo YELLO, partnering with Boris Blank to produce eighteen albums. YELLO‘s 1985 single ‘Oh Yeah’ is featured on sound tracks to popular films and TV shows such as Ferris Bueller’s Day OffThe Secret to My Suce$sSouth Park and The Simpsons. YELLO music videos shown during the 1980s emphatically defined early video performance genre on MTV and other dedicated programming.

Meier’s father, a Zurich millionaire, let his son do as he pleased. So he made avant-garde movies in the late-1960s and ‘70s. “As an experimental filmmaker, I used the camera like a brush, creating moving frescoes. The drama was film as film. Using the same technique, 16mm films became animated stage designs, projected on high reflection scotch screens, in front of which YELLO performed.” Dieter Meier 2003

Out of the creation of these experimental films the first ‘music videos’ emerged. “I started to produce these little films for fun, because the music of Boris Blank was incredibly inspiring” says Dieter Meier. “We had quite a few of these YELLO films ready, and when MTV started to broadcast them, this new format was called music video.” As YELLO did not play live, these videos were the only format with which the band could present itself to an audience.

In a time when rockers everywhere were aping the Americans and Brits, YELLO was a progenitor of electro and a distinctly continental European band. Meier channeled his neo-Dadaist sensibility into a gush of videos that became staples of early MTV.

With his YELLO video performances, Dieter Meier not only contributed to the stylistic development of video and film, but also created an ‘image’ culture in new media which made his experimental visuals accessible to a broad audience.

YELLO VIDEO PERFORMANCES at WhiteBox, curated by Harald Falckenberg and Tony Guerrero, is a selection of music video performances produced between 1981 and 2009.