The Chelsea Tapes (TRT 00:51:15) is a series of 26 video vignettes forming an autobiographical diary of Lamarre's extended stay at Manhattan's infamous and famous Chelsea Hotel. The Chelsea Tapes was awarded Best Non-Narrative Video at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1986, and can be found in numerous collections, including the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) in London, and the Staedlijk Museum in Amsterdam. The Chelsea Tapes was also awarded The Kitchen Media Bureau Grant in 1984 and 1985.

The back-story:

Lamarre's stay at the Chelsea Hotel (initially planned for three months evolving to be nearly 2 years) was enabled by a fellowship in 1982 from Creative Arts Program Services (CAPS) for his multi-media/video/performances: Baking Bread and From The Adult to the Child.

Inspired by the fact that luminaries the likes of; Dylan Thomas, Virgil Thomson, Viva, and Sid Vicious took up residence at the Chelsea (Lamarre would occasionally share the elevator with Virgil and Viva), he sought to capture in video what influences if any, the legendary hotel could have on his work.

Lamarre began shooting the "C." Tapes in 1983 and soon found a collaborator in Melissa Wolf. They met at an opening of the New Museum, which at the time was located in literally a closet at the New School. "The New Meu" as it was referred to was still burgeoning under the driving force of the Museum's founder Marcia Tucker. After imbibing too many cocktails during the after-party at the art world haunt "Danceteria" the two found themselves back at the Chelsea. The rest is history, Wolf became chief cameraperson and editor.

A footnote:

The Chelsea Tapes, though awarded at the San Francisco International Film Festival was NEVER screened at the festival. At the time the presenters explained to Lamarre that it was a "miscommunication" between two of the screening venues. But in actuality the work was censored due to what some wrongly perceived as pornographic content.

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