[text] Chip Lord
Abscam (Framed) 1981, 10:30 min., Color and B&W, mono sound
by Chip Lord
Abscam is a contraction of Abdul-Scam. Abdul refers to Abdul Enterprises, the name of a phony organization set up by the FBI as a front.
Congressman Michael "Ozzie" Myers of South Philadelphia was charged with taking a $ 50.000 dollar bribe from two Abscam agents, and sharing it with three co-defendents.
The first tape we will see [the historical surveillance footage] was recorded on August 22nd, 1979 in a room at the Travel Lodge International Hotel at New York's Kennedy airport.
The tape shows Congressman Myers accepting the $ 50.000 dollars from FBI agent Anthony Amoroso Jr., posing as an Arab representative named Tony DiVito, and Melvin Weinberg, a convicted swindler and con man...
The device which frames this footage is the artist's accounting of his "return to the scene of the crime". Footage shot by Lord and Skip Blimberg at the Travel Lodge is then intercut with the FBI material as an attempt to insert the artist into history. But the fascination and boredom of real time surveillance remains, at the center of this tape.