Video Art

Marcel Broodthaers – A Voyage on the North Sea (1974)

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Between 1957 and his death in 1976, Marcel Broodthaers made approximately fifty films. The exact number is difficult to determine: Several no longer exist; some are multipart “programs” assembled from groups of short films (many appropriated from industrial or otherwise “authorless” sources); and others are subtle variations on previous works. A recent exhibition at pioneering curator and collector Thomas Solomon’s new gallery, Solo Projects, paired a 16-mm silent film, Un Voyage en Mer du Nord (A Voyage on the North Sea), 1973-74, with a thirty-eight-page, French-bound book that shares its title and ostensible subject matter: the pairing of a late-nineteenth-century amateur painting of an archetypal European ship and a twentieth-century photograph of a pleasure boat against a modern urban backdrop. The roughly four-minute film is projected on a retractable home-movie screen–a Broodthaers motif–and the book displayed on a simple wooden shelf, lit by a single spotlight. Read More »

Gregg Bordowitz – Habit (2001)


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Habit is an autobiographical documentary that follows the current history of the AIDS epidemic along dual trajectories: the efforts of South Africa’s leading AIDS activist group, the Treatment Action Campaign, struggling to gain access to AIDS drugs and the daily routine of the videomaker, a veteran AIDS activist in the U.S. who has been living with AIDS for more than ten years. The videomaker moves through his day, attending to mundane errands, eating, taking pills, having conversations with friends (some of whom have diseases such as AIDS and Breast Cancer, and others of whom are healthy), as recurring memories of a recent trip to South Africa interrupt the routine. Habit presents a rigorous working-through of ideas concerning privilege, ethics, responsibility, futility, solidarity, hope, and struggle. Read More »

Fiona Tan – News from the Near Future (2003)

Amsterdam-based photographer and video artist Fiona Tan (born 1966) has been a central figure on the contemporary art scene since the 1990s. In her video News from the Near Future (2003) a collage of historic film and audio material tells of man’s ambivalent relationship with water as a force of nature. Drawing on the archives of the Amsterdam Film Museum, Tan composed a narrative crescendo starting off with idyllic impressions of the watery world and building to increasingly menacing scenarios of an unleashed nature. Images of floods and churning seas, of wild winds and storms, parade before our eyes the destructive force of water. Tragedies at sea are reported in the style of old newsreels or radio shows, segueing into pictures of flooded cities that – as indicated in the work’s title – forebode future catastrophes. The cinematic repertoire of waves, tides and floods acts as an historical memory, presenting the sea as a metaphor for the flow of time. Read More »

Werner Nekes & Dore O. – Beuys (1981)

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Beuys 1981
11 min.
Format 16 mm colour

The term ‘visual arts’ that is prevailing in modernity is really a symptom for the reduction of perceptional categories within the human creativity as a whole. An anthropological conception of art – and I have proved for instance in sculptural theory that you hear a sculpture before you see it, that consequently the auditive element is not just an equal part, but a constituent of the perception of plastic art – confronts you with the task of exploring the conception of creativity in all directions, of spreading it out and substantiating it anthropologically. So for instance, the human creativity potential as a whole doesn’t only comprise the recognition criteria in thought, but it also comprises the sensational categories in the middle of the soul, that is, the moving element, and it positively comprises the will potential in human will. It is this interpretation of human creativity potential, beginning with the triple position, the connections of will, sense, and thought categories, which will get you to the more differentiated position of considering the perception, too, and thus the connection of human senses, discovering that for example seeing, the visual sense, the auditory sense, the static sense, the architectonic sense, the haptic sense, can be thought forward into the sense of feeling, the sense of will, the sense of thinking, and many other still to be developed senses. Read More »