|Mar. 25, 1997||Apr. 29, 1997|
Art Watch Index - Apr. 22, 1997
Art Watch Back Number Index
<<Video Sculpture in Germany since 1963>>
Video installations of
Photos: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
Nam June Paik in the '90s
Gallery Guide: Artist: NJPaik
swatch / Artist / Nam Jun Paik
Nam June Paik
GUGGENHEIM SOHO : MEDIASCAPE : Nam June Paik
Nam Jun Paik
Fine Art Rafael Vostell / Wolf Vostell
REFUGEE REPUBLIC / Ingo Günther
Ingo Günther: Refugee Republic
The Exhibition by Ingo Günther,
<<Refugee Republic>> at P3 art and environment
ARTIFICES 4 - Galerie / Jeffrey Shaw - Biographie
Who is Jeffrey Shaw?
GUGGENHEIM SOHO : MEDIASCAPE : Jeffrey Shaw
Exhibitions - Ulrike Rosenbach
ULRIKE ROSENBACH: OSHO SAMADHI
<<Video Sculpture in Germany Since 1963>>
Installations with part video image
Video art does not necessarily consist of video footage alone. The meaning of video art here should be defined as a three-dimensional work of art incorporating video image (in the earlier days when such video images were not available, films or TV were used). They are installations incorporating motion films. In a world where extraordinary development of various media is in progress, sometimes being mistaken for maniacs if we overly indulge ourselves in the development, art should not be influenced by developed technology, and video art must take the initiative and question the possibility of the meaning within a world where technology penetrates.
There is no mystery in the fact that Germany embraced this type of art from its earlier evolution. In retrospect, Germany already conceived kinetic art in the '20's, possessing a leading position in the history of art using light, movement, and innovative materials. Even after World War II, though Germany apparently seemed quiet, it had inherited such traditions of art within the new art scene, seeking for the new meaning which could possibly be created by art, and it also stood on the same basis of movements pursuing performance and conceptual art. From the early days, there were non-German artists, such as Nam June Paik, who was a pioneer of video art, and also German artists who held exhibitions in the United States from an early period, such as Wolf Vostell. <<Video Sculpture in Germany Since 1963>>, held at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Shinagawa, Tokyo, was first held in Germany in 1994. Ever since, the exhibition is traveling the world. The value of this exhibition lies in the fact that it gives visitors a chance to understand how seriously German video art has been promoted throughout its evolution, and to see the present landscape of the movement.
The narrative nature and interaction
Roughly speaking, works in the exhibition can be divided into ones which create a narrative character using VCR or other devices, and into works where the audience are incorporated into the system, the devices respond to the action, and the audience also receive certain experiences as a result. The work by Franziska Megert, featuring the metamorphosis of young and old women into spiders using computers reminds us of Arachne in the Greek myth, and Jean-Franćois Guiton's work, which is a combination of a windmill-like construction communicating a pastoral tranquility and a video footage of a performer who swings a stick, is an interpretation of Don Quixote in the modern world. These are examples of works with narrative. The device by Ingo Günther in which one must lie down and poke his head into a hole, allowing him to see a monitor above his head though the image appears only for an instant, and Jeffrey Shaw's work where the image displayed changes as the viewer walks, are both types of works that offer a certain experience to the audience. In either case, what is common among the German works is that they do not end in a showoff of extreme technology, but they pose existential or epistemological questions in certain meanings. Of course, video art always has a risk of becoming banal because it uses the VCR which has become far too familiar. It can be said that this exhibition was an appropriate exhibition to examine how much potential video art has as a form of contemporary art without turning into an ephemeral art using a new medium.
[Koji TAKI/Art Critic]
|Art Watch Back Number Index|
|Mar. 25, 1997||Apr. 29, 1997|