Video Art (1960s – )

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Deutscher Ausblick, Vostell
Optical Sockets, Campus
Mirage, Jonas

Nantes Triptych, Viola
Untitled (1998-2002), Coleman

Video Art is an art form which relies on using video technology as a visual and audio medium.

Video art emerged during the late 1960s as new consumer video technology such as video tape recorders became available outside corporate broadcasting.

Video art can take many forms: recordings that are broadcast; installations viewed in galleries or museums; works streamed online, distributed as video tapes, or DVDs; and performances which may incorporate one or more television sets, video monitors, and projections, displaying live or recorded images and sounds.

[Source: Wikimedia commons]


Wolf Vostell‘s 1958-9 sculptural assemblage Deutscher Ausblick (German Outlook) presents a morbid and destructive view of Germany’s repressed memory of the Holocaust.

Bones and barbed wire invoke the silenced victims of the concentration camps, whereas newspaper clippings covering the Soviet Army and the military branch of the East German police challenge the euphoric feeling of rescue and reconstruction that was felt in West Germany after 1945.
Two items in this collage, a built-in television and a cover of the German magazine Der Spiegel depicting a Roman Catholic clergyman, serve to comment on the roles of mass media and the Catholic Church, on their neglect and non-suppression of crimes against humanity in the wake of World War II. The incessant disruptions and hissing noise of the flickering black-and-white TV set preside over all, creating a broken reality.
[Source: postwar.hausderkunst.de]

Image source: postwar.hausderkunst.de

Image source: e-flux.com

Optical Sockets, 1972–73. A closed-circuit video installation, with four video control cameras, four monitors, and three video mixers. The image shows it in 1974 at the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY.

Throughout his career, American artist Peter Campus has produced videos, installations, and a body of photographic work now featured in some of the world’s greatest contemporary art museums. His work is credited with influencing an entire generation of artists.
[Source: e-flux.com]
Mirage: performance artist Joan Jonas started er work out of SoHo NY in the 1970s. The image shows the artist perfroming in Mirage. In 2018 at the age of 81 she revisited the piece at the Tate Modern. Mirage is about the interaction of film projection, props, the monitor, and the actor, Joan herself.
[Source: hannahchamberlainfilm.co.uk]

Image source: theguardian.com

Image source: tate.org.uk

Nantes Triptych: Bill Viola has taken a fresh look at the form of the triptych, traditionally used in Western art for religious paintings. His work uses the medium of video, his own contemporary form of spiritual iconography. The three panels of Viola’s triptych show video footage of birth (on the left), death (on the right) and a metaphorical journey between the two represented by a body floating in water (in the centre).
[Source: tate.org.uk]
Untitled (1998-2002); James Coleman‘s films, videos and complex slide projections play constantly with the question of just who is looking and from what viewpoint. The image shows a small black and white video projector presenting some grey and fractured substance or surface at sea in a darker medium. The image was said to appear both topographical and microscopic.
[Source: frieze.com]

Image source: frieze.com

Forward to 1.7.3 Minimalism 1960s-1970s
Back to Back to Photo Realism1.7.2 Op Art Index

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