Selections of Video Art from the Gallery 210 Collection.
- Jesse McLean: Just Like Us
- Jim Finn: Dick Cheney in a Cold Dark Place
- Les LeVeque: Backwards Birth of a Nation
- Julia Hechtman: Small Miracles
- Alex Rivera and Lalo Lopez: Animaquiladora
- Susie Silver and Hilary Harp: Robot Love
January 30-March 22, 2016
Video art, of which television is the most prominent, probably touches more people more significantly than all other media. The home television set remains our most common and familiar monitor although the computer, tablet and smart phone screens are challenging its dominance.
In as much as all art is about communication, what is unique about video art is its primarily concern with access to the means, methods and production of mass communication. Lacking the material aspects of painting, sculpture, theatre and even photography video art, like cinema, incorporates image with movement and often with sound to create a compelling and immersive experience.
In 1965 Sony’s Portapak, a portable camera and recording deck, gave artists access to affordable and portable equipment that had previously been unavailable. The Portapak, as well as and entry of video recoding equipment from many other manufacturers into the mass consumer marketplace, helped artists advance and establish video as an art form by the of 1970’s. It quickly becoming a mainstream art practice by the 1980’s and is a part of many artists studio practice today.
Video art was named after the videotape that was commonly used in the early years of the medium’s development. The name remains despite advances in technology to smaller and still more portable recording cameras to advances in the power of computers and software making it easier for artists to master the medium. Once CD-ROM, DVD, superseded videotape and now those technologies have been replaced by ever evolving developments in digital media.
Video art is not film. One of the key differences between video art and theatrical cinema is that video art does not necessarily rely on many of the conventions that define theatrical cinema. Video art may not employ actors, may contain no dialogue, may have no discernible narrative, or plot or adhere to any of the other conventions that generally define movies as entertainment. Perhaps the simplest, most straightforward distinction would then be to say that (perhaps) cinema’s ultimate goal is to entertain, whereas video art’s intentions place the emphases on process, experience and critique.
The artists featured in this exhibition offer a variety perspectives on gender, political and social issues from Jesse McLean’s Just Like Us, a commentary on the longing and constraints in a consumerist society; to Jim Finn’s Dick Cheney in a Cold Dark Place passionate protest of the former vice president’s activities and status; to Les LeVeque: Backwards Birth of a Nation, a re-editing of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation into a pulsating inversion, frame-by-frame, black-and phantasm; to Julia Hechtman’s Small Miracles that deals with issues of agency and control, to Alex Rivera and Lalo Lopez’s Animaquiladora that combines the latest in digital imaging technology and cutting edge Latino political satire, and Susie Silver and Hilary Harp’s Robot Love inspired, in part, by the cover of Megatron Man, Patrick Cowley’s archetypal Hi-NRG album. Robot Love is a celebration of the playful, synthetic, party-driven hedonistic culture of disco.
The exhibition starts January 30 and continues through March 22, 2016.
All Gallery 210 events are free and open to the public. Public parking for Gallery 210 is available at the South Millennium Parking Garage on the east side of East Drive on the UM-St. Louis Campus. Handicapped parking is available behind Gallery 210.
Gallery 210 is on the University of Missouri-St. Louis at 44 East Drive, TCC between the North UM-St. Louis Metro Station and the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The gallery phone is (314) 516-5976; the fax is (314) 516-4997; and email is email@example.com. For parking locations, campus maps and directions to Gallery 210 please visit our website at umsl.edu/~gallery/.