VIDEO . ART
09/03 – 13/05/2012, Exhibition hall
Curators: Anna Szöke, Andreas Hoffer
The Essl Museum is dedicating a specific exhibition to video art, with twelve works by eleven international artists. All works are part of the Essl Collection, including one of the key works in the evolution of video art Les Larmes D’acier by Marie-Jo Lafontaine, which was shown for the first time in the Documenta in Kassel in 1987. The further video works in >SPOTLIGHTS< illustrate the focus of the Essl Collection, such as Austrian artists (VALIE EXPORT) in an international context, pioneers of media art (Nam June Paik, Bill Viola) and the support of up-and-coming talent (Kateřina Šedá, Jakub Nepraš / Essl Art Award and Christian Gonzenbach / Emerging Artist). What is also remarkable is the broad spectrum of forms of presentation, which ranges from installative video architecture, to projections, object-related monitor displays to the display of artefacts. Developments in the field of video art in the last few decades become comprehensible.
An important question of media art, namely the long-term maintenance of the individual video work, is becoming particularly clear in the contribution by the Belgian artist Marie-Jo Lafontaine. The video installation Les Larmes D’acier, which gained her widespread recognition at the 1987 Documenta 8, is being shown again for the first time in 10 years. After this important work of video art had been shown internationally at biennials, museums and galleries until 1990 and had been
technically adapted several times, in 1999 it was acquired in a fragmentary condition by the collector couple the Essls. The media section of the Essl Museum was able to research the design, installation documentations and the history of the work and in close cooperation with Lafontaine managed to restore it to its original state. The display, consisting of 27 CRT monitors and a wooden base has been re-installed, the artist has been invited personally to set up the video sculpture for the opening and to make it accessible to the audience again.
Les Larmes d’acier, 1987
Video installation with 27 monitors
420 x 730 x 180 cm
7’41“ loop, color, sound
Photo: Mischa Nawrata, Wien
NAM JUNE PAIK
Duet Memory, 1995
(1 Klavier, 1 Laser-Disk-Player, 22 Fernseher in unterschiedlicher Größe,
Radio- und Fernsehschränke, Holzbank, Hosenträger, Armbanduhr)
180 x 265 x 200 cm
© Nachlass des Künstlers
Photo: Archiv Sammlung Essl
Nam June Paik is considered to be a pioneer of media art. His large-format video work Duet Memory (1995) is a homage to the world of music, which relates particularly to his friends and colleagues Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage and Joseph Beuys.
In his video installations Bill Viola creates moving images like Mary (2000) the work shown in the exhibition, which research themselves and deal with questions of art history.
Julian Opie is famous for his reduced representation of the human form. Since the beginning of the 21st century he has been adding the element of movement to his portraits. Sarah Walking (2003) shows a minimalistic female figure on a display who is continually walking but never leaves the space.
View of Mount Fuji with daisies from route 300, 2007
Computer film Triple 46" LCD screen - PC loop
110 x 218 x 12 cm
© Julian Opie, courtesy Bob van Orsouw Zürich and Julian Opie
In recent years Kateřina Šedá, the first prize winner of the Essl Art Award CEE 2005, caused an international furore as a result of her socially interactive works. There Is Nothing There (2003) was the first public group play that the artist carried out in Ponětovice, in Moravia.
VALIE EXPORT has used her own body to question physical and mental identities. In Touching Body Poem (1970) all that is visible or audible on the four monitors are the artist’s moving feet and footsteps.
The works of the Geneva-based artist Christian Gonzenbach are based on a central idea: domestic pets and everyday foodstuffs such as cucumbers or Cornflakes are alienated from their backgrounds by shifting size and context in order to explore fundamental philosophical questions.
The artist Gülsün Karamustafa places particular emphasis on the location of her creation, Istanbul, which has a great influence on her work. In The Settler (2003) the artist concerns herself with the migration caused by the war in Yugoslavia, the forced change of location.
The mixed-media work by Maya Bajević reflects fundamental themes of the post-war era in the successor states to Yugoslavia, such as the long effect of propaganda and the traditional gender roles.
With Babylon Plant (2006) Jakub Nepraš, 2007 Essl Art Award CEE prize winner shows the present-day society in the micro-organic structures of a “Babylon plant”.
The Danish artist Peter Land explores human behaviour in a very humorous manner. In “The Lake” from 1999, he impersonates a hunter who sets out on a small idyllic forest lake, shoots a hole in the boat with his gun and then goes down with it.
Maya Bajević, VALIE EXPORT, Christian Gonzenbach, Gülsün Karamustafa, Jakub Nepraš, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Peter Land, Julian Opie, Nam June Paik, Kateřina Šedá, Bill Viola
An exhibition guide (30 pages) with descriptions of the individual works will be published to accompany the exhibition.
The art education team offers guided tours and workshops during the exhibition, for example every Sunday a guided tour
through >SPOTLIGHTS<, further details: ART EDUCATION >>
Free shuttle bus
Visitors can reach the Essl Museum conveniently by free bus shuttle from Vienna city centre, Albertinaplatz 2 (Tues – Sun, 10 a.m., 12 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and return)
Press photos are available upon request at the Press Office or via download from PRESS >>
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