Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Video Forms

I’ve been thinking about video forms for galleries. It’s really a choice.

There’s the narrative, beginning-middle-end, form, which usually entails a recreation of a theater space, with seating, a dark room and large projection. I personally feel uncomfortable walking into a narrative form in the middle, but, I seem to be in the minority about this.

Then there’s the video loop, which at best, is a moving still. That is, there’s a graspable image that changes but not so much to imply sequence. I tend to think of this form as an extension of art-on-walls.

Then there’s video in space. This is when video comes off of the wall, and exists sculpturally in the gallery, on scrims and monitors. The Douglas Gordon video with an elephant (Play Dead) at MoMa last year was a beautiful example of this.

Recently, I’ve been feeling most attracted to video loops, because they’re fast to get. And I fear viewers won’t have patience to spend more time in front of a piece. But, video is a time-based form, so I better get over that insecurity I think.

What I want to know is does video art have to be an “experience.” My initial reaction is vomit. Experiences happen at amusements parks or tourist safaris. By extension, the idea of people walking in to a darkened room to enter an atmosphere and undergoing something is a major turn off to me. But, I love going to the movies. And art is, to a certain extent, about altering perception.

It’s a funny love-hate relationship with being part of our times (video) and stepping away from it (video).

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