The “Classics” of Video Art (1965-1995) – New media

Former Fix Factory

The exhibition presented the first important core of 64 video art works by some of the “classic” artists of the genre , acquired by the Museum during 2000, covering the historical period between 1965-1995 and 4 digital works on CD-Rom.

The works of video art being presented can be understood as part of the broad horizon encompassed by post-representational trends, such as those fashioned in the second half of the 20th century, which have returned to reality itself in order to explore critically, contemplatively and poetically, human substance and essence within the network of its social, communicative, existential and transcultural relationships.

Video, with the multiplicity of potentials it offers, and particularly in the use and disruption of a host of codes simultaneously, among which are those of both the oral and written word, the voice, sound and their common matrix, silence, has likewise provided the opportunity for new and highly significant audio-visual games. Through the medium of recording, video became in the hands of these artists an exceptionally flexible and expressive instrument, in whose multiformity one recognizes the partial realization of the demand for the synthesis of the arts, as it was touched upon by Kandisnky at the very outset of modernism. It is true, nevertheless, that the disturbances, the gaps, the fissures and the fracturing of the image, of speech and sound, at times make many video works hermetic and hard to access. The difficulty involved in understanding some of these works is further increased by the fact that in contrast to the orderly flow of images found in the cinema, video permits distortions, reciprocal infiltrations, and simultaneous projection, and take more delight in daring intertextual references. Nonetheless, the receptive spectator, who enters the museum leaving his customary viewing habits outside the door, those which bias him toward more traditional visual forms, and first and foremost, the convention of direct and collective viewing and contact, will not be slow in rearing his reward. Looking, and then looking again at these works, he will come to make his own reading with the growing conviction that there is no single and excusive interpretation.

Anna Kafetsi

Curated by Anna Kafetsi