Video Art?

A friend of a friend, who shall remain nameless (because I don’t know her name), bluntly stated to my friend that she wasn’t going  to even attempt to project her work as a video in a gallery space because what gallery would want to sell that? She choose instead to reproduce her photos on a small scale and to sell them easily. I was horrified to hear this but at the same time it made financial sense. Video art, in any form is just difficult to sell. And yet, here I am in the middle of my masters cursing my screen because I am trying desperately to edit a film on final cut pro. I am completely lost and have resorted to typing in “how to edit film” into “help”. Its not helping.

Delving into the world of video art has been difficult and incredibly challenging. I still have no clue what I’m doing but the more I learn, the more I am fascinated. Its not straight forward in anyway. It requires time, patience and a whole lot of planning. It is at the forefront of contemporary art but is still not widely and uniformly accepted. Charles Saatchi famously never buys video art and while videos in galleries are fascinating to watch, how often do you hear of video artists actually selling their work? Despite this many artists have successfully used this form of art to create moving, funny, skill full and mesmerising art.

The artists that immediately come to mind are Pipillotti Rist, Tacita Dean and Bill viola, amount many others. When we first started this course a few of us made a trip to the Hayward gallery to see Pipilotti Rists retrospective. It was truly mind-blowing. Not only does she push the bar in terms of the format of videos (how and where they can be shown), she is incredibly funny, peculiar and sensual in her film work. The piece that resonated with me the most was the tiny video stuck inside the ground of the exhibit. It looked like a tiny hole and when you bent down you saw tiny person screaming and hitting the screen waving frantically at passersby. Instinctively and without even thinking I went to touch it, but before I could, a burly security guard with a booming voice said “Thats not very nice”. I jumped and ran away.

The other side of making video art for me is the pure frustration of not knowing how to edit.  I get cranky looks from the computer technicians downstairs as I apparently should have taken the final cut pro beginners class at the start of year. So I sit here procrastinating, writing on my blog instead. If any of you kind readers feel like flexing your final cut skills, come by and help!

The video thats inspired me to start making video art was Tacita Deans “The Green Ray”. I have attached a youtube link to it, with a voice over from the artist. Enjoy!

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