Tag Archives: Video Art


d. John Akomfrah / 2010 / UK / 46 mins
BFI Gallery @ BFI Southbank (London, UK)

View of Mnemosyne at BFI Gallery

A single-channel video work comprised of newly shot images, excerpts from past works and a swathe of archival materials from BBC Midlands, Birmingham Public Library and MACE (the Media Archive for Central England), Mnemosyne is a new gallery work from Ghanaian-born, London-raised artist and documentarian John Akomfrah.

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Beautiful Losers
d.  Aaron Rose & Joshua Leonard / 2008 / USA / 89 mins

Still from Beautiful Losers

An interesting, if rather slight, contemporary art documentary, Beautiful Losers introduces a diverse group of artists/filmmakers/agitators who coalesced around the Alleged Gallery on New York’s Lower East Side in the early 1990s. Co-directed by Aaron Rose, who also ran the gallery itself, the film traces the lives, loves and careers of the Alleged gang, from graphic and street artists like Geoff McFetridge, Thomas Campbell, Stephen ‘ESPO’ Powers, Barry ‘Twist’ McGee, Shepard Fairey, skateboarder Ed Templeton and the late Margaret Kilgallen, to filmmakers and photographers like Cheryl Dunn, Mike Mills and Harmony Korine.

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The Open Prize for Video Painting 2010
22-24 July 2010
Nicholls & Clarke Building (London, UK)

Video still from Jasmina Metwaly's Crucifixion (2009).

Back in late-July (yes, I’m still that far behind!), Open Gallery prised open the doors of the abandoned Nicholls & Clarke Building on Bishopsgate to house an inaugural open prize exhibition celebrating the relatively new genre of video painting. A form of video art which owes an unmistakable debt to still-life and landscape painting (as well as various forms of commercial and experimental moving image), video painting – as the term exists in this context – developed from the philosophical theories of Hilary Lawson, and typically utilizes a motionless camera with no sound or editing, all in the hope of escaping the restrictions of narrative closure.

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Donald Harding: Transcode
@ The Empire (London, UK)

Still from Donald Harding's ReMorse

Expanding the meaning of communication towards the outer reaches of form and function, Transcode centered upon two video installation works by London-based artist and documentary filmmaker Donald Harding. Each use archival elements that have been reworked to drastically alter, but strangely enhance, their original ‘meanings’.

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Videograms of a Revolution / Videogramme einer Revolution
d. Harun Farocki, Andrei Ujica / Germany / 1992 / 106 mins
Viewed at: Starr Auditorium @ Tate Modern (London, UK)

If film is possible, then history too is possible.

Audiences are mighty interesting things. What one audience finds horrific and appalling, another might read as humour. And ‘audiences’, traditionally, have not been especially kind to the starkly brilliant work of German artist and filmmaker Harun Farocki.

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