October 16 - October 31, 1989
Behind the Screen: Five Video Artists is an exhibition showcasing the video works of artists George Kuchar, Carole Ann Klonarides, Edin Velez, Mary Lucier, and Shalom Gorewitz. Although video art has roots in the art of the 1960s, it has only recently come into its own as recognized art form. The five artists in Behind the Screen represent an interesting cross section of contemporary video art, and represent diverse approaches to this relatively new medium.
George Kuchar, who has been making films since the late 1950s, has a penchant for turning his daily interaction with others into videos which are both humorous and revealing.
Edin Velez, who was born and educated in Puerto Rico, gives the viewer a look into the practices of cultures as diverse as Japan and South America, through what he calls “video essays.” These works combine the tradition of narrative, documentary film with abstract imagery, heightened color and music which compliments Velez’s subjects.
Mary Lucier’s thought-provoking videos often invite viewers to contemplate what is happening to the natural environment. Lucier uses video in much the same way that American Luminist painters like Frederick Church used paint and canvas, seeing the screen as a “frame” through which we experience nature. Her comments on our need to replace the beauty we’ve destroyed with the artificial landscape brought to us through the medium of television challenge the viewer to give thought to this growing problem.
Shalom Gorewitz evokes both the real and the abstract in his work. The use of computer-generated image processes transforms Gorewitz’s “real” filmic imagery into jarring, haunting pieces with socially concerned content. Many of Gorewitz’s video works contain images relating to his Jewish ancestry, through which he explores contemporary problems such as racism and the dilemma of contemporary of religion.
Carole Ann Klonarides often collaborates with artists who work in other media to produce videos. Her work Cascade, produced with the painter Dike Blair and the sculptor Dan Graham, uses the urban landscape to emphasize a sense of verticality, which is important to their artwork. Klonaride’s video Cindy Sherman: An Interview uses the TV convention of the talk show to allow the photographer Cindy Sherman to present herself as many different “character types,” which is what she normally does in her photography.