Action Reaction: Video Installations


Action Reaction: Video Installations
Detroit Institute of Arts
July 3, 2009 – January 3, 2010

With the advent of video as an art form, artists began to capture the fleeting interval between an action and its effect. As time-based work evolved, art was no longer confined to the tradition of stop-action records used by painting and sculpture. Action Reaction highlights five videos that examine this causal relationship and document the evolution of video over four decades.

Video pioneer Bruce Nauman (American, born 1941) explores the body in space with Bouncing in the Corner, no. 1, (1968) contending that, “… whatever I was doing in the studio was art.” In two videos made near Oaxaca, Mexico, Ana Mendieta (Cuban-American, 1948–85) records performances using gun powder, fireworks, the human form and nature. The Swiss duo Peter Fischli (born 1952) and David Weiss (born 1946), amuse and delight with their continuous motion installation using household goods in The Way Things Go (1987). Video master Bill Viola (American, born 1951) takes on issues of immortality and the conflict between human will and the autonomic nervous system in Nine Attempts to Achieve Immortality (1996).

When viewed in the context of one to another, these works pose questions about the temporal and mysterious nature of human existence.

Organized by the DIA, these installations have been generously underwritten by the Dr. and Mrs. George Kamperman Fund.

Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties

Image: Carole Itter, Raw Egg Costume. Courtesy of the artist.

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at The University of British Columbia and the grunt gallery, Vancouver, are delighted to announce the launch of Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties, an online resource and digital archive incorporating hundreds of photographs, press clippings, audio recordings and film clips. Drawn from private collections and archives as well as public sources, Ruins in Process brings together the research of many artists, curators and writers in an exploration of the diverse artistic practices of Vancouver art in the 1960s and early 1970s. Collaborative methods, interdisciplinary activity and an interest in emerging technologies are revealed in the selections of the contributors to this educational resource.

The website has a fully searchable digital collection, video interviews with artists Ingrid Baxter, Christos Dikeakos, Carole Itter, and Gary Lee-Nova, as well as a number of essays that contextualize the work in the archive.

Five project sites document in detail the work of specific artists and collectives and explore the relationships between artistic media.

Aboriginal Art in the Sixties, curated by Marcia Crosby and Roberta Kremer, examines the relationship of visual artists to broadcast and print media, political movements and the city.

Al Neil, curated by Glenn Alteen, combines documentation from performances, concerts and readings as well as photo-documentation of collage, assemblage and text by and about the artist.

Expanded Literary Practice, curated by Charo Neville and Michael Turner, looks at the relationships between writing and visual art and the merging of the two in concrete poetry.

The Intermedia Catalogue, curated by Michael de Courcy, archives the activities of this interdisciplinary collective of artists, musicians, writers, film and video makers and performers.

Transmission Difficulties: Painting in the Sixties, curated by Scott Watson, examines the many challenges to the idea of high art that were posed by electronic communication and psychedelic exploration.

Ruins in Process is produced through a partnership of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at The University of British Columbia and the grunt gallery, Vancouver. The project is managed by Lorna Brown, with technical direction and design by Jeff Khonsary and Courtenay Webber of The Future. Editorial direction is provided by Scott Watson, Glenn Alteen and Lorna Brown. Additional project site design by Dexter Sinister, Archer Pechawis, and James Szuszkiewicz.

Ruins in Process is made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy. We are also grateful for the assistance of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.