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Videonale: Dialogue in Contemporary Video Art
Date: 3 Dec 2011 - 26 Feb 2012

In 1951, the world’s first video tape recorder was unveiled by the Ampex Corporation. Now half a century hence, electronic recording devices, with their characteristic ease of use and real-time image rendering, have become a familiar and widely used new media tool for creative expression among contemporary artists. When Korean artist Nam June Paik first presented his work created with the Sony handheld camcorder in 1965, “video art” instantly became an important contemporary artistic genre representing a new era of media art. From single-channel black-and-white video to multiple-channel video installations, a multitude of creative techniques now flourish. The concept for an exhibition of “Videonale: Dialogue in Contemporary Video Art” first originated with the Videonale in Bonn, Germany, first held in 1984, and now in its 13th iteration. The exhibition was a pioneer in the genre. As a continuous, established art exhibition, Videonale has borne witness to points of transition in the history of video art. Despite the advances in media technology in the external environment, Videonale has consistently focused on the exhibition of works create in single channel-video in an effort to define moving image as a mainstay of contemporary aesthetic expression. Works of video art in recent years have long since departed from the limitations of the visual language of previous generations. Video is merely a synonym for the medium of dynamic imagine performance referring to images that have been captured-whether through High Definition Video or celluloid film (16mm or 35mm), an hour-long film, documentary style, experimental short, concept video or dramatic film -what is finally presented to us, the audience, is a return to the exploration of an issue. Every video work is a narrative that is not merely manifest in the creation of the aesthetic video image itself, but as an extension of contemporary art.

“Videonale: Dialogue in Contemporary Video Art” may have begun with Videonale, but its scale and experience encompasses the Western experience in the development of video art history. The call for works on an global scale gives a clear picture of the trend toward internationalization in the development of video art: aesthetically, politically, economically, socially or in the marketing of art itself. Works selected are mainly from the most recent session of the exhibition, in addition to works from the past decade. In the spirit of dialogue, nine works by Taiwanese artists have been invited to exhibit. This concept reinforces the idea of exhibition as a mode of cultural exchange as well as a mechanism for self-expressing. Whether natural or deliberate, the dialogue generated here is an effort to stimulate our re-examination of the realities of contemporary art, between its aesthetics and form, between the East and the West, between power and democracy.

"Videonale: Dialogue in Contemporary Video Art" is made possible thanks to the support from the Goethe-Institut Taipei as well as Epson for the sponsoring of projectors. Our museum looks forward to being able to increase and foster domestic academic research related to video art, bring about an even more abundant discussion of ideas, and create the possibility for artistic exchange through this exhibition as well as related academic and educational campaigns.

Curator: Georg Elben, Jun-Jieh Wang

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