Centre Pompidou New Media 1965-2003 presents the history of video via the historic work of some of the most important contemporary artists: from Nam June Paik to Pierre Huyghe, Samuel Beckett to Stan Douglas and Valie Export to Dan Graham with a look at Bruce Nauman, Chris Marker, Bill Viola and Douglas Gordon, among others. A total of 19 artists and 23 artworks, all from the Centre Georges Pompidou’s New Media collection in Paris.
Video as an art medium first appeared at the beginning of the 1960s, used by artists above all to record their performance works. Developed during the following decade as a practical alternative to film, it became, like television, accessible to the masses, and as such especially appealing to artists seeking a wider audience for their work. In the 1980s, it became increasingly common and the term ‘new media’ was coined to enlarge the video practice to visual arts and sound. Some artists, who used it only as a means to document ephemeral artwork, began to explore this new terrain, resorting to the televisual broadcasting component as a means of voicing their criticism of the language of the mass media, or experimenting with its technical possibilities (close circuits, feedback, fast-forward and slow camera, etc.). Another stage in the evolution of new media occurred above all during the 1990s, when some artists broadened their experimentation with installation art through the development of discursive mechanisms and by resorting to narrative cinematic systems. Since 2000, other directions have been followed with research into digital, interactive, theatrical and, above all, documentary aspects.
Curated by Christine Van Assche, from the Centre Pompidou’s New Media department, the exhibition is organised into four conceptual sections –Towards imaginary television; Searching for an identity; The device: from video tape to installation; Post-cinema – that contribute to an explanation of a perception of the history of new media of the last forty years that exceeds the chronological parameters.