|Product Details |
Thames & Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
The significance of video (and, more recently, digital video technologies) in the development of narrative film is widely known and well documented. Yet although video has also created nothing short of a revolution in the fine arts, few satisfying histories of video art exist. Rush's comprehensive volume gamely attempts to fill that void. Engagingly written, exhaustively researched and filled with hundreds of images of video works and installations, the book combines a trenchant historical overview with a more focused thematic analysis. Though Rush acknowledges the obvious fact that the video art boom was sparked by the sudden availability of affordable, portable video equipment, he's quick to place video in a less arbitrary cultural context. The genre, he points out, actually combines any number of disciplines and art-historical categories. In this way, video art is very much a medium of its time. From its early stages as a means of deconstructing television (typified by such early practitioners as Frank Gillette), to the more personal and political work of the "giants" of the field (Vito Acconci, Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, Bill Viola), to the bigger names of today (Pipilotti Rist, Pierre Huyghe, Matthew Barney), the usual suspects are brought sharply into focus. Rush's real success, however, lies in his discovery of what others have overlooked: the obvious yet oft-ignored contributions of Andy Warhol, for example, or the groundbreaking video work of Jean-Luc Godard. An ideal introduction to the history of and the formal/theoretical considerations behind video art, Rush's book shines a light on the tiny details that make up the genre's big picture. 383 illustrations, 296 in color.
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About the Author
Michael Rush's writings on video, film, and other media appear regularly in the New York Times and Art in America. He is Director of the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art.
This book is the first detailed overview of an art form born less than forty years ago and now ubiquitous internationally. Made possible by the introduction of the Sony Portapak in 1965, video art has moved from brief showings on tiny screens in alternative art spaces to dominance in international exhibitions and artistic events, in which vast video installations sometimes occupy factory-size buildings or video projections take over the walls of an entire city block.
The story of video art embraces all the significant art ideas of recent times-abstraction, conceptual art, minimal art, performance art, pop art, photography, and movies-thanks to the power of the computer. Video has been used creatively to extend, repeat, fast-forward, retard, and speed up time, as well as to cause it to stop. Abundantly illustrated with frames and sequences, Video Art offers a history of the medium seen from the multiple perspectives of its early practitioners, through the vast array of conceptual, political, and lyrical installations of the 1980s and 1990s, to the present revolution of digital technology.
The idea of using the video camera as an extension of the artist's own body was first seen in the work of artists such as Bruce Nauman and Martha Rosler in the USA, VALIE EXPORT in Austria, and Hannah Wilke in Germany, and has continued to the present day, with work by Steve McQueen in Britain and Pipilotti Rist in Switzerland, among others. Video art has also produced new narrative forms, from nonlinear autobiographies to futuristic fantasies, from defining the political to redefining the sexual, as exhibited in the work of Bill Viola (USA), Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (USA/Spain), Marcel Odenbach (Germany), and many others. And in the postmedium age, artists from Pierre Huyghe (France) to Rodney Graham (Canada) and Lynn Hershman (USA) are currently exploring the hybridization of technology, in which video is combined and recombined with other materials, often in interactive installations. 383 color illustrations.