Exchange and Evolution: Worldwide Video Long Beach 1974-1999
Exchange and Evolution, a retrospective selection of the significant international video works and artists who were part of the historic video art program at the Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA), will be on view at the Museum from October 7, 2011 – February 12, 2012. The exhibition is the result of research into the numerous cultural exchanges, and the subsequent evolution of ideas made possible by the Museum’s media art center. For 25 years, this media art center provided consistent support for artists worldwide. Exchange and Evolution establishes LBMA as a key influence on the growth and development of video as an art form. The exhibition features both single-channel video and installations by artists from eighteen different countries, whose work provides an overview of the history of video art and its expressive abilities. Works from the early 1970s that provide a perspective on the potential of the then experimental medium are shown along with more technologically developed works from the end of the twentieth century.
A program that encompassed a wide range of video concerns, the LBMA played a key role in building the theoretical integrity of the new art form. Artists frequently premiered innovative “alternative” television technology to Museum audiences in the galleries and on cable television programs produced by LBMA Video. The works included in Exchange and Evolution include technical experimentation, performance, personal histories, feminist and political perspectives, documentary and experimental narrative, as well as international perspectives on contemporary art and culture.
Twelve installations will be recreated in the Museum’s galleries, and will include the complete eight channels of Between the Frames by Antoni Muntadas (Spain) which was initiated in Long Beach with Museum docents in 1983; My Life by Ko Nakajima (Japan) first shown at the Museum in 1978; Frozen Images by Sanja Iveković (Croatia) which was exhibited in 1994 during an ArtsLink residency; and AFRO (is just a hair style): Notes on a Journey Through the African Diaspora by Thomas Allen Harris (USA), commissioned by the LBMA in 1999. Also included in the exhibition is the early Portapak production of Inca I and II by Juan Downey (Chile) created as part of his “Video Trans-America” series from 1976; the sound/video collaboration Two Channel Music Tape: Spring/Fall by Nam June Paik (Korea) and Paul Garrin (USA), 1986; and Airspirits by Klaus vom Bruch (Germany) which compared American politics and Hollywood film production and was produced in Long Beach during a residency in 1981.
Eighteen single channel videotapes will be featured in a rotating weekly program that will include a selection of video classics shown at the LBMA including The West by Steina (Iceland); Meta Mayan by Edin Vélez (Puerto Rico); City of Angels by Marina Abramović (Serbia) and Ulay (Germany); and The Secret Life of Cornelia Lumsen: A Remarkable Truth by Vera Frenkel (Canada/Czech Republic) which premiered at the LBMA in 1980.
The international works are accompanied by visionary works by American artists who worked and traveled widely and brought valuable cross-cultural insights to Long Beach audiences in new and extraordinary narratives, such as Hatsu Yume: First Dream by Bill Viola (working in Japan), Solstice d’Hiver by Gary Hill (produced by French television) and the performance video Doors by Nan Hoover (American working in Netherlands and Germany).
Exchange and Evolution, co-curated by Berlin-based Kathy Rae Huffman and Los Angeles- based artist Nancy Buchanan, will also include four video Screening Events that present thematic programs: “Evolution” (October 13), “Exchange” (November 17), both in Long Beach and two events at REDCAT, “Proto-Ethnography” (October 24) and “Music + Video” (February 7, 2012). An Evening with Marcel Odenbach will be presented at LACE in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles. Visit www.lbma.org for times and details.
A fully illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition, with texts by Norman Klein, Erika Suderberg, Gloria Sutton, David Ross and Wulf Herzogenrath and curators Kathy Rae Huffman and Nancy Buchanan.
Exchange and Evolution is made possible through lead grants from the Getty Foundation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Japan Foundation, The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, Able Planet, and The Long Beach Museum of Art Foundation.
About the Long Beach Museum of Art
Located on a magnificent bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Long Beach Museum of Art features a historic mansion and carriage house, expansive galleries and gardens, oceanfront dining at Claire’s at the Museum and a unique Museum Store. The galleries and store are open Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday – Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students and seniors age 62 and older, free for Members and children under 12, and free for everyone on Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and all day on Friday. Claire’s is open Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information about the Long Beach Museum of Art, call (562) 439-2119 or visit www.lbma.org.
About Pacific Standard Time
A collaboration of more than fifty cultural institutions across Southern California, which are coming together for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a major new force in the art world. For additional information about Pacific Standard Time visit www.pacificstandardtime.org.
Exchange and Evolution Screening Events
During the exhibition time period, the Long Beach Museum of Art will present four video screenings for Exchange and Evolution. Two of the screenings will be held at REDCAT, a center for experimentation, discovery and lively civic discourse at CalArts in Los Angeles and two screenings will be held in Long Beach. Program curators and participating artists will be present for the screenings.
The first Long Beach screening will focus on the Evolution of video as an art form, with a selection of work from the LBMA history of experimental film and video presentation, including Oskar Fischinger, John Whitney Sr., Bill Viola, Max Almy/Teri Yabrow, Janice Tanaka, Rebecca Allen, Michael Scroggins, Ko Nakajima and others.
Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.(Art Theatre Long Beach)
The second screening event will be held at REDCAT, and will be a program entitled Proto-ethnographic Works. Anthropologists have adapted their investigatory techniques, admitting their own viewpoints much like the processes employed by video artists. In fact, ethnographer Eric Michaels applauded the work of Juan Downey in his essay "How to Look at the Yonomami Looking at Us." These works represent what is today a broad movement in experimental film and video.
Date: Monday, October 24, 2011 at 8:30 p.m.(REDCAT)
The second Long Beach screening event (the third in the series) will feature works that were part of cultural exchange initiatives between LBMA and artists and institutions. Selections from the Artists Television Network, including Soho TV from the Cable TV exchange in 1983; Alex Rivera, who was on tour with LA Freewaves in 1995; Peter Callas (Australia), with work that LBMA contributed to the LA Festival in 1990, as well as Dieter Froese (Germany) and Tina Keane (UK).
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.(LBMA)
Music + Image:
The second REDCAT screening (and final screening event) is centered on Music + Image. Sound being 50 percent or more of a moving image work, this sampling begins with the great Ernie Kovacs, and includes the dance explorations of Toni Basil and Doris Chase, Laurie Anderson's crossover to pop music, as well as "scratch" editing by Dara Birnbaum and computer animation by Henry Selick, Vibeke Sorensen, Dean Winkler and Tom DeWitt.
Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.(REDCAT)