Don’t Kill Your Television

Tune in to MAC for a history of video art

Nam June Paik, who first introduced artwork featuring a television set into a museum space in 1963, once referred to the moon as the “oldest TV.” A couple of years later, the art maverick reproduced the lunar cycle using seventeen TV sets atop pedestals in a blacked-out room. A different phase of the moon flickered on each set, the shape resulting from a magnet in the cathode ray tube used to tweak the signal being transmitted. The pioneer’s Moon Is the Oldest TV is among the earliest historical works in “Video: An Art, a History, 1965-2005,” on view at Miami Art Central through December 10.

Curated by Christine Van Assche, the exhibit culls 37 video works and multimedia installations from the Centre Pompidou, created by some of the top names in the field and ranging from the earliest pieces made with scant resources to dazzling displays of recent technology. The show presents an overview of how video has developed over the past four decades, how it transformed into an important art form in the Nineties, and how it continues to play a vital role in contemporary art practice. Including works by Vito Acconci, Dara Birnbaum, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, and Bill Viola, among a stellar cast of 25 artists, the exhibit unfolds in five sections: Imaginative Television, Quests for Identity, From Video Tape to Installation, Post-Cinema, and Contemporary Perspectives.

This not-to-be-missed show highlights, through a chronological conversation about the medium, the relationship between pioneer video works from the Sixties and Seventies and those of younger, contemporary artists. In addition to the works on display, MAC is including documentation from the archives of the Pompidou collection such as scripts, film stills, and artists’ interviews, to flesh out the exhibit’s historical perspectives. Ditch that remote and call 305-455-3333, or visit www.miamiartcentral.org.
Sept. 19-Dec. 10

 
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