Published: February 5, 2002
RICHMOND, VA. – The best of recent international video art will be on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in “Outer & Inner Space: A Video Exhibition in Three Parts.”
Organized by the Virginia Museum, the exhibition will be presented in three consecutive eight-week parts.
“Outer & Inner Space” will present major recent works by Pipilotti Rist (born in Switzerland in 1962), Shirin Neshat (born in Iran in 1957), and Jane and Louise Wilson (both born in England in 1967).
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts director Dr Michael Brand said the museum “has entered the new century with plans for a major physical expansion that will, among other things, greatly improve our ability to display and interpret contemporary art. Thus, we feel it is especially timely to provide more depth to our audiences’ understanding of video art – the most important medium of ar-tistic expression to emerge in the last half of the Twentieth Century.”
Each of the parts will place a recent video installation in the context of classic video art made from the 1960s to the early 1980s. These early works are by the pioneering generations – by artists such as Vito Acconci, Joan Jonas and Nam June Paik. A different selection of early works will be included in each of the exhibition’s parts.
The first part of the exhibition, featuring Pipilotti Rist’s “Sip My Ocean,” will be on view from January 19 to March 17. “Sip My Ocean” treats themes of love, loss and “body politics” in a double-screen projection that Ravenal calls “mesmerizing.” It will be accompanied by a selection of early works addressing related themes by artists such as Vito Acconci, Eleanor Antin, Dara Birnbaum, Joan Jonas, Paul McCarthy, Martha Rosler and William Wegman. Also on view at the exhibition’s entrance will be the museum’s newly acquired video sculpture by Tony Oursler, “Blue Husk” (2001).
Part two, featuring Shirn Neshat’s “Rapture,” will be shown from April 6 to June 2. “Rapture” presents lush black-and-white projections on opposing walls in an exploration of the strict division in some Islamic countries between men and women. A selection of early videos – by artists such as Marina Abramovic and Ulay, Juan Downey, Mo-na Hatoum, Gary Hill, Daniel Reeves and Howardena Pindell – treats related themes of gender roles, cultural identity and spatial divides.
The final part of “Outer & Inner Space,” spotlighting Jane and Lousie Wilson’s “Stasi City,” will debut June 22 and continue through August 18. Using four projections, “Stasi City” presents what Ravenal calls “a dynamic and disorienting view” of the abandoned headquarters of the former East German secret police. Accompanying “Stasi City” will be works by Peter Campus, Dan Graham, Joan Jonas, Mary Lucier, Bruce Nauman, Steina Vasulka and Bill Viola, among others, that explore related themes of vision, anxiety, surveillance and power. Also on view in the permanent galleries will be the newly acquired video installation by Bill Viola, “Quintet of the Unseen.”
The exhibition explores mature themes, and several works contain some nudity. Those under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The museum is on the Boulevard at Grove Avenue. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm; Thursday nights until 8 pm. For information about exhibitions and programs, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit vmfa.state.va.us.
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