During the 2018-19-winter season, the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands will be showcasing works by ten prominent Nordic video artists.
Video is derived from the Latin term videre, meaning ‘to see’, and the common denominator for the works on show this winter is that they all address ‘seeing’ in some form. However, they are not just about what we see, but how we see, about the gaze, and about the interplay between seeing and being seen.
Video art emerged in the 1960s when video recording equipment became more widely available, cheaper and easier to use. This coincided with a shift in the focus of visual arts from object to concept. Several trends influenced video art at its inception, including the notion that art should reach more people, the move to merge mass culture, politics and art, the idea of removing the individual from the art and instead create works together, as well as the desire to free art from market forces. It was the art form that could do it all. And it still can.
Since its beginnings video art has shown that it can blur the boundaries between art forms marrying visual art, performance, film, dance, sculpture, music, theatre, poetry and finding new forms and expressions, which enables it to serve as a foundation for experiments across genres, as well as to foster new technological and artistic hybrids. As an art form in time, video art has proven capable of expanding the possibilities of narratives by playing freely with linear and non-linear storylines. It can capture time, manipulate it, turn it back and erase it, and it can dissolve the divides between past, present and future. Video art has demonstrated that it is not just an excellent instrument for examining identity, body, soul, political systems and mass media, but that it also allows us to share these discoveries through unique, direct and spontaneous communication.
This is why we celebrate video art this winter.