Feb. 8, 2007 -- The University of Virginia Art Museum announces the opening of its new media gallery. The gallery, made possible in part with the support of electonics retailer Crutchfield, will present a changing program of works throughout the semester.
"In the fall of 2006, we created a temporary space to show video works in our two exhibitions 'Complicit! Contemporary American Art and Mass Culture' and 'Regeneration: Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the U.S.,'" said museum director Jill Hartz. "We realized then that in order to give University students and our other visitors a truer sense of what is happening in the art world today, it is important to have this kind of space available to present video art on a permanent basis."
The media gallery will showcase month-long video exhibitions programmed by Richard Herskowitz, director of the Virginia Film Festival. The spring exhibitions enhance shows in the Virginia Film Society series "Artists on Film" (schedule available at www.vafilm.com). "This new venue will allow us to show more works by artists who come to our Film Society and explore their careers in greater depth, including displays of their visual art," said Herskowitz.
The inaugural exhibition, "Light Works," features pieces by the artists Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder, as well as an installation of hanging film strips from Gibson's 35mm film "Outline." Gibson and Recoder will present their live expanded film performance "Perf.Form" (A Double-Projection Feature in Three Parts) in the Film Society series on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Vinegar Hill Theatre at 7 p.m.
"Light Works" features five works and runs just over one hour: "Untitled Performance," 2006 (40 minutes), documents a live film performance by the artists with sound artist Daniel Menche in Portland, Ore.; "((()))," 2005 (10 minutes), is a digital video by Luis Recoder in which vertical blinds unveil the pulse of shuttered light welling just behind the screen; "Blue Light," 2006 (10 minutes), by Sandra Gibson, presents a color field painting created with a fine mist of blue paint and accompanied by the sounds of classical Japanese court music, inducing a kind of meditative state; and "Outline," 2004 (5 minutes), by Sandra Gibson, offers high speed shots of a strip of stenciled film.
Since 2000, Gibson and Recoder have shown their collaborative film installations and performances at galleries, museums and film festivals, including the 2002 and 2004 Whitney Biennials, P.S.1 MoMA, The Kitchen, the ICA and Barbican Art Gallery in London, and other locations in Austria, Germany, Japan, Portugal and Spain. Their work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Contemporary Cinema Foundation in Paris.
Mark Webber, writing for The Times BFI London Film Festival said, "Both individually and in collaboration, Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder are creating some of the most innovative and engaging light works of the present time. I hesitate to say 'films,' since their work, though it is grounded in an understanding and application of celluloid, goes beyond a general understanding of what film is, taking into consideration the architecture and circumstances of the performance/viewing situation and the physical and emotional presence of light itself. From the inventive ways that they create images on the film strip to the use of multiple projection that often incorporates live performance, Luis and Sandra are two of the most vital young artists working in the field of 'expanded cinema.'"
The complete spring schedule of programs, cosponsored with the Virginia Film Society, includes the following exhibitions. The programs run continuously in the video gallery during regular museum hours, Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
• "Light Works" by Luis Recoder and Sandra Gibson, Feb. 20 - March 19
Recoder and Gibson perform "Perf.Form" at Vinegar Hill Theatre on Feb. 20.
• John Cohen's "Q'Eros The Shape of Survival," March 20 - April 9
John Cohen will screen his films at Vinegar Hill Theatre on March 20.
• Selections from the Black Maria Film Festival, April 10 - April 30
John Columbus will present additional Black Maria Film Festival selections at Vinegar Hill Theatre on April 10.
• "Bad Girls," videos by Miranda July, Sadie Benning and Cheryl Dunye, May 1 - June 5
David Williams' film, "Bad Girls," on Richmond artist Keithley Pierce, will screen on May 1 at Vinegar Hill.
• "Videos by Photographers," June 6 - July 2
Photographer Sally Mann will present "What Remains" at Vinegar Hill Theatre on June 9, in conjunction with the Festival of the Photo.