The video institution
Video art is transforming the museum and our cultural context
Texto: Bartolomeu Marí • PÁGINA 1 de 3
Video art is transforming the museum and our cultural context. To begin with, it has implied a paradigm shift from the white cube, that established the pictorial paradigm of the 50’s, into a black box
Legenda: Views of gallery booths at Loop Fair Barcelona 2011. (Photos: Carlos Collado)
When artists seize a new technical tool, a new way to transform matter or a new process of representation, quality leaps tend to occur in the cintext of art. A new technique, a new device does not generally remove the former ones but alters the way in which the previous techniques are used and, above all, will alter the conventions that surround the reception of artworks. After the second half of the last century, a series of consecutive technical innovations were immediately translated into significant quality leaps and profound ruptures in relation to the notion of the work of art (what is and what is not a work of art) and, above all, in relation to the role of the art institution, the museum (what can and shall do a museum with the works of art). The irruption of a technique called video injects speed into art and allows a set of actions that the actors of this change during the 60’s could not even imagine then. Video, as a technique and as a material, will not only replace film, but will moreover turn the museum inside out.
It is true that video has now gained a place in contemporary art history: very few collections ignore it and the bibliography on this medium is already extensive. Even in the Iberian context, where the writing of history is such an arduous task, we have a vast bibliography, numerous museums’ publications and exhibitions. Video has evolved from being an additional instrument to the practices of the second half of the 20th century avant-gardes to become a category of its own, to name departments of important museums and to be one of the most extended supports to present art throughout the globe.