During September 2009, VideoChannel will feature a selection of art videos by Visualcontainer/Milan - Italian video artists, curated by Giorgio Fedeli
Memory and identity have been major issues in videoart investigation in the last decade of the 20th Century. Since the inception of the “new-economy”, “post-modern” and “virtual reality” era, artists have suffered from a lack of identification and placement within the world, having all the traditional assertions of gender, religion and biological property been cancelled, infringed or mixed-up. Urged by the cyborg and bioengineering promises, during the late 90’s the electronic eye investigated the problem of giving an identity to objects and people within an unpredictable changeableness of roles and denominations, in most cases by simply shooting everyday life just as it was.
At the beginning of Y2K era, challenged also by economy crises, terrorism and immigration flows in and out of mass participation, identity has still to be steadily and continuously looked for in ordinary life. In the last ten years the global world has gotten used to most of the ever-shocking technological and biotechnological innovation: we all have learnt to face blurring biological boundaries on Tv programs and to resort to “fluid” ways of existence and interrelationship thanks to the Internet and daily tech facilities. Apparently, we are more confident with our tools and with our new way of approaching ourselves and the others both physically and – more often – virtually. Yet, something is missing, some part of our self-identification eventually lacks in the complicate puzzle of our (post)modern, contemporary construction.
The videoart world has never dropped the urge for addressing such a topic and now calls for attention in an only apparently less anxious bunch of outcomes. Many are the artists within VisualContainer’s archive who have in fact chosen to face the several disguises of everyday life, trying to ask questions about their – and our – identity right now and in a near future.
Of course, no unique answer can be found from their works but an identifying line of poetical approach – a weapon as we may call it, for the most of them – seems to be fitting to the theme of memory. Again, memory is the mirror in which the artists dare search for their face and body, their ultimate inner skeleton and sensing to the outer world.
Memory can thus become a revelatory physical matching with a parent, a more dramatic real match with a facing counterpart or just a heaping up of faces at the rhythm of most contemporary audio-video practises. Nevertheless, identity can also be sought in the presentation of the past after mixing up with current landscapes, or just through the contact to our very self imprisoned by the jail of our own body or by a crowd. A blink of identity can also suddenly peep in from an astonishing resolution of an ordinary event.
All in all, where we eventually get to is not what/where we initially were at the “identification start” before playing the video: if not a solution at all, this is at least a good place to gather forces and dig into our presence.
IGINIO DE LUCA
VideoChannel came alive when Agricola de Cologne started his global networking project [R][R][F]200X–>XP in 2004, as a project environment focussed on new forms of video within the thematical context of “memory & identity”.
In 2005, VideoChannel started the first screenings of selections from the comprehensive video collection in collaboration with media art & video festivals around the globe.
One basic aspect of VideoChannel represents the invitation to curators from all parts on the globe for preparing a curatorial contribution of videos. Meanwhile 18 curators from as many countries joint VideoChannel and their selections form the basis of an extraordinary challenging collections of videos on the theme “memory & identity”.
VideoChannel became meanwhile a project environment of itsown including a variety of aspects, but it still belongs one of the most relevant parts of the global networking project [R][R][F]200X–>XP.
VideoChannel is constructed in two parts, a low-tech administrative body, which is containing all textual and documentary information, and a high-tech Flash based body containing basically the videos.
director & chief curator Wilfried Agricola de Cologne