Press Release

First Major Museum Exhibition Exploring 50 Years of Video Art Premieres at Museum Beginning October 17, 2015

Event Date: 
17 October 2015
East Lansing, MI

Moving Time: Video Art at 50, 1965-2015 marks one of the final exhibitions conceived by Michael Rush, the Museum's Founding Director and Pioneering Scholar of the Medium

On October 17, Broad MSU opens a major exhibition exploring the development of video art beginning five decades ago to the present day. Taking over two floors of the Museum’s Zaha Hadid-designed building, Moving Time: Video Art at 50, 1965-2015 traces the impact various artists have had on the art form—from its birth in the 1960s with artists Andy Warhol and Nam June Paik, to the performative work of influential women artists such as Joan Jonas, to the lesser-known works of international emerging artists continuing to push the medium forward today. On view through February 14, 2016, the exhibition is one of the final shows envisioned by Broad MSU Founding Director Michael Rush prior to his passing earlier this year, and is curated by Caitlín Doherty, Broad MSU Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs.

Rush was internationally recognized for his observations of, and pioneering publication on, video art (Video Art, 2003, 2007).  His vision for Moving Time was guided by the belief that, given the ubiquity of all manner of videos in contemporary society, it is of growing importance to focus on the history and progress of video as an art form, as practiced by visionary artists from around the globe.

“The trajectory of video art is expansive and the form has the unique ability to embrace a kaleidoscope of artistic ideas—from the abstract to the performative, the conceptual to the documentary. Video art has become one of the most significant mediums to emerge over the past half-century, and artists across the globe are constantly moving it forward—evolving and departing from the innovative and experimental work of their predecessors,” said Caitlín Doherty. “Video pervades our daily lives as never before and so now, it is perhaps more important than ever to distinguish video art as an art form and celebrate the artists who use it to explore the world we live in. We hope this exhibition both honors our Founding Director Michael Rush’s vision and provides our visitors with insight into a medium that proliferates throughout the art world today.”

Video technology—once dominated solely by the film and television industry—first became accessible to visual artists in the mid-20th century, in the form of more affordable and easy-to-use portable devices. In just 50 years, the medium has been leveraged by artists across the globe to blur the boundaries between traditional artistic practices and inventive new methods of storytelling. Utilizing three galleries and two floors within the Museum, Moving Time will ask visitors to both contemplate the progression of video art over time and simultaneously put works from various time periods in dialogue with one another. The entrance to the exhibition will feature five works from emerging, international contemporary video artists—including Sam Jury, Michelle Handelman, and Weng Yunpeng. Each artist will showcase his or her work alongside one ‘historic’ work they cite as having been of particular influence to them during the course of their career.

Additional highlights of the exhibition include:

  • Seminal works by early pioneers—includin Andy Warhol’s first double-projection film Outer and Inner Space (1965), one of the earliest examples of video installation art capturing actress and factory girl Edie Sedgwick interacting with a video recording of herself; and Nam June Paik‘s earliest video tape Button Happening (1965), recorded on the day he first acquired his Sony Portapak camera.
  • An installation dedicated to the performative videos of women artists, exploring the role of the body, complexity of the mind, and inequalities fostered by both gender and political prejudice—including Marina Abramović’s AAA-AAA (1978), Joan Jonas’s Vertical Role (1972), and Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975).
  • Groundbreaking contemporary works that create large-scale immersive experiences—including Julian Rosefeldt’s Asylum, a nine-screen work exploring the stereotypes given to asylum-seekers across the globe—and that revisit and question the history of film as in Harun Farocki’s Workers Leaving the Factory (1995).

Broad MSU will also organize several public and educational programs in conjunction with Moving Time. The Broad Underground series will present additional major video artworks by seminal artists, as well as experimental film, to broaden visitor engagement with the vast use of the medium. Each week, throughout the run of the exhibition, the series will showcase select films exploring a particular theme and will be followed by a Q&A session led by Michigan State University’s Film Studies Program.

Following the closing of Moving Time at Broad MSU, the exhibition will travel to the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Spring 2016.

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Nam June Paik, Button Happening (1965). Image courtesy Electronic Intermix (EAI) New York

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