Pioneering Video: Two Experimental Decades in New Media

Tuesday, February 26 - Sunday, June 2, 2013

The 1960s and 1970s marked the revolution of film as a popular artistic medium. With the arrival of the hand-held video camera, a new experimental genre became readily available and artists such as Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman and William Wegman began using film as a chosen media, experimenting and learning on their own rather than through formal coursework. At times these films seem “art-less” but in fact they often addressed, and sometimes satirized, art history or the film industry as a whole. Indeed, the availability of this new, avant-garde genre defied past notions of control in the film industry, shifting it from Hollywood directors to the contemporary artist.

Oftentimes these pioneering artists used their own bodies or everyday materials as the artistic focus. Influenced by simultaneous art movements during these two decades such as Minimalism and Earth Art, as well as process-based Conceptual Art, many of these films portray the artist performing mundane activities, sometimes with humor, such as William Wegman’s 1972, 32-second film, Deodorant, which parodies television advertisements for the product.

Celebrating this monumental time in the history of new media, the Asheville Art Museum presents Pioneering Video: Two Experimental Decades in New Media. Artists in this exhibition include Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Bruce Nauman, Carolee Schneeman, Steina Vasulka, Woody Vasulka, William Wegman and others.

This exhibition is organized and curated by the Asheville Art Museum.

View selected works in the exhibition »