Albright Knox Art Gallery Announces Videosphere: A New Generation – New Media Exhibition

The Albright Knox Art Gallery presents Videosphere: A New Generation, on view Friday, July 1–Sunday, October 9, 2011.

Videosphere: A New Generation is the first-ever exhibition of works in new media drawn exclusively from the Gallery’s Collection. Featuring twenty-six works by twenty-four artists, it highlights the Gallery’s recent acquisition of new media works with various styles and approaches. The featured artists include both emerging talent and pioneers in the field—including Cory Arcangel, Jeremy Blake, Phil Collins, Brody Condon, James Drake, Isaac Julien, Bruce Nauman, João Onofre, Kelly Richardson, and Peter Sarkisian—each working in video, film, computer animation, and/or the repurposing and modification of old technology.

Kelly Richardson (Canadian, born 1972). Twilight Avenger, 2008. High-definition video, edition 3/5. Running time: 6 minutes, 20 seconds. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Fellows for Life Fund, by exchange, 2008. © 2008 Kelly Richardson. Image courtesy the artist and Birch Libralato, Toronto.

Artists have been increasingly experimenting in new media since the late 1960s. According to Michael Rush in New Media in Art (2005), artists today “who employ these new media see themselves as part of the change and want to participate in it. They are excited by the possibilities of technology, not alienated by them.” Television, film, and other pervasive forms of technology make up the everyday experiences of artists, just as they make up the experiences of viewers. While artworks using new media play a novel role within the greater context of art history, their presentation within the museum setting has grown more popular as technology has advanced. Given its resonance with artists of recent generations, this genre of work has become an increasingly integral component of strategies surrounding collections of contemporary art.

Not since Being & Time: The Emergence of Video Projection, organized in 1996 by Curator Marc Mayer, has the Albright-Knox Art Gallery hosted an exhibition that focuses on the power and influence of new media. Being & Time focused on a curated selection of six artists working specifically in video projection—Willie Doherty, Gary Hill, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Diana Thater, and Bill Viola. While none of the exhibited works were part of the Collection at the time, the Gallery did acquire Viola’s The Messenger, 1996, from a separate project: 1997’s New Room of Contemporary Art: Bill Viola’s Messenger, also curated by Mayer. It was only the second work that focused on new technologies to enter the Gallery’s Collection; the first was Nam June Paik’s Piano Piece, which was both created and acquired in 1993. Many works in new media have entered the Gallery’s Collection since 2004, including a recent shared purchase of Bruce Nauman’s seminal work Green Horses, 1988, with the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Videosphere: A New Generation, presented more than a decade after Being & Time, will debut several works that have not been installed since their acquisition into the Gallery’s Collection. It affords a unique opportunity to present the work of each artist within the context of the work of their peers. En masse, the complex works presented in this exhibition refer to social, political, psychological, and environmental themes, and create compelling narratives that can only be realized through these varied, yet distinct, media. From performance as a poignant gesture or a mirror of contemporary societal commonalities, to grandiose filmic applications and animated fantasy worlds, these works are immersive and experiential, and will take each viewer on a powerful emotional journey.

This exhibition is organized by Curator for the Collection Holly E. Hughes.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery
1285 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14222
[email protected]

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