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Musee cantonal des Beaux-Arts opens Making Space: 40 Years of Video Art

Musee cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne (mcb-a) presents Making Space: 40 Years of Video Art open October 18, 2013–January 5, 2014.

Nam June Paik, Global Groove (still), 1973. Video. Collection of Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne, acquired 2013. Courtesy Studio Nam June Paik and Electronic Arts Intermix, New York.
Nam June Paik, Global Groove (still), 1973. Video. Collection of Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne, acquired 2013. Courtesy Studio Nam June Paik and Electronic Arts Intermix, New York.
In 1973 video celebrated its tenth anniversary, and Nam June Paik made what would become the cult tape of the history of video—Global Groove. That same year the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, started its collection of videos by acquiring Limite E (1973), a work by Jean Otth.

Since then, from experimenting with the medium to using it to record actions, from the TV set to projection, from the frontal relationship with viewers to their involvement in the installation space, video has developed in a number of radically different ways. Making Space sets out to cover forty years of video art in large strides, in the spaces opened up by the moving image, in a museum that has always given it a special place, both where the collection is concerned and in monographic exhibitions by major artists, from Bill Viola to Renée Green, by way of Bruce Nauman, Alfredo Jaar or indeed Nalini Malani.

Making Space brings together works whose common denominator is the recording or reconstructing of the space that can be seen, the space inhabited by the artist’s body, and lastly the space enlivened by the presence of onlookers. Structured non-chronologically round such themes as TV as Experimentation Space (from Closed-circuit to Broadcasting), Spaces for Creation (the Street, the Town), Measuring Space (from Land Art to the Politics of Space), and Imaginary Spaces, Mental Spaces, the exhibition presents works by major artists in this genre, with all generations intermingled. It explores the way in which artists have played with the medium itself, creating scenarios where television features itself as an object and a means of broadcasting, subversively misappropriating both the medium and the message (Nam June Paik, Global Groove, 1973; Dara Birnbaum, Technology / Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978–79). The exhibition also presents the way in which the artists explore the link with viewers, by turning them into an integral part of the work, at first by the device of closed-circuit television, then, from the early 1990s on, through installations in which the projection literally encompasses the viewer (Emmanuelle Antille, As deep as our sleep, as fast as your heart II, 2001).

Thus Making Space takes us on a walk that leads from New York’s derelict areas (Joan Jonas, Songdelay, 1973) to major cities throughout the world (Kim Sooja, A Needle Woman [Performed in Tokyo, Shanghai, Delhi, New York, Mexico City, Cairo, Lagos and London], 1999–2000), by way of Tirana (Anri Sala, Dammi i Colori, 2003) or Finland (Salla Tykkä, Lasso, 2000), from urban spaces (Francis Alÿs, Railings, 2004) to imaginary spaces (Eija-Liisa Ahtila, The House, 2002).

The exhibition has been granted generous loans from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Kunstmuseum Bern, the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Musées d’art et d’histoire in Geneva, as well as numerous loans from the artists and their respective galleries.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Judith Albert, Francis Alÿs, Emmanuelle Antille, René Bauermeister, Dara Birnbaum, Paul Chan, Silvie & Chérif Defraoui, VALIE EXPORT, Dan Graham, Joan Jonas, Kim Sooja, Ana Mendieta, Bruce Nauman, Jean Otth, Nam June Paik, Anne-Julie Raccoursier, Pipilotti Rist, Anri Sala, Gerry Schum, Richard Serra, Salla Tykkä, Bill Viola

Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts
Palais de Rumine, Place de la Riponne 6
CH – 1014 Lausanne
T +41 21 316 34 45
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