Saturday, January 12, 2008

“Sounding the Subject,” “Video Trajectories” at MIT

From my review of “Sounding the Subject” and “Video Trajectories,” a pair of often tedious exhibitions surveying the history of video art which were at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center from October to December:
The best piece is Nam June Paik’s exquisitely simple “TV Buddha” (above), a re-creation of an installation Paik first made in 1974. A video camera stands behind a monitor recording the image of a bronze Buddha sitting across the room; the result plays on the monitor. The footage is live, but unless someone walks between the statue and the camera, you wouldn’t notice — it might as well be a still picture. Paik short-circuits a basic element of video — it records things happening over time — while suggesting a sort of mystical eternally present instant. The piece is by turns funny, eerie, and mind-blowing.
Read the rest here.

“Sounding the Subject” and “Video Trajectories,” MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St., Cambridge, Oct. 12 to Dec. 30, 2007.


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