Visual Arts

Tracking Trends: Video Art Comes to Utah

You may not have noticed it but video art, something that has been slow to arrive to our inland sea, has been popping up all over Salt Lake recently.

First there was the four-part video series at the Salt Lake Art Center’s Project Gallery. It began in October 2008 with Miranda July’s “Getting Stronger Everyday,” followed by Steve Reinke’s “Regarding the Pain of Susan Sontag (Notes on Camp)” and Ximena Cuevas’ “Someone Behind the Door” (reviewed in our March edition). The series wraps up this month with the screening of Paul McCarthy’s “Painter.” Throughout his career McCarthy, a Utah native who began his studies at the University of Utah, has used video to question and critique our traditional narratives surrounding art-making. In “Painter,” McCarthy “focuses on the artist-as-producer, especially the ‘heroic male artist,’ and undermines ‘the myth of artistic greatness.'”

Then Anne Watsons’ UTAH X/1 took video art to the streets as part of the Salt Lake Film Center’s Sidewalk Cinema series (see our April edition). The last two videos of this series, by Brian Patterson and Amy Caron, are screening through May 15, from 6:00 – 6:30 pm and from 8:00 – 8:30 pm.

As these two “exhibits” leave the stage, two others are stepping up to take their place. Beginning with the May Gallery Stroll, Sam Weller’s Books will be screening a number of video and projection works by Utah artists. Some works, like projections by Brian Patterson, will only be shown on opening night. Others, like the droll narratives of Jared Steffensen, will be on exhibit until the end of June. Shantel Bennett’s work, which explores the relationship between the moving and the still image, will be on display as will Milad Mozari’s.

And later this month the Utah Museum of Fine Artsopens an exhibition that includes a screening of Phil Collins’ “Baghdad Screentests.” The 2002 work, inspired by Andy Warhol’s famous screentests, sets silent video images of Iraqi men and women to some of the artist’s favorite pop songs, creating unsettling relationships that resonate with personal, artistic and political meaning.

If you hadn’t yet picked up on the trend be sure to see the works at UTAH X/1 and the Salt Lake Art Center before they come down this month; and look to our June edition for reviews of these last two exhibits.


Categories: Visual Arts

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