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Video art in Germany

The New Territories of Artistic creation

The Video art became one of the most representative forms of the contemporary visual languages. Moreover, in order to celebrate 40 years of video art creation in Germany, the Goethe-Institute presents from October 29th to November 1st, 2007, two video film selections.

The New Territories of Artistic creation

The first one comprises the best and most remarkable artistic works carried out over the last 40 years, by talented German video directors, such as : Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell, Joseph Beuys, Jan Verbeek… who are gathered by the Cultural Foundation of the Federation (Kulturstiftung of Bundes), these films come from the main museums of Germany and they
are part of their collections.
During the projection sessions, the video art amateurs were able to appreciate achievements of high quality that belongs to the contemporary inheritance and to international artistic works. However, considering the large number of the German and Lebanese participants and the variety of the scenarios, it is obvious that it is impossible to present them all, in this heading ; it is out of the question also to talk about some of them and ignore the rest. On the other hand, it is essential to mention that the video art is not a commercial product like action film or the narrative one, the television serial, the promotional, the video clip, the report, the documentary and the fiction… This art reflects the positioning of the video director artists, the potential of their imagination and creativity.

 In fact, unlike the film producers of long or short films, serials, or documentary ones… and various television programs, that aim essentially at informing , or entertaining the public, the video director artists’ creations is inspired from movements of the contemporary art, which followed one another since the beginnings of the 20th century until today. Also, even when the video artist works reproduce their real-life at the social and cultural level, the transmitted message in their productions remains primarily plastic.

The video director Artists whose films were selected.
Therefore, the wave of interest that we notice among these German and Lebanese plastic technicians, related to the video art use as a creation mode, is completely justified and goes along with the development of the digital cameras. All of them have interpreted, freely and with joy, their scenarios, through multiple plastic languages such as the reality, the imaginary, the symbolic, the expressionism, the surreal, and the abstract one… Some of them even approached, in their creations, a new dimension of the video art, introducing the “software thought” and by illustrating the deep changes, visible or occult which take part in the creativity field. They tried, in their turn, through the mobile\moving image, to reach new territories by disrupting the individuals’ visions, the nature elements, the colors, the movement and the light, in an exhilaration experimental form where the fantasy of the special effects and editing contributes to enhance the artistic work plasticity. It is the refusal of an articulated speech in a narrative way that opposes the video art to the cinema or the traditional television. The video director artists do not restrict themselves to the imitation of the cinema processes or traditional television and classical special effects, but attempt to exploit all the possibilities of the digital image. They often, resort to special effects such as : the sequence by approach movement, the accelerated and the ultra accelerated one, the sight catch by image, the slow motion, the dissolve, the double exposure, the multiple images, the movements inversion, the transparency, the shifts in time, the masks, the image deformation by electronic signals, or encephalograms reintroduced in feet-back… Their various achievements concretize the exaltation of the new tools and numerical media exploration, exaltation quite specific to one era of time that changed drastically the universe of arts. Their films are a kind of intuition amplifier, magic achievements that arouse the public imagination and hustle its sensitivity. These worlds recomposed through the image moving means, remain open, at the same time, to the reality topics and the reinvented subjects, the tackled techniques and technologies and with the artists video director worries confronted to their own imagination and their fantasies. Their art illustrates the feeling of a new plastic world founded on using better adapted tools for its transmission. 
 Finally, it seems impossible to disregard the impact of the video art on the multiple fields of visual arts, that are, traditionally, the civilization barometer and which tries in the beginning of this third millennium to find a new life, through the moving or animated image.

As for the second selection, it brings together a series of the best Lebanese video art films, selected by the association “SHAMS”. These films were produced over the past few years by young artists such as : “Ricardo Mbarkho”, “Charbel Chamoun”,” Amandine Brenas”, “Jacko Restikian”, “Mansour El-Habre”, and ”Ziad Abillama”. During the inauguration, Mr. Norbert Spitz, the new director of the Goethe-Institute, who is as well a specialist in media arts, made a short televised speech, stressing on the importance of such an event that proves, that beside the trade-circuits, cinema films and television series, another form of creation exists to satisfy another cultural need, and to widen the research field, the investigation and the authors’ innovation.

VIDEO ART IN GERMANY” an outstanding event at the –GOETHE INSTITUTE-