Friday, October 5, 2012

Who Will Win the Moving Image Award?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Scene from the first Moving Image in New York.
  • Scene from the first Moving Image in New York.

Moving Image, a two-year-old video art fair in New York and London, announced a $10,000 award for one work at this year’s London edition. The winning video, handpicked by Tate Modern Film Curator Stuart Comey, will then make its way into the collection of the Tate Modern. Unlike most fairs, Moving Image lists all the works to be shown on their website, so we thought we’d come up with a few of our own predictions and advice for Mr. Comey. We don’t want him to spend nights wracking his brain over which artist to choose as the winner. He might not heed our advice, but here’s our top picks anyway.

Who would expect the Tate’s one-man jury to choose an emerging digital artist like Kate Steciw? She’s been making headway on art blogs for years, but that’s still on the outskirts of the museum world. At the fair, she will be showing her psychedelic, trancey video shapeshifter (2011) with Lower East Side gallery toomerlabdza. As much as I’d like to see her get the award, it would be a total surprise.

Peter Campus would be a surprise, too; he used to be a big deal in the 1970s, but it’s been years since he’s had a big solo show. He used to get name-dropped big time: way back when, Rosalind Krauss mentioned him in her 1976 essay “Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism”. He already has works in the collections of major museums, and you’ve probably seen his work before, like at MoMA PS1’s The Talent Show. If Campus wins, it’ll be in recognition of his lifetime achievements, and if nothing else, it’ll show just how much his works have influenced an entire generation of younger digital artists. Looking at Three Transitions (1973), which shows layers upon layers of the artist wiping away his skin, setting himself on fire, or stepping through his own body, it’s hard not to find an equivalent in Photoshopped works by someone like Rollin Leonard.

Those two selections would be nice surprises, but I’d hedge my bets with Gary Hill. Already, Hill's works have found homes in many museums across the globe, he’s shown at the Venice Biennale, and his multimedia installations have commanded prices as high as $140,000 at auction. He’s not the underdog in the very least, and while he might be a safe bet, the world has already seen plenty of Gary Hill.

Let’s hope the award goes to someone who needs a career boost, who, with a little extra publicity, can be well on their way to making and showing more work. It’ll be a good show of faith for Moving Image as it grows its own fair program in the future: they’ve already proved the unexpected, that an art fair can sell video.

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