If you were wondering what's up in emerging video art, then curator and artist Rachel Steinberg is a good person to ask. Over the past few years, she's been sifting through submissions from around the world for NURTUREart's traveling, biannual Videorover program; this season focuses on video as sculpture. "That's something I've noticed a lot as a trend in video," Steinberg told me yesterday over the phone, "a lot of artists are working with them as if they're working with sculptures. They're kind of guiding you through the space in a different way."
Three of this season’s artists are sculptors, and most use video to make an object look strange. Adrien Siberchicot's short, a steady zoom-in on objects in the studio is a good example, as is Yael Frank's looped still shot of a hand and leg hanging off the edge of a wall. Each takes more cues from abstract objects than narrative.
On the other hand, Zach Nader (above) replaces the cars in car commercials with images of the surrounding scenery, so that the car just looks like its vacuuming up everything around it. A sleek, high-speed luxury vehicle becomes a tornado ripping through the landscape.
Then there's New Zealand artist Matthew Cowan's "Pokači," in which a Slovenian traditional whip cracker thunderously cracks a 20-or-so foot whip. Cowan works with European folk rituals, but the repetition draws the focus onto the whip cracker's Eastern European dress, the whip itself, and the space out of frame, from which the sound echoes. It’s scary and mindless, but also sorta carnal and elegant.
Interested? Good. All these and more will be played simultaneously in the main gallery space at NURTUREart for one week (after which point they'll play on rotation from a screen), with an opening reception TONIGHT, Friday, December 14th, 7-9PM.