Video Galaxy showcases 19 contemporary video art works

Noticed the visual poetry of ice skaters going around in circles? Or wondered what sounds a piano would make if you played the keys after disabling it? Or stared at the marvel of a sparrow intrigued by its mirror image? Or what happens when you watch three versions of the King Kong movies juxtaposed upon each other as a three-layered visual montage?

Marcus Kreiss’ Ice Skating In Central Park (1999, nine min), Ziad Antar’s The Turkish March (2006, 2.20 min), Cedric Eymenier’s Reflexion Bird (2006-2007, 4.50 min) and Camille Henrot’s King Kong Addiction (2006, 120 min) are among the 19 video art works on display at the Lalit Kala Akademi as part of Video Galaxy, organised by the French Embassy, Institut Francaise en Inde, and Alliance Française, in collaboration with CNAP, the French National Centre for Visual Arts.

The exhibition, brought to Chennai, in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Teamwork and Prakriti Foundation, was inaugurated on Monday evening by Benoit Olivier, director of the Alliance Française of Madras. “The exhibition is part of Bon Jour India, Festival of France in India and showcases some of the works from CNAP. The works exhibited here are curated by Pascale Cassagnau, general inspector for artistic creation in charge of audio visual content at CNAP,” says Olivier.

“There has been an emergence of different forms of video art over the last two decades,” says Flora Boillot, cultural coordinator, Institut Francais.

“There are many art exhibitions, but very few video art exhibitions organised here. Here, we have works from different emerging video artists from all around the world and not just France.” Flora adds that the idea of the exhibition is to showcase the richness and complexity of contemporary video art as a “melting pot of time-based media”.

Social issues

The works on display include Bertille Bak’s Safeguard Emergency Light System (2011, seven min), a silent protest by the residents of Din Daeng district in Bangkok who were displaced from their homes, by ‘singing’ a banned revolutionary song “through a score coded in light signals emitted at nightfall from the windows of the building” they were forced to vacate as a form of subversive choreography to fight police censorship.

Dominique Gonzalez Foerster’s cityscapes (Ipanema Theories), her collaboration with Ange Leccia (Gold), Jacques Julien’s animated films (Snowball, Soccerghost and Les Ramasseurs De Balles), Alexandre Perigot’s tribute to Asian action choreography (Kill Kill Choreography, Synopsis Catharsis), Joao Onofre’s interpretation of the song ‘I See A Darkness’ (Untitled Version) and Hugues Reip’s trippy abstractions (Overdrive, Le Halo) are some of the other works on display at the Lalit Kala Akademi on Greams Road till March 10.