August 10 - November 4, 2018
4-channel video installation as part of
Music For The Eyes: Crossovers Between Video Art, Pop Music, Music Videos
Santa Maria della Scala
Pop music and its enticing visual imaginary permeate everyday life; they shape and change social interactions, aesthetic trends, and collective tastes, molding our outlooks, behavior, and political opinions, in a dense web of sound that seems to become ever more visible and tangible. Its complexity springs from a voracious impulse to digest and meld together different sources of inspiration: in the early 1980s, pop music gained the extraordinary expressive and promotional tool of the music video, whose power was cemented by the launch (on August 1, 1981) and immediate triumph of MTV. This not only revolutionized the ways in which music was experienced and consumed, but heavily influenced the stance from which reality itself was perceived and interpreted, accelerating the process whereby people are more likely to think in images than via logic.
At the same time, music videos, with the backing of the well-heeled record industry, exponentially amplified a creative exchange between pop music and other art forms—such as film and the visual arts—that had already begun in the 1960s. Their interplay was sometimes marked by a genuine appetite for experimentation and collaboration, sometimes by enticement and ensnarement. While as some have pointed out, music videos show a kind of “cliptomania” in their predatory approach to the visual arts, the latter have also taken an active role in granting a visual form to music, whether by contributing their specific tools of expression (painting, photography, video art, performance art, cinema), by borrowing from the new, hybrid aesthetic of the music video, or by critically examining the complex network of relationships that pop music weaves in the social landscape.
The “visual and audio exhibition” Music for the Eyes sets out to analyze this fruitful intermingling, in which artists take on the challenge of making music videos, but above all, music videos and pop offer video art new sources of creative inspiration and new opportunities for reflecting on today’s society.
Participating artists: Adel Abidin, AES, Robert Boyd, ConiglioViola, Martin Creed, Keren Cytter, Dorian Gaudin and Christian Dubuis Santini, Gery Georgieva, Jesper Just, Tom Kalin, Katarzyna Kozyra, Ange Leccia, Pipilotti Rist, Mickalene Thomas, Francesco Vezzoli.
Robert Boyd, Xanadu, 2006. 4-channel video installation, 28min.
Installation view, Santa Maria della Scala, August 2018.