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40 Years of Exhibiting Video

Posted on August 12, 2015


Terry Fox, Children’s Tapes (cintas para niños), 1974, black and white video with sound, 30min. | Bruce Nauman, Lip Sync (Sincronización labial), 1969, black and white video with sound, 30 min.

ICI’s 40-year history of exhibiting video art in many ways encompasses the mission and trajectory of the organization. Through several video exhibitions organized by ICI ever since it was established in 1975, ICI has invested in regional and global networks of curators and artists as a means to expand cultural discourse broadly, and beyond borders.

VIDEOART U.S.A. Catalogue for VIDEOART U.S.A., 1975.

ICI’s first exhibition VIDEOART U.S.A. was curated by Jack Boulton in 1975, and showcased artists who were innovators of the new medium including Lynda BenglisNam June PaikKeth Sonnier, and Vito Acconci. The exhibition served as the American representation in the São Paulo Biennial, and was shown across Latin America from 1975-76. VIDEOART U.S.A. was also the first presentation of video in Peru when it stopped at Instituto Nacional de Cultura in Lima.

VIDEOART U.S.A. also provided the impetus for later exhibitions, including CAPS/ICI Traveling Video Festival (1981–84) curated by Nina SundellVideo Transformations (1986–88) curated by Lois BianchiPoints of Departure: Origins in Video (1990–91) curated by Jacqueline KainEye for I: Video Self-Portraits (1990–92) curated by Raymond BellourThe First Generation: Women and Video, 1970–1975 (1993–95) curated by JoAnn HanleyProject 35 (2010–), Project 35 Volume 2, (2012–) and Project 35: The Last Act, which have continued tracking contemporary approaches to the medium around the world.

VIDEO TRANSFORMATIONS Video Transformations Cover of catalogue for Video Transformations.

In 1986, Video Transformations brought together new video art developed in the 1980s by young artists who aimed to develop a new meld of the performing and visual arts through video. These works were not intended to be an imitation of stage, film, or studio work, but as an exploration of the screen as a medium in and of itself. Through dance, poetry, visual arts, drama, and music, these artists experimented with the television’s budding technology and created works with a diverse array of video subjects.

PROJECT 35 P35 Installation view of Project 35 at Centre PasquArt in Biel, Switzerland, 2012.


Visitors to Project 35 at TheCube Project Space in Taipei, Taiwan, 2011.

Project 35 was conceived in 2010 on the 35th Anniversary of ICI, and reflects back on the impulse of VIDEOART U.S.A.. It recognized the medium’s potential for experimentation, and the ease by which it can be widely disseminated in flexible and expandable exhibition formats. The program consisted of single-channel videos selected by 35 international curators and traced a complexity of regional and global connections among practitioners from places as varied as Colombia, the Congo, and the Philippines.  The curators included Zoe Butt (Australia/Viietnam), Constance Lewallen (US), Bisi Silva (Nigeria), and Franklin Sirmans (US). The artists included Kota Ezawa (Germany/US), Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), Yukihiro Taguchi (Japan) and Zhou Xiaohu (China) among others. The exhibition has been presented in over 30 venues around the world, from Albania to East Jerusalem, Mongolia, and Senegal.


Project 35 Volume 2, installation view, Art Gallery of Windsor, 2013.

Following the widespread success of Project 35, ICI collaborated with 35 more international curators in 2012 to produce Project 35 Volume 2. The curators included Leezy Ahmady (Afghanistan/US) Rosina Cazali (Guatemala), Stuart Comer (US/UK), Abdellah Karroum (Morocco), and Christine Tohme (Lebanon), with video works by artists like Pavel Braila (Moldovia), Elena Damiani (Peru), and Sara Remo (Spain), among others. It has been exhibited in over 27 international art spaces, including a coordinated presentation across the Caribbean. These itinerant presentations have built a shared understanding of art practice by grasping the complexity of our contemporary landscape, and at the same time, generated diverse discourse inspiring artists and audiences all over the world.


Project 35: The Last Act brings the five year project of Project 35 to the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, presenting the work of many artists for the first time in the country. Each week a new, daily program of video works are screened. This weekly program has been prepared in collaboration with Russian artists (Olga Chernyshova, Evgeny Granilshikov), film critics (Alexey ArtamonovBoris Nelepo), journalists (Maria Kravtsova), art critics (Alexander Evangeli), curators (Elena Yushina, Aperto gallery; Andrey Misiano, Garage) museum directors (Anton Belov, Garage) and theater directors who will choose their personal favorites from the wide range of works, and continues ICI’s simultaneous focus on the local and global.

More information on VIDEOART U.S.A. hereVideo Transformations hereProject 35 hereProject 35 Volume 2 here, and Project 35: The Last Act here.