The first part of the exhibition project 40yearsvideoart.de examined the history and current situation of video art at five venues in Germany. These exhibitions presented a panorama of a relatively new art form which is just beginning to establish its own canon. The preliminary work on the project involved an extensive restoration of pieces made in the 1960s and 1970s that showed serious signs of deterioration.
Part 2 of the project concentrated on converting the video material from this early period to modern systems. The major problem facing the restorers involved the wide variety of tape and cassette forms used until the late 1970s which are completely unknown or obsolete today. To make matters worse, many videos cannot be viewed because the players are no longer available. The goal of the project was to assemble a large collection of old, functioning video systems and develop techniques to restore the unplayable material at a reasonable cost. The hope was to copy and re-master the video works in high-quality digital format, preserving them for the long term.
The project has restored and digitalized video works by a number of renowned video artists, such as Ulrike Rosenbach, Gerd Conradt, Michael Geissler, the Telewissen Group, Sotirios Michou, Christof Kohlhöfer, Rudolf Herz and HA Schult.
The project also published an extensive catalogue and DVD with around 50 video works from the past forty years which reflect the diversity of the German video art scene. These include Joseph Beuys's famous boxing match that he organized for the documenta V in 1972, the "Media Garden" by HA Schult from 1978, a practically unknown piece by Ulrike Rosenbach and Klaus vom Bruch from 1977, and an installation featuring Gerd Conradt's and Michaela Büscher's interview with Gretchen Dutschke from 1985. The DVD also includes works by Klaus Rinke and Ulrich Rückriem that were originally presented on Gerry Schum's "Television Gallery", a documentary about Anna Oppermann from 1977, and never before shown video material from the "Festival Genialer Dilletanten" (1981, Tempodrom, Berlin).
Artistic director: Peter Weibel,
project manager: Christoph Blase,
realized in cooperation with Goethe Institut Prag and supported by Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
On the vernisage will be present one of the exhibiting artists Uwe Laysiepen - Ulay, who will as well give a lecture and workshop at the Film and Television Faculty.
Visit project website: skolska28.cz/recordagain.