Portraits of Artists

Portraits of Artits on Video

There are few areas of the contemporary media which seem to present so much of a persistent problem and at the same time show such potential as the presence of fine art in the audio-visual media. At the same time, the audio-visual media are now far more present at the point of intersection of contemporary art and the public than, for instance, art criticism in the print media. What an average consumer finds out about contemporary art, despite all museum booms, does not depend so much on visits to museums but far more on which art works and artists he has seen in the audio-visual media.

The problems of audio-visual art reporting in the widest sense are mainly connected with the search for a way out of the alternative of a journalistic interview or an exhibition report on the one hand or a purely artist film on the other. The artist Peter Kogler and museum in progress have developed a project for TV and are attempting an interesting and very modern solution to this largely unresolved dilemma. Almost the whole of contemporary art which has been produced by artists in the last twenty years is a coming to terms with and reaction to the new kind of position and character of the audio-visual media in the world today, even when the artist is not working with electronic media. (A similar situation to one hundred years ago as photography and film changed the concept of the picture to which artists then reacted.) Peter Kogler and museum in progress are offering artists an encounter on this terrain - an encounter with a visual layout which exactly suits the present interrelation of the audio-visual media and fine arts. Corresponding to the easy-going relationship which art attained with the media in the eighties, this layout is very simple and no longer "anti-media", but rather conceived within the media. The key to this is the clear presence of an artist on the screen for ten to thirty minutes, introduced with a short work designed specifically for television. Here, apart from the way in which the pictures are constructed by Peter Kogler and museum in progress but which is hardly recognisable by the viewer, it is the professional interview of the artist which must produce the exciting "story" as a counterpart, especially in relation to what the production of art is today and what it can mean.