This weekend I was lucky enough to visit the Loop Video Fair in Barcelona, it was a truly wonderful experience. Firstly it was my first art fair, which was an experience in itself – it really opened my eye's to the world of the art market, people buying art, thats not a painting or a photograph or a sculpture, a regular commodity for the wealthy.
I met lots of interesting and fun people, saw hours and hours of videos, listened to some thought provoking debate, ate some delicious food and still had the chance to do some dancin!!!
Ok so the fair takes place in a hotel, the invited galleries get a hotel room to display the work, using projections straight on to the walls (after they had removed any pictures), monitors and tv's on the fixed furniture, the floor and in the bathroom (and the gallerist's get to stay in the same room for the weekend too). Its a very different context to any other I've ever seen video displayed in, and because of this context most of the work is displayed as single channel pieces.
One highlight was the talk I went to:
"Round Table: Competing developments in video and film distribution – the market and festivals in dialogue…
The debate will focus on the subject of the latest productions and new directions in video, the parallel development of markets for limited edition video works and mass-distribution "video" cinema, and the growing number of festivals dedicated to video and digital art."
So there was discussion on the issues of technical installation and developments in display methods; the potential of video art that goes beyond single channel works; the challenges that the media has on the market (you can buy an edition of a work but you then need the technical equipment to view the work) and the reasons for buying video art being less about the commodity and more about a passion and love of the media, work and the aspiration to develop artists.
Where do you draw the line between video art or experimental/short film, do you need to, is the difference just the context in which the work is being viewed? Does duration and narrative influence the context, if you pay money to see a screening programme are you more devoted/committed to all the films.
But just as inspiring was the quality dancing that was to be had at La Paloma, what an amazing venue, with some interesting performances!