Middlebury College Museum of Art

News & Events

College Contemporary Art Series Highlights Film and Video Art

December 21, 2007

“Art Now: Recent Acquisitions in Film/Video”
January 3–August 10, 2008

For immediate release: 12/21/07
For further information contact: Emmie Donadio, Chief Curator, at (802) 443–2240

Middlebury, VT—Recently acquired video art will be on view when the Middlebury College Museum of Art re-opens its doors in the College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts, Route 30, on Thurs., Jan. 3. The works are by the well established Swiss team of Peter Fishli and David Weiss, the Australian artist Tracey Moffatt, and a relative newcomer, the Dutch painter and video artist Jacco Olivier. All were acquired in 2007 through the College’s program in contemporary photography and film/video. Inaugurated by alumna Marianne Boesky in 1999, the program requires students to propose works for acquisition by the Museum. Photography and video acquired between 1999 and 2005 through this project were on view in the Museum’s 2006 exhibition “Screened and Selected.” The current Art Now installation will include only works of video art that have been acquired since that time. An exhibition of still photographs acquired in the past three years will go up in June of this year.

The video works, by turns arresting, provocative, and highly entertaining, were evaluated and recommended for acquisition by Chief Curator Emmie Donadio’s Jan. 2007 course “Curatorial Practicum in Contemporary Photography and Film/Video.” Students enrolled in the course (Brent Ballard ’10, Josh Dihle ’07, Andrea Glaessner ’08, and Celia Rothschild ’10) considered a large field of artists for possible acquisition and traveled to Boston and New York to view first-hand works by the artists they selected. They presented their proposals to a jury comprised of interested majors in the History of Art and Architecture, Studio Art, and Film and Media Studies, as well as Museum Assistants. Once voted in by the larger group of students, the Museum’s Collection Committee approved the recommended acquisitions.

Moffatt’s “Doomed” is a compendium of clips extracted from spectacular filmic disasters. Set to an insistent, throbbing musical accompaniment, it is aimed to stimulate high adrenalin release among its viewers. Jacco Olivier’s ruminative “Calling,” a more dilatory moving picture, is actually the visual record of the progressive stages of a single oil painting by the artist. The Fischli and Weiss “Busi” and “Hunde,” (“Kitty” and “Dog”) will engage viewers of all ages. A deceptively simple and ultimately profound—if not outright hilarious—work by masters of the video medium, the two-screen installation features a small dog looking through a fence and a kitten lapping up a saucer of milk.

Also included with the recent acquisitions is island (1999), a work by Peter Campus, who is one of the pioneers of video art. The Museum acquired this work under the terms of the Contemporary Photography and Film/Video project in 2002.

Art Now: Recent Acquisitions in Film/Video will remain on view through June 8. In conjunction with the exhibition the Museum will schedule screenings of videos in the College’s burgeoning study collection of works in this medium. Details of these screenings will be listed both on the College calendar and on the Museum website at http://museum.middlebury.edu/.