Godfather of British video art marks digital switchover with 1001 TV Sets
Friday 09 March 2012
Are you ready for the digital switchover? 1001 TV Sets (End Piece) by the godfather of British video art David Hall, 75, fills a huge subterranean space under the University of Westminster with 1,001 televisions. They will be tuned to the five analogue stations – gradually their electronic signals will emit only white noise, first as BBC2 switches off on 4 April – followed by the rest of the channels on 18 April, during London's digital switchover.
The old-fashioned TV sets have been collected from people in the UK who are chucking them out to make way for the digital era. With screens facing upwards, the television sets are positioned on low scaffolding in the show.
"The sound of all channels blends together like a cacophony of audio," says Michael Maziere, the show's curator.
This is a timely reworking of Hall's major work 101 TV Sets, which was exhibited in 1975, in the groundbreaking Video Show at London's Serpentine Gallery – the first major international show of video art in the UK.
"In short, while video art got very popular on the back of the YBAs in the mid 1990s with artists such as Gillian Wearing, Steve McQueen, and Sam Taylor-Wood, it started as a proper practice in the late 1960s with artists like Hall, who was Britain's first video artist," says Maziere, whose idea it was to commission Hall's new piece.
"The UK came late into video art – the Tate only acquiring the US stars such as Bill Viola and ignoring the home grown and rather seminal works of London Video Arts and artists such as Hall, Steve Partridge and others."
Hall was awarded the first prize for sculpture at the Biennale de Paris in 1965. Soon he was using photography, film and video in his work. He was co-curator of the first video installations exhibition at the Tate in 1976.
His first works for television included quirky television interventions, which appeared on Scottish TV randomly in 1971 between TV shows. Most famous is the one in which the TV fills up with water and another of a burning television set, against a pastoral landscape. Seven of these early TV interventions will be exhibited in the show, along with his multi-screen interactive work, Progressive Recession (1974), which utilises nine cameras and nine monitors as "complex analogical mirrors".
"A lot of early video art history has not been properly recognised. It was not taken up by galleries because it couldn't be bought or sold like a painting. Sometimes, history has to correct itself. I hope this show is the start of celebrating early video art."
1001 TV Sets (End Piece), Ambika P3, London NW1 (www.p3exhibitions.com) 16 March to 19 April
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Watch a man race the Circle line - and win
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'
Star Trek 3 to begin shooting within six months
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Robin Thicke’s hit 'Blurred Lines' lands him in court, and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly