Video art: great when it's good

CRIES & WHISPERS

Following the presentation of the Turner Prize this week, the very thought of video art has got some Luddite arts columnists frothing at the PC. But we're rather more happening and groovy here at Cries & Whispers, so we proclaim it to be the most vital medium of the Nineties. Two of my personal favourite pieces of video art, for instance, are the promos for the Rolling Stones songs "Love is Strong" and "Like a Rolling Stone". Each of these is technically groundbreaking, immensely influential and visually ravishing (no small achievement, given the protagonists). It's not easy to imagine the amount of time and inspiration that must have gone into putting these ingenious clips together and producing their special effects, but the memorable results are worth it.

So don't knock video art, just because the particular pieces which won the Turner Prize are - like most of the video art which is shown in galleries instead of on television - so bewilderingly dull and inept. One of these, by Gillian Wearing, was 60 Minutes' Silence, and it featured some policemen impersonating a group photograph by standing and sitting relatively still for an hour. More worthy of the name of "art" than a Rolling Stones video? So it seems. But as this is the sort of thing you might come up with in your first week at film school, it must be galling for anyone who's actually been there. Why waste years learning about editing and lighting when you can get paid pounds 20,000 for switching on a camera and letting it run for an hour? (I haven't heard whether Wearing is sharing her prize-money among the police officers who posed for her, but I'd assume so, given that they did most of the work.)

We can't leave the subject of the Turner Prize without hearing a few choice words from the judging panel. Apparently, Wearing's art represents "a highly personal form of what might be called urban realism". Well, true enough, it might be, but I can think of a lot of other things it might be called. "It also offers a rich insight into the lives of ordinary people." Ah, yes, ordinary people. Thank goodness there are artists around who can educate us extraordinary people about those odd, exotic creatures who aren't so fortunate.

I Was perplexed by a profile of Joseph McFadden in this week's issue of Time Out, the London listings magazine. McFadden was the bright-eyed young star of The Crow Road, he appeared in the STV soap The High Road, and, making a bold departure from television programmes with "Road" in the title, he can be seen on BBC2 tonight, in Bumping the Odds. According to Time Out, he's also performing in a Welsh production of Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane, "his first stab at professional theatre". Now, this is what perplexed me, because I saw McFadden playing the title role of Peter Pan last Christmas at the Ayr Gaiety Theatre, home of light entertainment in the west of Scotland. I don't know who's to blame here, Time Out or McFadden, but someone is either denying that the pantomime took place, which is very upsetting, or questioning its professionalism, which is more upsetting still. Not only did McFadden turn in an inspired, impish interpretation of the Boy Who Never Grew Up, but he managed to stay in character while a friend of mine rudely and unforgiveably shouted out lines from The Crow Road. That seems like the mark of a true professional to me.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Jodie Stimpson crosses the finishing line to win gold in the women's triathlon
Commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan stars as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie
filmFirst look at Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey trailor
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

    £30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

    Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

    £34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

    Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

    Developer - WinForms, C#

    £280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

    Day In a Page

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game