Two hundred and nineteen submissions from artists from 38 countries were received for the first edition of the International Video Art Review THE 01. Twenty-one videos were chosen for presentation to the general public and a jury, which selected the 5 best films.
It is unlikely that anybody half-way sensible would today venture to define what video art is. This state of affairs, awkward and fascinating in equal measures, is probably due to the high quality of the art productions employing this medium, which has now fully come of age. The works which engaged the members of the jury of the Video Review The 01 covered a varied range: short constructs with a fluent narrative, predominantly animated works, artefacts that could function as multimedia installations, documentation of performance actions or para-documentaries dealing with political, social or existential issues. To my mind, it is these last works that stood out from all the others, coming over as they did as coherent artistic concepts where the medium and the message dovetailed perfectly. A couple that particularly caught my eye were the Three Modern Haiku by the Chilean artist Cristián Tapies and D-01, a video by Philippos Kappa from Greece.
Watching a few dozen contemporary films, mostly produced by young artists, one has to emphasise their incredible technical know-how, which is increasingly common amongst those who work with animation and montage technology, providing intellectual entertainment of a high calibre on the technical level. It is often the works which are the sparsest in their plot development that provide perfect examples: here, the author is able to display his or her virtuosity via subtle touches, seemingly effortless and almost unintentional, but all the more sophisticated and clever for all that. The best film of this kind that I’ve seen is Double Blind by the French artists Gilivanka Kedzior and Barbara Friedman
The Video Art Review concentrated the minds of many artists, critics and eager audiences. The issues raised in the films presented before the jury demonstrate that this competition format has great potential for the future.