VIDEO ERGO SUM: Norwegian Video Art Pioneers Turn the Camera Towards Themselves

Atelier Nord ANX, Olaf Ryes Plass 2 (entrance Sofienberggt.)
Opening hours: Thursday and Friday 3-6PM, Saturday and Sunday 1-6PM.
Date: 14.01 – 14.02.16

Atelier Nord is pleased to present the screening programme VIDEO ERGO SUM: Norwegian Video Art Pioneers Turn the Camera Towards Themselves. The programme looks at a tendency that can be observed in the work of many artists that experimented with video when the technology first became available: turning the camera towards oneself and using ones own body as a point of departure and site of exploration.

The French philosopher Rene Descartes famous and much cited philosophical tenet from the 17th century, “Cogito ergo sum; – I think, therefore I am” is a fundamental component in modern, western philosophy. The sentence was meant to prove the existence of the self through radical doubt – the ability to doubt ones own existence as proof of the existence of the self as a rational subject. Kjartan Slettemark plays with another famous quote from literature in his video Video or not to be. Shakespeare’s opening in Hamlet’s monolog “To be or not to be, that is the question”, is one of the most famous quotes from world literature as well as a philosophical doctrine in terms of human, existential questions. The word video comes from the latin verb videre; – to see. Video means “I see” and Slettemarks title ends up meaning something along the lines of “I see – or not to be”. To see, to observe is to be present in the world. Video ergo sum – I see – therefore I am or therefore I record myself on video – therefore I am.

VIDEO ERGO SUM includes work by Morten Børresen, Elisabeth Mathisen, Lotte Konow Lund, Kjartan Slettemark and Kristin Bergaust and is curated by Nina Toft. The programme seeks to bridge the real-time aspects of video technology, as explored by artists in the 70s and 80s, with extensions of the sensory apparatus in contemporary media culture. Media understood as central to the development of individual subjectivity.

As the final instalment of the project Show Video Art! there will be a seminar at Atelier Nord ANX on Thursday 11th of February, discussing new possibilities for the distribution and presentation of video art. More information will follow in our next newsletter.

The screening is made possible through support and material from The Video Art Archive. The programme was developed as part of the project Show Video Art! At Hokksund Secondary School, a two year project financed by Øvre Eiker Municipality and produced by Atelier Nord and producer Nina Toft.