Video Art. A Guided Tour
by Catherine Elwes, foreword by Shirin Neshat

I.B. Tauris 2005
224 pp.
paperback, english

s 16,00


Video art dominates the international art world to such an extent that its heady days on the radical fringes are sometimes overlooked often unknown. Video Art, a Guided Tour is an essential and highly entertaining guide to video art and its history. Elwes, herself a practicing artist and pioneer of early video, traces the story from the weighty Portapak equipment of the '60s and '70s to today's digital technology, from early experiments in 'real time' to the 'new narrative' movement of the '80s. She also examines video's love-hate relationship with television. Artists discussed include, amongst others, Nam June Paik, Nan Hoover, The Duvet Brothers, Dara Birnbaum, Bill Viola, Pipilloti Rist, David Hall, Stuart Marshall, Stan Douglas, Smith & Stewart, Steve McQueen and Sam Taylor-Wood. Elwes brings to life the excitement and political fervour of video art's early days and follows its journey to its current status as the default medium for contemporary art.

There is a sense in which creativity is experienced as an act of defiance, which risks making us ugly, angry and treacherous - speaking what has been kept hidden. (Catherine Elwes)

Catherine Elwes (born 1952) is a British artist, curator and critic working predominantly in the field of women's video art. She was born in St Maixent, France. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and graduated with an MA in Environmental Media from the Royal College of Art and began working with video in the 1980s. In 1979 Elwes performed Menstruation II, a three-day performance at the Slade which lasted for the duration of a menstrual period. Elwes was a major contributor to the exhibition of video art at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, curating About Time: Video, Performance and Installation by 21 Women Artists in 1980 together with Rose Garrard and Sandy Nairne.


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