Apres Video: "F#$%ing fantastic!"

Art Life , Op-ed Mar 05, 2010 No Comments

From Carrie Miller

I know what you’re wondering. What’s that smell? Well, it’s the decomposing corpse of video art in the stockrooms of prestigious contemporary art galleries around the world.

Twenty years ago none of us could have predicted the breathtaking ascendancy of the video art genre and its attendant market in recent times. After years of poor old Mike Parr plugging earnestly away, it seemed that the genre suddenly exploded a few years ago.

But neither could we have predicted its demise. The so-called art expert that created this blog certainly didn’t see it coming. He put all his now rotting eggs into the basket of video art with his forthcoming book on the topic. From here on in, it can only sit impotently in his bottom drawer, a mere redundancy, a cultural irrelevance.

It’s not often that the death of an art form can be precisely pinned down. But let the record show that October the 9th, 2009 was the day the music died for video art.

Up until this point artists have only ever dealt in the perfume of the video form. Appropriately enough in this postmodern world, it’s taken an outsider to distill it to its essence. His name is Steve Walsh and he’s my hero. In a mere 47 seconds he puts an end to an entire industry of filmic pretension and posturing. With his crappy promotional video for an epi-centre of bourgeois leisure at the heart of Australia’s most vacuous city – Sydney’s Centennial Park – Walsh has done what even the great Tony Schwensen would struggle to: capture the banal truths of middle-class existence in a succinct and brutally unconsidered way. This amateur has achieved what Manet could have only hoped to with Le déjeuner sur l’herbe had he been a bit less French.

I don’t want to panic any contemporary art collectors out there, but you know those discs with that guy skateboarding in the rain that you tripped over each to acquire? The following is irrefutable proof that you’ve been had.

If you’re viewing this post via email, click here to see the video. Caution: probably not safe for work.

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The Art Life

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