Tune In, Turn On: Video Art Screens at Galleries, Festivals and Museums This Fall

If you think video art still means black-and-white movies of deathly serious people doing incomprehensible things, you’re missing a lot

If you think video art still means black-and-white movies of deathly serious people doing incomprehensible things, you’re missing a lot of innovation, delight–and good art.

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(O.K., there is still a lot of pretentious nonsense out there, but what the heck.) You don’t even have to leave your couch: Videos by top talent like Nathalie Djurberg and Mika Rottenberg are posted on YouTube.

Screening live  around town, though, are these highlights:



“Greater New York”: Cinema

Sept. 23 to Oct. 17

Suggested donation: $10


As part of their buildingwide retrospective of the past five years in New York art (Closing in three weeks), P.S. 1 offers a rotating series of the city’s best video, screened in a cozy nook in their atmospheric basement space. Still to come are the works of Dani Leventhal, who is known for filming roadkill, and Redmond Entwistle, whose films about Polish immigrants seem lighthearted in comparison. Fern Silva, Paul Slocum, Michael Bell-Smith and others fill out the rest of the program. Films screen daily at 3 p.m., but the best days to attend are Saturdays, when the artists are present to discuss their works.


The New Museum


Oct. 20 to Jan. 23, 2011

Admission: $12


Is art free? Well, at the New Museum it costs $12 to get in. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t become more public. Their latest exhibition explores that theme, through sculpture, installations, photography and–you guessed it!–video. On display will be Aleksandra Domanovic’s 19:30, which violently juxtaposes opening sequences from Balkan nightly news with a dance-friendly techno beat, and Martijn Hendriks’ Untitled (Black Video), a compilation of video responses left by Internet users on a forum discussing Saddam Hussein’s hanging.


Lehmann Maupin Gallery

Tony Oursler: “Peak”

201 Chrystie Street

Oct. 7 to Dec. 4


To many lesser practitioners of the genre, video art means “short, nonsensical movie.” Tony Oursler, though, a Modern pioneer, projects talking heads on faceless dolls and blinking eyes on walls, and places moving images in the most unlikely, inventive and, sometimes, creepy of places. In one of the more keenly awaited shows this fall, he premieres new work at Lehmann Maupin.


Haunch of Venison

The Rape of the Sabine Women

1230 Avenue of the Americas

Now through Oct. 30



A modern retelling of the founding of Rome–where Roman men, short of women, rode into the next town and took theirs–Eve Sussman’s 2007 feature is being screened in America for the first time. Here the Romans are government agents and the women are butcher’s daughters–a decision which gave Ms. Sussman an excuse to shoot in the Athens meat market. Other featured locations include Berlin’s grand Pergamon Museum, and the ultra-cool, now closed Tempelhof Airport. If the film doesn’t move you, the scenery should.


The Park Avenue Armory

“Leonardo’s Last Supper”

Dec. 3 to Jan. 8, 2011


This one will be huge. Every artist has flirted with their own riff on big Leo’s Last Supper, but few have done it as big as Peter Greenaway. In December, he takes over part of the Armory to build a full-scale replica of the 4,000-square-foot Milanese Refectory where the original painting is on display, part of an even larger immersive experience designed to make viewers see an iconic painting for the first time. He employs sound and light in the service of art history–a bit of gimmickry that means that, unlike the classes you took in college, this will be hard to nap through.


The Museum of Modern Art

Barbara Hammer

Now through Oct. 13

Film tickets: $10


MoMA featured Barbara Hammer this summer as part of a series on the legacy of feminist film pioneer Maya Deren, and now the woman with the fabulous name is getting her own show: a survey of a 40-year career that has yielded more than 80 films. (Take that, Woody Allen!) Running the gamut of outsider filmmaking–from performance art to documentaries–the highlight is surely a 1985 Subway Tape, wherein the artist pesters straphangers to engage with each other. It should be an invaluable record of the graffiti and the attitude that New York no longer has.


Tune In, Turn On: Video Art Screens at Galleries, Festivals and Museums This Fall