Broadcasting: Variety Show Special
Video art history has not satisfactorily acknowledged the tremendous achievement
of Ernie Kovacs, a rogue artist whose stage and canvas was broadcast
television. Kovacs experimented with video, imaging effects, and live broadcast
decades before video art began to be displayed in art galleries, and his work
was a catalyst for such artists as Nam June Paik, William Wegman, Laurie
Anderson, and Jaime Davidovich. This special presentation at Lightbox,
organized in conjunction with Broadcasting: EAI at ICA, will consider
Kovacs's legacy, both locally — his first television appearances were on NBC's
Philadelphia affiliate — and within a larger context of artists making work for
or about broadcast.
Broadcasting: EAI at ICA (February 2nd – March 25th) brings together an
intergenerational group of artists whose time-based artworks are produced in
concert with their means of circulation, from the democratic platform of public
access television to the instantaneity of social media. Drawing primarily from
the collection of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), which was founded in New York
in 1971 with a mission to distribute and preserve video and media art work, Broadcasting will focus on how artists exploit the act of “broadcast”
as a subject, a means of intervention, and as a form of participation.
Extending the exhibition beyond the walls of the gallery, a screening at Lightbox Film Center will consider the legacy of television personality Ernie Kovacs (whose first appearances were on NBC’s Philadelphia affiliate) within a larger context of artists making work for or about broadcast, from performative interventions to critiques of representation within mass media. This screening program will include works by Alex Bag, Dara Birnbaum, Jaime Davidovich, Ulysses Jenkins, Jayson Musson, Cynthia Maughan, Name June Paik, Sondra Perry, Stan VanDerBeek and William Wegman.
The exhibition is co-curated by Rebecca Cleman, Director of Distribution at Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and Alex Klein, Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE'60) Curator at ICA.
Special thanks to Josh Mills of Ediad Productions, Ben Model, and to the Jaime Davidovich Foundation.
More information at icaphila.org
Thumbnail image courtesy of Ediad Productions
Banner image courtesy of Josh Mills, Ediad Productions