This week the Hanover exhibition space played host to an eclectic array of video work from international artists and UCLan staff and students. At first walk-around everything is slightly overwhelming. There were twelve screens in all, some of them playing several videos in sequence.
It wasn’t just the layout that might have been daunting for some people but also the work itself. Certain pieces, such as Jessica Bunyard’s ‘Untitled (Stripe)’, could have elicited puzzled looks from the uninitiated.
The video shows two coloured stripes, pulsating and slowly changing hue for 60 seconds, before looping back to the beginning. A similar work by Robin Tarbet, ‘The Journey of a VHS Camcorder attempting to focus on its own reflection’, explains itself quite well in its title. It was basically a video of a camera malfunctioning and the kaleidoscopic patterns that result from that. Such videos might be described as structuralist pieces. They were completely without narrative and instead draw focus to the sights and sounds that the machines themselves are capable of creating. But although almost everything in the exhibition was quite experimental not everything was as abstract.
Victoria Lucas’s video, ‘As It Transpired’, shows us a room full of exotic birds and a man trying and failing to keep them under control. ‘Duck’ by Katherine Dixon brings some humour to the show by following the journey of a rubber duck on its travels around Preston.
A particularly interesting piece by Ruth Scott Blackson called ‘Lashing’ shows the artist with her eyelashes brushing against a sheet of paper and leaving black marks. This simple video is shown at shin height on a very small monitor and this gives it a sort of understated charm.
Each piece on display was interesting or entertaining in some way. For those of us who might not be too familiar with video art it was also a learning experience being able to see so much variation in one room. The show nicely represented many aspects of an under-appreciated art form.