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AVF '87 - Tapes from Europe

4 September 198710 September 1987

The Australian Video Festival, 1987.

A Programme of Video Creation: Curated by Brian Langer

In Europe, with the increase and development of Video Festivals in the mid 80's and the desire among many video artists to find a wider audience for their work, has come renewed interest in Video An exhibition and distribution, by producers, broadcasters and the "new" and rare theorists of this new art form. Video creation, exploration and experimentation is finding greater institutional support in countries such as Britain, France and West Germany.

The result of this continuum of Video Festival development in Europe has been very positive and encouraging; attracting public interest and increasing opportunities of distribution for many new works. It is also worth pointing out here that programming needs at Festivals are also adapting to new sociological changes, for instance, one of the most popular Video Festivals in Europe, The World Wide Video Festival in The Hague, last year presented a special programme of video works, interviews with artists and impressions of the festival itself on cable T.V. in Holland. This was very successful and will be a feature again at this years festival. However, consideration of all these effects cannot be analysed more closely without questioning a Festival's function, and the issues of expansion and development of “new" international broadcasting networks which would provide further changes in video innovation and greater international support for Video Art of Video Creation.

Since the First Australian Video Festival in August 1986 there has been increased development in the number of video exhibitions and special screenings of International Video Magazine Programmes in Sydney as well as in other capital cities throughout Australia during 1987. Video Art exhibition and Festival programming in Australia is a part of the cutting edge of our technological culture, expanding “new" possibilities for image making and encouraging analysis of the development of Video creation here. Video Artists are not simply recording reality in terms of aesthetics or vision they are appropriating and transforming it, through a new technology richly suggestive and consisting of complex iconography of genres, styles and form.

“Tapes from Europe - a programme of Video Creation": is a video mix (selection) of recent video an from Britain, France, West Germany and Sweden. The programme content covers themes such as "Dance Video” (video dance); artifice and reconstruction; video documents; narrative; digital synthesis (video graphics) and media quoting (scratch). What constitutes an interest in these tapes is the transgression of genre; one has to imagine new situations in order to see.

I would like to thank the following organisations and video artists for their assistance towards the realisation of this presentation and its undertaking: Inter-media (Paris), London Video Arts, Video NU (Stockolm), Alliance Francaise de Sydney, Goethe Institute (Sydney), British Council (London), Dominik Barbier and Ulrich Hermann. My thanks also go to Steven Goddard, for organising the LVA tapes.

Brian Langer, August 1987, Sydney,



John Adams, Intellectual Properties, 60 mins. Britain, 1985. (courtesy: the artist)
Intellectual Properties
is a narrative fiction. The theme is power; as related to politics, economics, mass media, advertising, modern myth, art & business, money & personality. These facts are illustrated by jokes, stories and anecdotes, which are both auto-biographical and observational.

L'Oeuvre Inquietante, 27 mins. France, 1987. (courtesy the artist) Video Festival Premier.
L'Oeuvre Inquietante
is the imaginary story of a man who discovers a world 100,000 years after his death. Everything has changed except for loneliness and the idea of beauty. L'Oeuvre Inquietante is a poem, a song dedicated to those who can hold their hands out to the stars with no shame!' Dominik Barbier.
"Macroanalysis: An artistic attempt aimed at relating the experience of death by a character who has experienced it.
Production Techniques
: Real life shots (of which 10% are still shots) of characters and graphics: usage of numerous video effects.
Sound track
: Off-screen voice over and music.
Structure and tone
: Based on the text by Franz Werfel: " L'etoile de ceux qui ne sont pas nes" (The star of the unborn), the Beispel show, which inspired this video, represents the perception of death. A character relates his own voyage beyond life: his feelings and the phases he passes through before arriving at forgetfulness of everything, the absence of desire and total indifterence." [Intermedia catalogue.

George Barber,
Taxi Driver 2, 7mins., Britain, 1987.
A video about a man and his desire to leave the rat race: tongue in cheek version of the film.
Absence of Satan, 6 mins., 1986.
Scratch video: utilising Video montage and having fun with the filmic texture of horror films.
(courtesy: the artist)

Robert Cahen, Cartes Postales Video, 16 mins., France, 1984/1986. (courtesy: Intermedia)
Thirty seconds to dream: the traditional post-card comes to life thanks to video. A collection of timeless images from all over the world, an invitation to travel.

Juan Castillo, Spegel, 19 mins., Sweden, 1987. (courtesy: Video NU)
A visually poetic performance video using a variety of video effects.

Frederik Ceson, Cell, 8 mins 44 sec., Sweden, 1986. (courtesy: Video NU)
A dramatised vision of alienation and mental torture.

Jean-Paul Fargier, Robin des Voix, 26 mins., France, 1986 (courtesy: Intermedia)
In a half-destroyed world his part consisted in showing that there was room for the very ancient laws of salvation.

Marc Guerini, Summum Tempus, 13 mins., France, 1985. (courtesy: Intermedia)
In an abandoned plaster factory Henri Cartier-Bresson's pictures along with Peter Handke's texts spell out the brief privileged moments of life

Sophie Handschutter, A La Rencontre de L'Autre, 10 mins., France, 1984. (courtesy: Intermedia)
The passion of a young man waiting for his brother who died at sea This is a video poem featuring his waiting, loneliness and madness

Ulrich Herrmann & Hanno Baethe, Der Rehende Buddha und die Lerche (The Resting Buddha and the Lark), 61 mins, West Germany, 1986

Michel Jaffrennou, Jim Tracking, 10 mins., France, 1986. (courtesy: Intermedia)
Although the new technologies have opened up considerable scop in the creation of images, a magician was needed to better demonstrate this. His name is Jim Tracking, an electronic whizz kid.

Ille Kipell, Water Rap, 2 mins 45sec., Sweden, 1985/1986. (courtesy: Video NU)
A witty look at water.

Jean-Louis Le Tacon, Waterproof, 22 mins., France, 1986. (courtesy: Intermedia)
This video, inspired by a show by Daniel Larrieu, evokes a world where the dancers have found their balance in underwater weightlessness.

David Larcher, E.ETC, 69 mins., Britain, 1986. (courtesy: the artist)
Larcher, one of the founding fathers of British avant-garde film of the 60's, continues to confound and confuse with his Channel 4 commissioned video - "please don't adjust your set ... it is quite bizarre..., technical exemption required ... for soap-guzzlers a refreshing emetic. "

Alain Longuet, Entre D'Eux, 12 mins., France, 1984. (courtesy: Intermedia)
The shadow of a dancer who sings, dances and meets his double.

Claude Mourieras, Un Chant Presqu'eteint, 29 mins., France, 1986. (courtesy: Intermedia)
This video is the product of the encounter between a film-maker and a choreographer, inspired by the Mammame show and shot at the Gare de I'Est, tells a story without words.

Dietmar Muhr, Strukt, 5 mins., West Germany. (courtesy: Ulrich Herrmann)
An imaginative video, looking at the fad or cult of utilitarian objects made from metal strips, nuts and bolts for example the ubiquitous metal bookshelf.

Patrick Prado, L'Amour Transcode, 11 mins, France, 1982. (courtesy: Intermedia)
Lovers, madmen, elephants and bears locked up in the zoo, their heads swaying all day. Here you will see the movie camera swaying in order to catch the amorous architecture of the Villette slaughterhouses. “Isabelle, I love you!”

Mark Wilcox, The Man of the Crowd, 35 mins., Britain, 1986. (courtesy: the artist)
An experimental period drama, suggested by a Poe short story, exploring issues of identity raised by the role of the film extra. Detective story fused with documentary.

Invited Forum participants from Europe:

Dominik Barbier – Video Artist.
Dr Uwe Ruth - Video Festival Director, The Marl Video Art Prize, Art Historian.

The European section has been kindly assisted by Alliance Francaise de Sydney and The Goethe Institute Sydney.