Issue #194  9/25/2012
Video Presentations

By Paula Chamlee

Art Basel also features numerous video presentations in various platforms. Some were high-end, high-def. films, others were much less accomplished, both in concept and execution. One of what I considered the "good" video works included "Symptom", 2007/2008, a film by Wang Jianwei, who lives and works in Beijing. This mysterious, symbol-packed film of 32 minutes is described as depicting parallel realities. Key to his practice is "...the paradoxical presence of history in contemporary China. The resistance towards any single defining principle to convey the entirety and complexity of truth."

Clemens von Wedemeyer with Gallery Wolff (Paris) made a nine-minute, high-quality looping video, "Against Death," 2009, where an intriguing and mysterious experience unfolds through the dialog between two friends, then begins where it ends, thus being frozen endlessly outside of real time.

At Kukje Gallery (Seoul), South Korean artist Kimsooja presented a 25-minute film, "Thread Routes--Chapter 1," 2010, which documents the Peruvian weaving culture. Good film with lovely landscapes and archeological sites juxtaposed with the non-narrative story, but most of the excessively long takes needed serious editing.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Tristan Bera showed a 13-minute video, "Belle Comme le Jour," 2012, and described it as "...an existential film, which explores the first fictional encounter of a legendary screen and real-life couple: Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni…and is the adventure of a young Parisian student, and a Catherine Deneuve look-alike, who reenacts her filmography."

Paula Chamlee is a photographer and painter living in Bucks County, PA. Her photographs are collected in over 35 museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and are in innumerable private collections. Six monographs of her photographs have been published. She has taught workshops in photography in the United States, Austria, Germany, Tuscany, France, England, Iceland, and Australia, and has many exhibitions in the works.

She is co-owner of Lodima Press along with her husband, photographer Michael A. Smith, and they have published the photographs of many notable photographers.

Chamlee is currently working on her newest book, "Iceland: A Personal View", which will be published in spring of 2013.