Central Saint Martins Short Courses is very pleased to announce a new and exciting weekend course, that will examine Video art: an introduction to moving image practice, this coming December. Taught by Dr. Azadeh Fatehrad, an artist and curator currently based at the Photography Programme of the Royal College of Art, we chat to Azadeh about Video Art in 2016 and what students can expect from her new course.
Video Art encompasses installations, films, digital media and projections and has been around in these various forms since the 1960s. But where is Video Art in 2016 and what relevance does it have today?
Video art is, in fact, one of the most significant art practices in the contemporary world. I agree that the start of the practice was in the 1960s, when it was primarily single channel video, or was used to reflect on an artist’s process by capturing their studio practice – e.g. Bruce Nauman. However, the medium of moving image has now expanded in diversity, in terms of content, duration and display. By using different editing techniques, filming equipment and displaying facilities, artists have reached one of the most significant levels of image making possible today.
At the same time, with the shrinking physical world that we live in, many contemporary artists find video art more convenient, as it can easily be stored on a hard drive.
When did you first present yourself as a Video Artist?
It was in 2011 that I installed my first multi-channel video installation in the Chelsea Triangle Space. It was the result of an experimental process in which I shifted from working with physical art (Painting, Sclupture) to time based media.
What inspired you to practice Video art?
Video art presented a new language for me at the time and I was curious to learn more about it. I was fascinated by the combination of sound, image and narrative, and impressed by the length of a video art piece- the fact that it could form a linear sequence of fragments of an event.
Currently you are a lecturer based at the Royal College of Art, London and also a visiting lecturer at the Moving Image Department of Brighton University. How did you make that transition from artist to lecturer?
I found video art more communicative and a more effective artistic tool, but I was not sure yet which particular style would be more suitable for me.
Where should I start and how could I express my ideas in a narrative form? That was when I embarked on extensive research on different video art practices such as documentaries, essay films, poetic diary films, photo-based videos, footage re-visitation, and performance-based videos, among others. I was anxious to find out more about techniques, concepts and the history in parallel. It was a fruitful journey and I realised it could be an important part of art education. For this reason, I prioritised teaching and sharing my findings with groups of art students in Britain such as at the Royal College of Art, as well as abroad at the likes of Konstfack Stockholm.
What can students expect from your new course Video Art: An Introduction to Moving Image Practice at Central Saint Martins Short Courses?
I have created an abridged version of my video art teachings exclusively for the Central Saint Martins short courses. The sessions would start by looking at the diverse styles of video art practice, referring to examples by artists and practitioners such as Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Chris Marker and Chantal Akerman among others. I believe discussion should be one of the most important parts of the sessions where the group could bring together different perspectives by trying to understand and analyse various video art pieces. We would evaluate the primary elements of each work such as concept, technique and production by referencing existing styles.
Have there been any exhibitions of Video Art in London this year that have particularly impressed you?
The Inoperative Community at Raven Row.