The Viewing Room

11/13/1999 - 12/18/1999
The Viewing Room

The Viewing Room brings together a select group of emerging international artists who explore relationships between the figure and its environment in video projections and installations. Intelligent and witty in the presentation and treatment of subject, these works have engaged viewers around the world and helped to establish a distinct niche and place for contemporary video, 30+ years after a generation of artists, including Nam June Paik, discovered the portable video camera and engaged the medium for the first time.

An era characterized by heightened media awareness and technological savvy had produced a new generation of artists who were not only comfortable with the idea of a new media-oriented world view but also with the technologies and tools that have so drastically altered the ways in which we communicate with one another.

A sophisticated and fluid incorporation of newer technologies and an open-minded approach to subject matter distinguished the artists in The Viewing Room. These artists beckoned the withdrawal of video from the black box of the screening room into new settings to invite a sense of engagement between the work and the viewer.

This sense of engagement, represents on the one hand between viewer and object, is also present in much of the contemporary video work. The Viewing Room presents work that focused our attention on the actions, interactions, and connections presented or imagined by the artists: between the characters, whether scripted or spontaneous; between the figures and their environments, whether set within a private, intimate setting or a public, social space; and between the physical, external realities of our everyday lives and the more interior psychological spaces that exist within our own thoughts and imaginations.

Artists in the exhibition included: Janine Antoni, Lucy Gunning, Pipilotti Rist, and Gillian Wearing.

Support for this exhibition was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. For invaluable assistance on this project, we would also like to extend our gratitude to Ed Jeffries, Video Lab; Bruce Bettinger, BrandsMart; Grand Arts; and Phil Wade and William Howell.