Venue: Treize, Paris
Exhibition Title: Data Report : Processing Activist Images
Date: January 11 – February 24, 2017
Full gallery of video, images, press release and link available after the jump.
Videofreex, Lanesville NY, 1973, originally shot on reel to reel 1/2 inch video tape, 1 hour 0 mins 48 secs
Videofreex, excerpt from Fred Hampton Interview with Chant, Chicago, 1969, originally shot on reel to reel 1/2 inch video tape, 24 mins 31 secs
Images courtesy of Treize, Paris. Videos courtesy of Videofreex Partnership, available on youtube.
This exhibition has been created in collaboration with the Videofreex Partnership members, Skip Blumberg, Nancy Cain, David Cort, Bart Friedman, Davidson Gigliotti, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Parry Teasdale, Carol Vontobel, Ann Woodward, and Rhea Kennedy with the memory of Chuck Kennedy.
Special thanks to Media Burn Archive and Video Data Bank.
Videofreex – Data Report : Processing Activist Images is the first major European exhibition dedicated to the work of Videofreex. Created in 1969 by videomakers, artists, and activists, Videofreex engaged in radical video activity within a context of broader community artistic and media service.
Using the first portable video cameras, they developed an experimental video practice along side the avant-garde artists and directors such as Nam Jum Paik and Shirley Clarke, and they recorded the images of the American counter-culture, closely linked to the anti-Vietnam War protests. They also considered the informal world-wide independent television system a tool for political and social change and took part in the alternate television movement, using Guerilla Television techniques.
Thus, they worked together with organizations such as The Black Panther Party, The Women’s Liberation Movement, and The Mayday Video Collective, producing and distributing videos to support national, gender, and social minorities. They collaborated at the first public access channels, public TV, the New-York Historical Society and the Whitney Museum. In 1972, Videofreex created the community television service Lanesville TV, whose programs were produced in association with the residents of this small village, and illegally broadcast within the Catskill Mountains valley (NYS), on channel 3.
The exhibition presents a selection of videos moving between political and cultural documentaries, video experimentations, family tapes, and TV show parodies, precipitating a series of official documents (grant applications, report to the FCC, FBI records, etc.) following Videofreex, since its creation, of bypassing the corporate system of production and distribution.
By choosing to report a protean history and by integrating Skip Blumberg’s research process of re-editing and hacking his own videotapes, the exhibition broaches the images’ resistance to the phenomenon of fétishism and historicization. The exhibition will have an accompanying publication that gathers a series of interviews by Sibylle de Laurens and Pascaline Morincôme (between June 2014 and October 2016) of the Videofreex members and Video Data Bank team represented by Director Abina Manning and Tom Colley, director of preservation and digilatization of the Videofreex Archives.
As a reenactment of the Friday Night Screenings organized by the Videofreex in their loft during the Soho New York City period, Videofreex – Data Report: Processing Activist Images will welcome a weekly program of screenings and talks.
Link: Videofreex at Treize