Curated by: Denise Markonish, curator at MASS MoCA, North Adams
The 4th annual Brick + Mortar International Video Art Festival will have a special focus on Canadian artists. Over the past 3 years, MASS MoCA curator Denise Markonish traveled across Canada, visiting about 400 artists in nearly every Province and Territory. The result of this research will be the exhibition Oh, Canada, the largest survey of Canadian art ever organized in the United States (on view from May 26, 2012 – April 2013). There are 62 artists in the MASS MoCA exhibition and many others that could not be included, making a collaboration with Brick + Mortar a perfect opportunity to bring additional Canadian artists' work into the framework of this research.
The curatorial goal of the 2012 edition of Brick + Mortar is to extend one of the conversations started in Oh, Canada so that viewers of both shows will see connective threads. At MASS MoCA, artists such as Amalie Atkins, Kent Monkman and the Cedar Tavern Singers explore the performative in their work – through video, music and the theatrical. For Brick + Mortar this idea will be taken one step further, inviting artists to participate who make video-based works that highlight ideas of performance. While at one time, performative video merely meant documentation of a live act, now artists are increasingly creating performance for video itself, from Diane Borsato's restaging of historic performances by Joseph Beuys, Marina Abramovic and Bonnie Sherk to Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay's karaoke style performances done using security surveillance cameras and Adad Hannah's exploration of history and the photographic. Other artists continue to use video as a primary means for capturing live events like Manon de Pauw's collaborations with dancers to Adrian Stimson and Lori Blondeau's wild west themed shows that reposition the history of Frist Nations Canadian history. Nineteen artists will be included in the festival, addressing, through a range of tactics, what it means to enact the video screen.
Additionally, for the first time, The Festival will extend beyond the projected image to include live performances by select artists. The end result will be an exhibition that activates on dual levels, by encompassing the city through the use of alternative venues for showing art and by engaging the audience through the presence of artists throughout the festival.