Friday, December 16, 2005

Videos, Long and Short, That Can Really Move

Combine a gripe against glitzy Pop objects, no money, a yen for the new and maybe a little marijuana, and you have a possible recipe for how and why video became art in the 1970's.

Even with chemicals factored in, though, today's art audience must wonder at the patience that some of those early videos demanded of viewers, with their minimal content spun out for many grainy minutes and hours. It was as if art were saying: this is not Hollywood or television. This is not entertainment (though sometimes it was). This is serious. This is work.

No one would buy that line now. Digital has happened. Matthew Barney has happened. An art industry has happened, spitting out cash-and-carry product while you wait. And some of the very shortest, newest pieces in "Irreducible: Contemporary Short Form Video" at the Bronx Museum of the Arts seem custom-made for this art-bite moment.

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