videogalleryPassagesThe Lemaitre Collection between video art and cinema
videogallery – free admittance
curated by Maria Laura Cavaliere
The Isabelle and Jean-Conrad Lemaître collection represents one of the rare private collections entirely dedicated to video art and consists of over 150 works by international artists from five continents. The French collectors played a central role in the enhancement of video art, thanks to numerous initiatives promoting the work of young talents, such as the establishment of the Prix Studio Collector, rewarding creations of emerging artists, students of Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing, France.
The Lemaître family began collecting moving images in the 90s, when a generation of video artists emerged finding a new playground for visual experimentation in cinema. Their choices are dictated by “coups de cœur”, by enthusiasm and personal taste. Every encounter with a work is also an encounter with an artist, with a vision of the world:
“video is the medium of our time and we want the collection to reflect our role in this era”
The selection includes both historical works and new acquisitions and traces the recent history of video art, characterized by the influence of cinema as an aesthetic horizon and cultural model.
The video medium asserts itself as a place of passage and contamination between cinema and video art, analogue and digital, still and moving image, challenging the status of the contemporary image. The screening of the 18 videos is divided into two sections: the aesthetics of the documentary and the deconstruction of cinematographic language.
PART I – The aesthetics of the documentary: Theresumption of the documentary genre characterizes the visual writing of many artists from the late 90s to today. Geopolitical and social issues related to the effects of globalization turn video practices towards a documentary aesthetic, exploring the frontiers of representation, between documentary film and video art, reality and fiction, direct testimony and the creation of fictitious archives.
PART II – The deconstruction of the cinematographic language
The methodical deconstruction of the cinematographic language codes defines the practice of this second group of artists, who developed experimental research through the mise en abyme of the narrative structures belonging to the film industry and the recontextualization of iconic elements belonging to cinematographic culture and the collective imagination, such as appropriation, détournement, remake.