|Paintings in Real Time, a conceptually based, multimedia installation by Argentine-born video pioneer Jaime Davidovich, is comprised of six "video paintings." From the New York City Battery to locations near Frederic Church's home Olana in upstate New York, the paintings depict the Hudson River Valley and provide a fresh look at the historic landscapes which inspired the Hudson River School over a hundred years ago. In a hybrid layering of painted landscape and projected video, the works are small in scale and intimate in nature. Combining handmade, gestured marks with electronic pulses, these "video paintings" live and breathe in real time as they subtly come to life.|
|Trained as a painter, Davidovich began
to explore video in the late 1960's, and since that time, has become known for
his multimedia installations, combining video and other forms. His work often
incorporates sculpture, painting, or objects with electronic media. Paintings
in Real Time, Davidovich's newest series, is characteristic of much of his
work, merging traditional and contemporary media, form, and content. Davidovich
has frequently played content off current issues-ranging from geopolitical concerns
to consumer culture-while keeping an eye to the longer range of history (and art
history). Following the footsteps of the painters of one of this country's first
art movements, Davidovich has created landscapes based on locations within the
Hudson River Valley. He has made videos exploring the poetic beauty of this region
including a waterfall in High Falls in the Catskills, two views of the lower Hudson-one
looking toward Hoboken and the other looking toward Ellis Island, a trestle bridge
in Duchess County, a bog in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and a Manhattan street
scene. Davidovich has made New York his home for thirty-five years including ten
years with a studio in the Catskills.|
The six canvases which comprise Paintings in Real Time, are painted with an iridescent paint which enhances their reflective quality and suggest the interests of the Luminosity-light and atmosphere-as well as painters such as Turner and Corot. The silvery light of these landscapes also suggests the works of the Barbizon painters and the platinum prints of the Pictorialists. For Davidovich these works are an interpretation of American landscape seen through the dark coloration of
Each canvas is an abstracted landscape in which the painted layer provides a counterpoint to the electronic image-the brushstroke is handmade and textural. The videos run unedited and in actual time. They have been made as a direct experience of nature and are viewed as flickering images in the dark. These landscape paintings, a part of a larger series dealing with traditional subject matter, including still life and the figure, were shown for the first time in the Lehman exhibition.
Davidovich's installation is as distant from the wrap-around sound and screens of contemporary video installations as they are from the vast panoramic spectacles of some Hudson River painters. And, while unlike the transcendentalism of the Hudson River's earlier painters who saw a deity in nature, Davidovich's video paintings do have a spiritual quality. These landscapes are imprinted with the presence of things man-made, yet they are contemplative. They exist in a human scale. The installation is meant for close viewing, to be seen in an intimate space.
From 1978-1985 Davidovich was involved in "alternative television" in New York City and with the early explorations of electronic media for creating art-these media ranged from cable television to satellite transmission. In the 1980's, as founding member of Cable Soho, producer of "Soho Television," and president of the Artists Television Network, Davidovich explored video within the context of the new possibilities of public cable access. Playing off the conceits of commercial television, Davidovich's show, "The Live Show" on Manhattan Cable TV explored this territory with both insight and humor.
|Davidovich's video work has been exhibited internationally including the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, the Museo del Barrio, the Kitchen, and the Whitney Museum in New York; the Everson Museum, Syracuse; Hallwalls, Buffalo; and the Louisiana Museum, Denmark; the Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Bienal de la Habana, Cuba; and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and ICI de Buenos Aires, Argentina; among them.|