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This year at HowTheLightGetsIn 2014, running from 22 May - 1 June, Open Gallery presents ‘Openness Revisited’, a video painting retrospective. Open Gallery has pioneered the video painting medium and its artists continue to push the boundaries of the moving image. The exhibition plays throughout the festival in the globe Hall.


The video painting movement was founded in 2001 as a radical new form of video art. Shot with a stationary camera, a fixed lens and presented without any sound or subsequent editing, video paintings are presented in long form as a thematic series.


Although individually titled video paintings are autonomous pieces, it is within the context and complexity of the series – typically including twenty to forty video paintings - that the medium represents a challenge to the narrative traditions of film and video art. The series do not loop but are played out in an order determined by the artists and which gradually shifts and evolves.


Included among the exhibited pieces at this year’s festival are the first group collections, which focus predominantly on naturalistic imagery of both abstract close-ups and more panoramic landscapes. These early video paintings sought to escape narrative and allow the gaze of the viewer to wander across the image without seeking closure. Some of them are sufficiently abstract for the images to evade any specific description. It was in the avoidance of narrative that the early video paintings sought to re-engage the viewer with the images of video and to discover the unlimited depth and richness of the world. Later works reintroduced elements of narrative in the overall structure of a video series and the using of titling.

Showing in the globe Hall during debates throughout the festival will be video painting series from a collection of international artists including Sidsel Christiansen, Isabelle Inghilleri, Sanchita Islam, Tina Keane, Hilary Lawson (whose philosophy initiated the video painting movement), Gabrielle Le Bayon, Jasmina Metwaly, Roz Mortimer, William Raban, Sarah Turner and Alys Williams.

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