In recent years the use of film and video by British artists has
come to widespread public attention. Jeremy Deller, Douglas Gordon,
Steve McQueen and Gillian Wearing all won the Turner Prize (in
2004, 1996, 1999 and 1997, respectively) for work made on video.
This fin-de-siecle explosion of activity represents the culmination
of a long history of work by less well-known artists and
Ever since the invention of film in the 1890s, artists have been
attracted to the possibilities of working with moving images,
whether in pursuit of visual poetry, the exploration of the art
form's technical challenges, the hope of political impact, or the
desire to reinvigorate such time-honored subjects as portraiture
and landscape. Their work represents an alternative history to that
of commercial cinema in Britain--a tradition that has been only
intermittently written about until now.
This major new book is the first comprehensive history of artists'
film and video in Britain. Structured in two parts ('Institutions'
and 'Artists and Movements'), it considers the work of some 300
artists, including Kenneth Macpherson, Basil Wright, Len Lye,
Humphrey Jennings, Margaret Tait, Jeff Keen, Carolee Schneemann,
Yoko Ono, Malcolm Le Grice, Peter Gidal, William Raban, Chris
Welsby, David Hall, Tamara Krikorian, Sally Potter, Guy Sherwin,
Lis Rhodes, Derek Jarman, David Larcher, Steve Dwoskin, James
Scott, Peter Wollen and Laura Mulvey, Peter Greenaway, Patrick
Keiller, John Smith, Andrew Stones, Jaki Irvine, Tracy Emin, Dryden
Goodwin, and Stephanie Smith and Ed Stewart.
Written by the leading authority in the field, "A History of
Artists' Film and Video in Britain, 1897-2004" brings to light the
range and diversity of British artists' work in these mediums as
well as the artist-run organizations that have supported the art
form's development. In so doing it greatly enlarges the scope of
any understanding of "British cinema" and demonstrates the crucial
importance of the moving image to British art history.
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