Interview with Tiziana Finzi PART II - Video art vs. Film
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PART II – ABOUT VIDEO ART
F.A. When and how did you start with working video artists?
T.F. When I was working at the Locarno Film Festival, I worked with two very influential people, Irena Bignardi and Teresa Cavina, who opened the doors to the “Contamination Series” with me - a new program that brought together different forms of art like Cinema & Art, Cinema & Architecture, etc. We had guests like Wim Wenders and Victorio Storaro who celebrated with us the unification of different art forms.
After Irena, I started working with a lot of video galleries and created strong relationships with many video artists. In Miami, the art district is very open and devoted to young people. But there isn’t enough connection with video art. I believe that I can achieve establishing this connection.
F.A. What draws you so much to video art?
T.F. I worked with film festivals for so many years that now I find videos more interesting, attracting, and groundbreaking. Also my background in art history and architecture add a lot to this interest. In the world of filmmaking, you spend so much energy in producing your film, getting it out to the festivals and then to theaters, but six months later, the film ends up on a DVD. And sometimes, the movie doesn’t even get shown in theaters despite the incredible stress you go through.
Two years ago, I think on the June issue of Cahiers du Cinema, they wrote, “Filmmakers end up in museums and artists end up in theaters.” Anton Corbijn made “Control” two years ago and went on to win many awards. He is essentially a photographer. A similar story is that of Steve McQueen who made the film “Hunger,” which was a big hit at Cannes last year and will also be shown at Miami. This was Steve’s first film as a video artist. Another name is Shirin Neshat, a New York based Iranian video artist who is making her first feature – a film about the role of Iranian women during the revolution.
F.A. So many video artists are moving from video toward film. Does this signal the end of video art? Can it be taken as a threat?
T.F. Not at all. It is true that there is a movement from video to film, which means that video opens the door to film production. But that doesn’t mean that the video artists are no longer involved in video. They still are. The video art environment is completely different, and when video artists make movies, their work becomes a part of the art-house movement. Most of the time, they choose to distribute their works on different platforms at once, which is a great freedom that these filmmakers have. Steven Soderbergh is one of the names who distributed his work through theaters, DVDs, and internet at the same time.