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Is TV Art a challenging and contemporary form of artistic practice?

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Introduction

Is TV Art a challenging and contemporary form of artistic practice? My desire for this work is for it to incorporate the modernity of TV Art and the practice of video art as thought-provoking forms of artistic practice. In this piece I will be mainly looking at the modern day examples of animation adverts for television channels and music videos that are shot in an artistic form. To gain a foot onto the established art ladder, however, I will also look at progressive artists such as Sam Taylor-Wood and Tacita Dean. "...We are faced with a contradiction: on the one hand we are witnessing the demise and fragmentation of traditional notions of video art, while on the other there is an exciting proliferation and diversity in the use of video amongst both artists and institutions. [It has an] ability to challenge established parameters through a process of mutation and innovation which can be seen across the variety of its forms, from single channel work to installations."i At the outset, it may be useful to define the terms used throughout this essay. Philip Haywardii goes some way to explain what is meant by the term 'TV Art'. To summarise what Hayward, has previously written we can see TV Art as a medium for an artist's work on screen. ...read more.

Middle

How art is appreciated is entirely up to the individual, so art as 'art breaks' on 'the box' would bring question to the viewer. The most prevalent form of TV Art to date would have to be Spitting Image. The series makes use of caricature and puppetry and was broadcast to audiences of six to ten million viewers. The show was a facetious, burlesque, anti-establishment sweep on life during the Thatcher years. The in vogue version of this would have to be Celebrity Deathmatch which airs on MTV. A 'Claymation'vii where celebrities fight a duel to the death in a comedy wrestling style. Each episode features three fantasy fights that poke fun at the worlds of film, television, music, and politics. All of the joking is done through the use of clay imitations of today's hottest celebrities up against each other in a live arena. Created by Eric Fogel, the first Celebrity Deathmatch premiered in the fall of 1997 during an episode of Cartoon Sushi, MTV's animated variety series. The singular fight was a fantasy fight between Charles Manson and Marilyn Manson. Both were competing for the title of Most Evil Man in America. MTV went on to debut a Super Bowl half-time special, Celebrity Deathmatch Deathbowl '98. ...read more.

Conclusion

In one of her works, two people are having an argument; they are in the same location but shown on separate screens to emphasize the distance between them. However, if there was a point being made in this show it was less easily discerned."xi To isolate video/TV art from the mass media or the gallery would be pessimistic. It belongs in both, as it is an art form but is also a form of the moving image to be seen by the masses. When presented in a gallery, the exhibitions are often complex and multi-screened, with the projector often forming part of the work, as Tacita Dean makes it. To fully understand the point that Wyver is trying to make we would have to look at the issue of timetabling. Museum visits are often planned, but rarely timetabled. Example, you may check what exhibitions are currently showing and opening times. Upon the visit you may happen to walk through a video piece that is currently halfway through, thus the piece loses its impact as only half of the piece will have been viewed. Imagine seeing only half of a piece of fine art, for instance Sunflowers. Whereas when watching television the viewer often decides what to watch and when, so video art could be viewed as a whole and appreciated by the viewer, so long as the piece was made for single screen showings. ...read more.

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