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Friday, Oct. 24, 2008

Immersion in Film

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In a new exhibit at the Haggerty Museum of Art, titled "Stop. Look. Listen: An Exhibition of Video Works," more than a dozen international video artists challenge society's perceptions of reality.

This scaled-down exhibition designed for the Haggerty traveled from the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and was curated by Andrea Inselmann, Cornell's curator of modern and contemporary art. Displaying a cross-section of video art from 1995 to 2008, the exhibit features renowned artists Christian Marclay, Janet Biggs and the emerging Mads Lynnerup, each of whom immerses the viewer in narratives, visuals, sound or complete silence, depending on the artist's unique expression. This provocative show confirms the belief that video art endures and will survive well into the 21st century.

Each artist explores themes surrounding entertainment media and commercials through tongue-in-cheek satire, pastiches of real life or multiple screen presentations that play simultaneously. The video's projected scale, the relationship between sound and image, the dynamics between viewing and being viewed, and the art of storytelling become integral to finalizing the installation.

Each video produces intellectual reactions and elicits distinct, sometimes unexpected, sensory responses from viewers.

By painting the walls of the exhibit rooms black, the Haggerty Museum allows for complete immersion in these sights and sounds. Museum Director Walter Mason explains that previous shows at UW-Milwaukee's Inova and the Milwaukee Art Museum set a precedent for video art in Milwaukee.

"The city is primed for this exhibit, which adds to the discussion of the video as a continuing art form," Mason says. While "Stop. Look. Listen." officially opens on Oct. 23, Andrea Inselmann gives an opening gallery talk followed by a 6 p.m. reception Oct. 30 at Marquette University's Cudahy 001, the lower-level auditorium located at 1313 W. Wisconsin Ave. At noon on Nov. 11, Mads Lynnerup begins the museum's Lunchtime Learning Series with a discussion on the bright future of video art. To further enhance the public's understanding of contemporary art, UW- Milwaukee's Department of Visual Art continues its "Artists Now!" series each Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Arts Center Lecture Hall (2400 E. Kenwood Blvd.).

Upcoming lectures include Gary John Gresl's "Synthesis of Four Dimensions: Objects, Collecting, Creating" on Nov. 5. and Mads Lynnerup's "You are the Artist, You Figure It Out" on Nov. 12. For additional information on the "Artists Now!" lecture series, call 229-6771.