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This is Not a Love Song

By Juan Montenegro 25.06.13

This is Not a love Song is a thematic and chronological look at the relationship between video art and pop music from the sixties up to the present, bringing together the work of more than 50 artists.

Broadly speaking and bearing in mind that the origins of video art are almost contemporaneous with those of pop music there are several overlaps, the project, curated by Javier Panera, is divided into two sections: 'Pop and video creation. Shared genealogies 'and' Music for the eyes. The aesthetics and visual language of the video. A shared history'

  • Candice Breitz. Babel Series, 1997-2004. Courtesy: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, Viena

    1. 'Pop and video creation. Shared genealogies
    This section brings together more than thirty important events in the history of video art and experimental cinema from the sixties until 2013 that relate formally or conceptually with the iconography of pop and rock. It is structured thematically into five chapters:

    Art in pop / Pop in art, including the installation ‘Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable’ which recreates the first concerts of The Velvet Underground and a section that looks at Psychedelia by pioneers of video art like Yayoi Kusama, Jud Yalkut, Nam June Paik and Eric Siegel .

    Hysteria and Religion, which is based on visual and literary essay "Rock My Religion" by Dan Graham that addresses the failure of utopias and some of rocks’ alienating  components. It also includes works by Douglas Gordon, Tony Oursler, Laurence P. Berger and Largen & Bread.

    “Non musicians” v. “non artists”. Rock and conceptual art. During the seventies the disappearance of various musical countercultural movements at the hands of the "rock industry" led many artists to align themselves against the "star system", creating works that demystified the "rock star" and which parody the stereotypes. Works by Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Christian Marclay, Douglas Gordon, Tony Oursler and Joseph Iges.

    “Rock and its double”. Pop music as “box of tools”,  bringing together video installations by artists such as Candice Breitz, Adel Abidin, Tony Cokes, Jon Mikel Euba and Largen & Bread.

    The Politics of dance music, which analyzes the emancipating power of dance music and its ability to create visible identities, issues of race, gender, class ... Includes works by Jeremy Deller, Charley Case, John Di Stefano, Mark Leckey, Adrian Piper, Charles Atlas and Assume Vivid Astro Focus.

  • Dan Graham. Rock My Religion, 1982-84. Courtesy: Electronic Arts Intermix, New York

  • Cristian Marclay. Guitar Drag, 2000

    2. Music for the eyes.
    The aesthetics and visual language of the video. A shared history

    This section is an overview of the history of music video looking at the careers of the some of the most significant filmmakers of the last forty years and its connections to the visual arts and contemporary cinema. Includes a programme of music videos by artists, divided into two chapters:

    This is not a music video, looking at the works of contemporary video artists who since the eighties have appropriated the aesthetics of the music video and deconstructed the audiovisual stereotypes promoted by channels like MTV from a critical and parodic perspective. Featuring works by artists such as Dara Birnbaum, Joseph Beuys, John Sanborn, Kit Fitzgerald, Pipilotti Rist, Charles Atlas, Marc Bijl, Olaf Breuning, Cheryl Donegan, Joan Morey, César Pesquera, Ana Laura Aláez, Bjørn Melhus, Carles Congost, Charley Case , Santiago Sierra, etc..

    Video killed the radio star (a short history of the music video), explores the origins of the genre in the sixties and seventies, the "golden age" of the eighties, the eventual transformation into an important support platform for artists in the nineties featuring important filmmakers like Chris Cunningham, Michael Gondry, Jonas Akerlund, Anton Corbijn, Floria Sigismondi, David Fincher, Jonathan Glazer, Hype Williams, Tarsem, Stéphane Sednaoui, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Spike Jonze and Mark Romanek.

    This is Not a Love Song, is a production of La Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Screen Projects and Primavera Sound. A catalogue published jointly by the La Virreina Centre de la Imatge and publisher Lunwerg also addresses the relationship between video art and all the visual arts generally.

  • Assume Vivid Astro Focus. Walking on Thin Ice, 2003. Courtesy: Peres Projects, Berlin

  • Charles Atlas. Hail the New Puritan, 1985. Cortesía: Electronic Arts Intermix, New York

  • Nueva Ola o Desencert, 2004. Joan Morey. Courtesy of the artist.

  • From 22 May to 29 September
  • La Virreina Centre de la Imatge
  • Palau de la Virreina. La Rambla, 99, 08001 Barcelona
  • www.bcn.cat/lavirreina