Beryl Korot
Text/Weave/Line—Video, 1977-2010

June 27, 2010, to January 2, 2011

Beryl Korot: Text/Weave/Line—Video, 1977-2010 will open at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum on June 27, 2010, presenting a diverse body of work by one of the most important video art innovators of our time.
Curated by Aldrich director Harry Philbrick, the exhibition will mark Korot’s most extensive museum project to date, featuring six never-before-seen works created since 2003, which reflect the artist’s interest in how our communication tools mirror the way we present and receive information.

The Aldrich exhibition will present Korot’s seminal multi-channel video work, Text and Commentary, which premiered at the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1977, and also debut her latest body of poetically expressive and hypnotic work. This includes a series of quieter works that build on her earlier technical and conceptual achievements, but expand the subject matter to include the passage of time, nature, and portraiture.

A notable shift centers on two unconventional companion video portraits. Korot rediscovers Florence Nightingale—the celebrated nineteenth-century nursing pioneer who revolutionized the care of injured soldiers during the Crimean War—and Etty Hillesum, a young Jewish-Dutch writer who documented her experiences for a year while in a transit camp in Holland in the early 1940s. The works reflect the lives of these remarkable women by conveying thoughts drawn from their writings. Each video features Korot’s signature woven backgrounds, inspired by the content highlighted in the documents, into which she integrates very slow rhythmic falling words creating a new sense of reading and time.

Curator Harry Philbrick points out, “Korot was the co-founder and co-editor of the ground-breaking 1970s publication Radical Software, the first magazine to explore the notion of alternative communication systems and formats for conveying information. Today, when new media is an imperative in our connected world, she continues to create fresh work that illuminates the structure of communication.”

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The Artist:
Beryl Korot has pioneered video art since the early 1970s. She was co-editor of Radical Software (1970), the first publication to discuss the possibilities of the new video medium. Her first multiple channel works (Dachau, 1974 and Text and Commentary) were seen at such diverse venues as The Kitchen (1975), Leo Castelli Gallery (1977), Dokumenta 6 (1977), and the Whitney Museum (1980), among others. Dachau, 1974 is in the Kramlich Collection at the Tate Modern. Her painted text-based handwoven canvases in an original language were exhibited in 1986 at the John Weber Gallery and in 1990 at the Carnegie Museum (Points of Departure). Two video/music collaborations with Steve Reich (The Cave, 1993, and Three Tales, 2002) brought video installation art into a theatrical context. Both works continue to be performed and have been installed, apart from live performances, at such venues as the Whitney Museum, the Carnegie Museum, the Reina Sofia, the Dusseldorf Kunstverein, and ZKM. Since 2003 she has been creating a new body of video and print work which will be seen at The Aldrich Museum for the first time. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and has received numerous grants for her work from the NEA, NYSCA, and most recently from Anonymous Was a Woman.

 

Beryl Korot, Babel, 1977
Courtesy of the artist