Porto Vista Hotel Curator Residency 

Period: from 6 May to 18 July, 2019

“No work alone, all works in relation”

Ed Atkins

Video art is a relatively new phenomenon in art history and popular culture. Most accounts attribute its beginnings to the works by Andy Warhol and Nam June Paik in the early 60’s. If most of such accounts explore the experimentation of new tools, they all recognise the fact that once again a technological development would change the art production landscape. Today is almost impossible to visit an exhibition space (private or public) and not face at least one video piece being shown. If this can directly connect with the cultural evolution of imagery literacy from our society, the way we consume video artworks and all other video production, such as youtube video, movies, tv shows, could not be more different.

In our everyday life we can jump and interconnect different videos, from different times and purposes, pausing, forwarding, watching in close-caption, binge watching for hours the same content or dismissing after five seconds a video for considering it already comprehended. The way we relate to videos is digital, in an influx of remix and unconscious edit through social media, sources that now also algorithm-curate the content that we are exposed too.

In contrary, the exhibition space renders the video untamed. The viewer abdicates from all its power in controlling when the play button is clicked, how loud the volume is and most importantly the viewer cannot stop it, only escape from it by leaving the black box.

With the diffusion of devices capable of recording in high quality and compressed format, the medium became accessible and seamlessly incorporated in most phone devices, with a speed for distribution that can only be comparable with the speed that the used technology becomes obsolete, causing a process of an almost natural selection for an infinite content production capability.

Within this ecology of the moving image, the curatorial project aims to produce a joint understanding of the use of video as a method of artwork production, its documentation and how its features underline the production itself through popular narratives, such as pop culture, politics, internet studies, and cinema.

The activities related to this project are divided into three parts:

  1. Lectures

A.1) Video art history, a comparative approach. Lectures+Seminar (8 lectures, 2 hours per event)

The lectures explore the brief history of video art by comparative analyses of two artworks from different periods. The expositive first part will introduce the artists’ practice, the pieces’ production and ways the works have been displayed. The group will then discuss together how the two works converge or diverge in form, context, and content. 

By the end of the course, participants are expected to be able to discourse on video art pieces, be aware of key contemporary artworks of moving image and engage in relevant discussions involving the use of the medium in a holistic way.

Participant artists will be motivated to experiment with video and will be offered specific one to one studio visits especially to discuss the new works.

For details regarding the lectures structure, please, send me an email. 

B) Research

During the residency, I will be able to expand my research on moving image documentation by including in my pool of primary sources the local museums and experts through a series of archive visits, interviews and develop collaborations.

This component also includes studio visits to be carried througouht the residency.

C) Exhibition

By the end of the residency, an exhibition proposal will be presented including artworks observed during studio visits, research process and lectures. Bringing all aspects together in a celebration of the local scene, its most burning themes and an exploration of the moving image including local and international artworks.


For more details on this residency or the programme developed by Porto Vista Hotel and Gallery 1805. Please, send me an email.