Since the latter half of the 20th century, the moving image has perhaps unavoidably become a pivotal conveyor of creative expression in contemporary art, predominantly due to artists’ reaction to present times, and also more importantly, due to their engagement with the same tools and technologies that were used by the media, particularly that of film and television.

Why Do Things Get in a Muddle (Come on Petunia) by Gary Hill (1984).Why Do Things Get in a Muddle (Come on Petunia) by Gary Hill (1984).

Such phenomena impacted in no small way the dynamic between art and its audience, shifting it from its traditional role of exclusivity, to one that is more kneaded within the fabric of popular culture and closer to the realities experienced by the artists of the time.

 The increasingly available technologies of film and video gave artists greater possibility of experimentation and expression, making it possible to shed traditional ties to studio practice and venture into a more innovative and diverse activity.

Embracing and integrating foundational practices which were previously only experienced within the domain of film, such as time and narrative, the incorporation the language of cinema with that of visual art emerged.

Electromorphologies, an exhibition at Valletta Contemporary in Valletta, brings together some of the earliest exponents of the moving image in contemporary art and presents works that precedes video art’s dispertion within the mainstream of the museum and gallery convention in the 1990s.

There's So Much I Want to Say by Mona Hatoum (1983).There's So Much I Want to Say by Mona Hatoum (1983).

The exhibition focuses on two areas of artistic concern and hand-picks key works that manifest artists’ engagement with the many layers of language, particularly those of a conceptual and linguistic nature, also including works that propose audio-visuality’s aesthetic as a new language of creative expression. 

Artists taking part are Peter Campus, David Hall, Mona Hatoum, Gary Hill, Joan Jonas, Bruce Nauman, Paul Sharits, Steina and Woody Vasulka and Bill Viola.

Electromorphologies, being curated by Vince Briffa, is at Valletta Contemporary, East Street, Valletta, until September 28. Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday  from 10.30am to 7pm; Monday, Saturday and Sunday closed.


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