Open is a London gallery dedicated to the video painting project: a new form of video art that began with a philosophy.
In 2001, philosopher Hilary Lawson published Closure in which he proposed that the world is open, and we close that openness with thought and language. Subsequently, Lawson reinterpreted art as the attempt to avoid closure and approach openness. Progressing naturally from his background in documentary film-making, his first aesthetic explorations into this field of artistic openness were with moving imagery.
He sought a subjectless frame, kept the camera static to avoid introducing meaning, and allowed the camera to roll for several minutes. On reviewing the shot he was surprised to realise that he had never previously come across, or himself shot, material like this.
Over the following year he shot a great deal of material seeking to explore and understand this new format, which he called video painting. Subsequently an initial group of artists including Sancita Islam, William Raban, Isabelle Inghilleri, Nina Danino and Tina Keane was formed to discuss and share the new medium. The video painting was defined. The camera is stationary. There can be no subsequent editing or manipulation of the image. There is no dialogue, no sound.
The group sought to create single artworks that were formed from series of video paintings. This construction allowed a continually changing and deep exploration of the chosen subject matter by avoiding the short repetitive loops common to traditional video art. The first work to be completed was Hilary Lawson’s Openness; a series of 41 video paintings totaling 6 hours, 33 minutes which depicted the abstract openness found in the vast landscape of the Black Mountains and Welsh marshes.
The development of the video painting series occurred alongside the work of computer scientist, William Sowerbutts, who designed a technology which allowed the artists to control the meaning of the sequences of the video paintings within a series, whilst playing them in a continually changing and evolving order. Thus, the limitation of the short repetitive loop was completely avoided.
In 2006, Open Gallery was formed as an exhibition and sales platform for the expanding group of video artists. The first public installation took place in the UK later in the same year. Exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (2006), Sketch Gallery (2007), the Hayward Gallery (2007), Crunch (2008), Shunt (2009), HowTheLightGetsIn (2009), The Miami Ice Palace (2009), the Square gallery (2010), the Hospital Club (2010) and the Nicholls and Clarke Building have followed.
Website : http://www.opengallery.co.uk/
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