ok, I never really understood the gig about video art all that much. It all seems pretentious and flappy fruitcake. I've read some negative comments about the 2009 "Making Worlds" Biennale in Venice but MAN, I was video-swayed in a huge way. My fav's off the top of my head (and I know I'm forgetting some other artists...my notes became more and more unreadable during the course of my visit!) are:
Ragnar Kjartansson's, "The End." This video killed me. I'm a music nutball, so the video had me from the moment it said hello: small room, 4 screens/one on each wall, compelling music: 2 dudes (Ragnar is apparently a complete rock-star in Iceland) playing one or two instruments (banjo, piano,electric/acoustic guitar) and/or singing a terribly simple but fabulous tune, all together despite their completely varied wintery and remote locations.I don't know how they did this but it was crazy good.
Fiona Tan's gorgeous "living paintings." Strikingly well put together, emotional, and beautifully lit black and white "paintings" that absolutely glow. For example, you'd be looking at a profile of a kid or older woman - positioned like a renaissance painting - and slowly they'd twitch or turn and face you. They were probably only 16x10 inches or so, so you felt like you were looking thru a window at an incredibly, personal moment.
Paul Chan,"Sade for Sade's Sake." Wow, at first I was feeling a little too Yankee to gawk at his pulsating, vibrating, black and white shadow figures in various sexual positions, moving across the wall..figures slowly coming in and out of the picture, fantastically vibrating together. But gradually I loosened up and began to feel sad and tense seeing the almost desperate vibrations of these figures mingled with vibrating aging figures crawling across the ground...wild stuff.
Britain's Susan MacWilliam. A mash-up extraordinaire: stories told from an elderly lady describing her relationship with a psychic to her daughter. One screen, divided into thirds - often times the outer screens repeating a motion or a phrase over and over while the middle screen continues with something else. There was a lot of verbatim here about psychics and repetitive old lady storytelling but I LOVED this video. I felt like I was listening to Escape Mechanism's "Most Wonderful" in visual form. The movements and musical empty spaces the artist designed were amazing. I was less focused on the subject matter and went nuts over the composition.