A Question of Access
In early 2004, I received a call from KCET to tell me about the project for the Internet that was being planned on Auschwitz. To think of presenting this on the web was tantalizing but also odd, since the history of this work had placed it squarely within an exhibition context, and because it had been created to occupy a public space in which the viewer experienced the work while sitting on a bench. Most recently, Dachau 1974 had been included as part of an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art called "Into the Light." (See exhibition history below.)
However, several months after my preliminary discussion with KCET, I received a call from someone who had heard a lot about Dachau 1974, but had never seen it. I didn't have the equipment to set the work up in my studio on 4 separate monitors with 4 separate playback decks, and I was tired of telling people that the work was simply unavailable. But I did have a computer that could grab each of the 4 channels and combine them on a single screen. So I did this, had my visitor, and realized that though the work is different in this form, it still had an impact and a unique stance towards the historical events it sought to convey.
What at the beginning of my career as a video artist, when options were few, necessitated careful strategies for bringing media into public spaces, has now been turned on its head by the tremendous variety of technological invention.
A recent collaborative work with composer Steve Reich, Three Tales, has had a similar transmutation. Created on my computer, it premiered in Vienna as a performance work with a 32-foot wide video screen and live musicians and singers on stage. It was presented as a "film" on cable and has been shown in a number of presentations in museum theatres on a large screen, as well as packaged in a DVD and excerpts streamed on a website.
What at the beginning of my career as a video artist, when options were few, necessitated careful strategies for bringing media into public spaces, has now been turned on its head by the tremendous variety of technological invention. What in Radical Software was a concern of too limited access, has created perhaps a new set of problems to solve along with all the possibilities. At present, I'm grateful for the access.
Beryl Korot, 2005
Dachau 1974: Exhibition History
- The Kitchen, New York, NY, 1975
- Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY, 1975
- Hartwick Center for the Arts, Oneonta, NY, 1976
- Documenta 6, Kassel, Germany, 1977
- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, 1980
- San Francisco Art Institute (Paul Kos, Chris Burden, Beryl Korot), San Francisco, CA, 1981
- Long Beach Museum of Art, "Planes of Memory" (Bruce Nauman, Peter Campus, Beryl Korot), Long Beach, CA, 1988
- The Jewish Museum, "Time and Memory--Video Art and Identity", New York, NY, 1988
- Carnegie Museum of Art, "Points of Departure-Origins in Video" (paintings, photos, video-Bruce Nauman, Bill Wegman, Peter Campus, Beryl Korot), Pittsburg, PA, 1990/1
- Video Sculpture, group exhibition, Kolnischer Kunstverein, Koln (1989) Neuen Berliner Kunstverein (1989), Kunsthaus Zurich (1989)
- Whitney Museum of Art, "Into The Light", (group exhibition), New York, NY, 2002