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VideoArt Festival Locarno: a Prospective

A festival, an exhibition, a catalogue.

The exhibition VideoArt Festival Locarno: a Prospective, held at the Centro culturale e museo Elisarion in Minusio from 8 August to 20 October 2019, shed new light on the history of the Locarno VideoArt Festival (1980-2001) by conceptualising the spirit of renewal of Monte Verità and its far-reaching avant-garde and utopian experiments in the age of digital media. Thus, video art works and installations from the first editions of the festival in the 1980s had been put in dialogue with the homoerotic circular painting Il chiaro mondo dei beati by Elisàr von Kupffer, which had been rediscovered by Harald Szeemann and is now exhibited in a dedicated building on Monte Verità in Ascona, Switzerland (1).

Insight into the exhibition with Francesco «Pancho» Mariotti's video sculptures in the foreground.

The bilingual catalogue edited and translated by Hypertext includes a foreword by Lorenzo Bianda (Real Time) and an introduction by curators François Bovier and Adeena Mey (Archaelogy of the Digital Turn), as well as a description of the exhibited works by Laurie Anderson – who won the Vision Award at the Locarno Film Festival this summer – René Mauermeister, Lorenzo Bianca, Robert Chen, Geneviève Calama, Ed Emshwiller, Jacques Guyonnet, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Sanja Ivekovic, Francesco Mariotti, Dalibor Martinis, Gérald Minkoff, Muriel Lesen, Jean Otth, Nam June Paik, Gianni Toni, Steina & Woody Vasulka and Robert Wilson.

The exhibition and publication are part of the research project From Video Art to New Media: the Case of the VideoArt Festival Locarno (1980-2001) at the Lausanne University of Art and Design (ECAL), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

VideoArt Festival Locarno: a Prospective, 2019, curated by ECAL/François Bovier, Adeena Mey, Maud Pollien, edited and translated by Martina Knecht, 50 pages, bilingual edition English/Italian, published by ECAL/Centro culturale e museo Elisarion.


Martina Knecht's Hypertext has been providing specialist translations for arts and culture since 2005.


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