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First U.S. survey of artist peter campus opens at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
peter campus, Anamnesis, 1973. Installation at Culturgest – Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Lisbon, 2018. © Kathleen J Graves. Courtesy the artist and Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York.

BRONX, NY.- The Bronx Museum of the Arts presents video ergo sum, the first U.S. survey of artist peter campus, on view from March 7, 2019 through July 22, 2019. Widely recognized as a pioneer of new media and video art, campus’ works have become an important reference point in the history of moving image. The exhibition presents select works from different periods in campus’ career, dating from 1971 to the present.

video ergo sum features several rarely-seen historic video installations, contrasting single-channel videos from the 1970s with works from the last decade. In the videos produced from 1971-76, campus explored issues of spatial awareness and identity construction through the use of unusual perspectives, precise editing, and multiple timeframes. Through the live transmission of the electronic image, he embarks the visitor on a strange and unsettling experience: the confrontation with his double, separated from him in time and space, thereby challenging notions of the self. For example, in campus’ Anamnesis, 1973, viewers are presented with a live image of themselves, projected next to a second image separated by a three-second delay. As the visitor moves in the room, their two images, dislocated in time, also transit across the projection—placing them in both the past and the present simultaneously.

Newer works largely forego the body to instead feature landscapes—particularly the sea—and other objects affected by time, natural phenomena, and human activity. Here, campus shifted away from the psyche, focusing instead on a nuanced appreciation of the natural landscape. Recent single-channel works and multi-channel installations explore the possibilities of high-definition digital video, allowing campus to work pixel by pixel, imbuing digital imagery with a painter’s touch.

This is evident in his two-channel videograph installation ebb and flow, 2017, which portrays fishing boats in water, creating powerful juxtapositions of form, perspective, and color. campus’ use of 4K technology gives the works hyperrealistic definition, but the overall effect is visually idiosyncratic. Actions are slowed, and colors are heightened to an expressive degree. Between each sequence, the screen cuts to imageless blackness. Deftly executed, these manipulations nod to the cinematic imagery that has inspired and propelled the artist for the last fifty years.

peter campus: video ergo sum is organized by the Jeu de Paume, Paris and curated by Anne-Marie Duguet.

peter campus (b. 1937, New York) is widely considered a seminal figure in the history of video and new media art. One of the very first to pick up a video camera and create art, campus' works are part of numerous collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Tate Modern, London; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; San Francisco Museum of American Art, San Francisco; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Kunsthalle Bremen, Bremen; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Fondation Cartier; Fondation Berne; and the Kramlich Collection.

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