NEW YORK, NY.- Cristin Tierney Gallery
presents meditations, a solo exhibition of new video works by peter campus. meditations opened on Friday, March 10th.
Over the last two decades, campus's work has been devoted to capturing the natural beauty of Long Island's south shore. All of the works in meditations were made around Bellport, where campus set up his 4K camera in carefully selected places along the coastline and recorded hundreds of hours of dunes, marine flora, duck blinds, and fishing boats. As time passes in campus's videos, changing light and moving air subtly transform the image. There is never a sudden reveal or dramatic climax; rather, small shifts over time gradually build and coalesce into something different. Like an image that comes slowly into focus, the longer one looks at campus's video works, the more one sees.
In describing this new body of work, campus cites the art philosophy adopted by Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy, a Ceylonese metaphysician who was curator of Indian art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts from 1917 to 1947. campus paraphrases:
Where contemporary art naturally depicts a moment of time, an arrested action or an effect of light, a more meditative art represents a continuous condition. In traditional contemporary terms, we should express this by saying that modern art endeavors to represent things as they are in themselves, a meditative art to represent things more nearly as they are in the Tao, or nearer to their source.
The artist calls his works "videographs" in acknowledgment of their combination of techniques from video and photography. Like a photograph, his camera is trained on a single point of focus, but objects move across the field of view documenting an extended period of time. In his new videograph sensus, the viewer looks down at kelp swaying gently in the water. A breeze moves across the surface, creating ripples in the water, and sunlight glistens on the velvety blue-green field of Bellport Bay. The image's seemingly humble nature is belied by the details campus captures: the vibrant, saturated colors, the mesmerizing rhythmic movement of the plants, and the jewel-like sparkles of light that skitter across the water's surface. In a testament to campus's skill as a video artist, each work in meditations exploits the gap between what we perceive, what the camera records, and what the artist brings to the fore.
peter campus (b. 1937, New York, NY) is an influential artist in the canons of new media and video art. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Experimental Psychology from Ohio State University in 1960, he studied at The City College Film Institute and participated in the experimental workshops at Boston's famous WGBH-TV. In 1975, campus received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1976, he was awarded the National Endowment for the Art Fellowship. His work has been exhibited extensively with solo shows at the Jeu de Paume, CAAC, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Culturgest, Whitney Museum of American Art, Kunsthalle Bremen, Centre Georges Pompidou, The Power Plant, Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, The High Museum, and University of Michigan Museum of Art.
campus is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Buffalo AKG Art Museum, Parrish Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Centre Georges Pompidou, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Harvard Art Museums, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, Walker Art Center, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and Tate Modern. His pioneering career encompasses a wide range of media, including early video art, photography, and digital video. In his recent digital video work, campus transforms footage of landscapes and interiors using sophisticated digital techniques. A catalogue raisonné of the artist's work is forthcoming. His studio is based in East Patchogue, NY.
 Ed. from Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, The Transformation of Nature in Art (Cambridge, Harvard University Press: 1934).