Michal Rovner-Panorama. Pace Gallery, London

On the whole I don’t like Video Art. If I want a moving image I can watch TV or a film. I want a picture or an object that stays still for long enough for me to look at and engage with it.

So when a friend at a gallery opening said you must go up the road to Pace and see a show by a video artist I was in a mixed mind. The friend has a great eye so that sort of recommendation is to be taken seriously. So off we went.

Thank you friend!

These works are barely, but beautifully, video art. They look like landscape photographs and then you realise that the skinny little figures, reminiscent of a Lowry painting, are moving in a choreographed way. They appear almost to be dancing, performing a folk dance, and then again to be wandering. These moving human shapes evoke many possible lives,  migrants, guerrilla combatants, concentration camps prisoners, agricultural workers or the ghosts of previous lives. They appear as part of the landscape, coming out of the earth; Adam. They are us.

This is also seductive to look at and very high production values have gone into fabricating the work.

I didn’t know her work at all and as I said, video art tends not to be my thing, but this captivated me. We often elevate the individual as our heroes, but here the slightness of the figures in the landscape made then all the more human, all the more vulnerable, all the more noble, even as, perhaps, they, the figures, may represent the victims of mad ideas, mad people, mad regimes.

Collective lives, lonely lives, vibrant, sad; many ideas and emotions evoked by this beautifully thought through, beautifully crafted work. If this is video art I am now a convert.

Great stuff. Go see.



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