Early Video at LVA

London Video Arts (LVA) was set up in 1976 to promote and distribute video art. Artists had begun to experiment with video as soon as the first reel-to-reel portable recorders arrived in Britain in the late 1960s. Limited to a black and white image, and with no edit function, the appeal of video lay in its instantly available ‘live’ image and, in contrast to film, its simplicity. 

Films showing in this section: 

12.07 - Steven Partridge Monitor 1 1975
12:15 - David Hall This is a Television Receiver 1976
12.07 - Steven Partridge Monitor 1 1975
12:15 - David Hall This is a Television Receiver 1976
12:23 - Tamara Krikorian Vanitas 1977
12:31 - David Critchley Trialogue 1977

Steven Partridge Monitor 1 1975

10 minutes. Collection: Artist 

Many early video pieces set out to establish the medium’s unique visual language. In Monitor 1 the self-reflexive image of a revolving video monitor is recorded ‘live’ but with a built-in time delay. Steven Partridge has described the result as ‘a disorientating temporal and spatial collage’. 

Biography:

Steven Partridge was born in 1953. He studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. A founder member of London Video Arts, he was largely responsible for building Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee into a major centre for video research and production. His company (with Jane Rigby) Fields and Frames produced and curated programmes of video for gallery exhibition and television, notably for the Glasgow City of Culture exhibition 19:4:90. 

David Hall This is a Television Receiver 1976

8 minutes. Collection: Lux 

With This is a Television Receiver, David Hall revisited the theme of his classic This is a Video Monitor made in 1973. The new context of its transmission by BBC Television was important. Other works by artists had been broadcast earlier, but Hall uniquely set out to turn the domestic television set into a form of video sculpture through the intervention of his transmitted images. 

Biography:

David Hall was born in 1937. He studied at Leicester Art College and the Royal College of Art, London. A sculptor exhibiting internationally in the 60s, Hall turned to film, then in the early 70s video, and did much to establish this and moving-image installation as artforms. He championed video through his column in Studio International , was curator of early important shows, and influenced several generations of emerging artists as a teacher. In 1976 with Krikorian (see below), Partridge (see above), Stuart Marshall and others, he established London Video Arts as an artist-run workshop, distributor and promotional agency. davidhallart.com 

Tamara Krikorian Vanitas 1977

8 minutes. Collection: Lux 

Vanitas came after seeing a French painting attributed to Nicolas Tournier at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, An Allegory of Justice and Vanity . Vanitas is a self-portrait of the artist and at the same time an allegory of the ephemeral nature of television.’ Tamara Krikorian 1978 

Biography:

Tamara Krikorian was born in 1944. She studied music and began making video in 1973 in Scotland where her campaigning helped establish the artform through a series of influential exhibitions. A founder of the artist led distribution agency London Video Arts in 1976, she was also an influential teacher at Maidstone and Newcastle. She lives Wales, where she runs Art Work Wales. 

David Critchley Trialogue 1977

10 minutes. Collection: Lux 

In the 1970s, many artists performed uninterrupted monologues straight to camera, responding both to video’s inexhaustable gaze, and the impossibility of editing at that time. David Critchley plays with this form and at the same time attempts to escape its limitations. His multi-layered work reveals the process of its own making, with a transparency characteristic of much conceptual art. 

Biography:

David Critchley was born in 1953. He studied at Stockport College, Newcastle Upon Tyne Polytechnic and Royal College of Art, London. One of the organisers of the influential series of installations and media performances at 2B Butler’s Wharf in the late 1970s, Critchley was also a central figure in the organisation of London Video Arts from its inception in 1976, acting as manager between 1981-86. Now an art teacher, his work combines video, computers, photography and installations. critchley.net