Some of the earliest artist’s videos in Britain were commissioned (and shot) by the German artist Gerry Schum. These were made for his pioneering ‘Television Gallery’, a series of broadcast exhibitions including Land Art 1969 and Identifications 1970. The image-quality of these tapes reflects their age.

Films showing in this section: 

10.30 Barry Flanagan A Hole in the Sea 1969
10:34 Richard Long Walking a Straight 10 Mile Line Forward and Back Shooting Every Half Mile. (Dartmoor England, January 1969) 1969
10:41 Keith Arnatt Self Burial 1969

Barry Flanagan A Hole in the Sea 1969

4 minutes. Collection: Stedelijk Museum

A Hole in the Sea existed only as a concept on paper until Gerry Schum asked Barry Flanagan to realise it on film for the television exhibition Land Art. As shot, it is both a witty example of conceptual art’s ‘dematerialisation of the art object’ (in Lucy Lippard’s memorable phrase), and an engaging visual conundrum. 

Biography:

Barry Flanagan was born in 1941. He studied at Birmingham College of Art, the Guildhall School of Music and St Martins School of Art, London. Flanagan taught at St Martins when Gilbert and George and Richard Long were students, and all four were approached by Gerry Schum to make videos for his show Land Art 1969. Flanagan showed Super8 films at Prospect 71 Düsseldorf 1971, and documented the process of casting a sculpture in The Works c1970, but has since worked exclusively in sculpture. 

Richard Long Walking a Straight 10 Mile Line Forward and Back Shooting Every Half Mile. (Dartmoor England, January 1969) 1969

6 minutes. Collection: Stedelijk Museum 

Responding to the invitation to make a work for Gerry Schum’s ‘Television Gallery’, Richard Long wrote: ‘I was happy to have the chance of conceiving a work in a new medium for me (film), which gave a new expression to my straight moorland walks of that time.’ He added ‘If explanations are necessary, then the work is no good’. 

Biography:

Richard Long was born in 1945. He studied at Bristol School of Art and St Martins School of Art, London, and began making works in the landscape in 1967 while at St Martins. After Walking a Straight 10 Mile Line… made with Gerry Schum, Long’s sole film project was with Stones and Flies 1988, made collaboratively with Philip Haas. 

Keith Arnatt Self Burial 1969

1 minute. Collection: Artist and Illuminations 

The television version of Self Burial was adapted from an existing photographic work (now in the Tate Collection). Each of the nine still images was transmitted without explanation or introduction for two seconds on successive nights on WDR Television, Cologne. In this version made for the BBC, Keith Arnatt reconstructs and re-stages the work. ‘It was originally made as a comment upon the notion of “the disappearance of the art object”. It seemed a logical corollary that the artist should also disappear.’ Keith Arnatt 1979 

Biography:

Keith Arnatt was born in 1930. He studied at Oxford School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools London, and taught at Liverpool, Manchester and Newport Colleges of Art. Much of his work of the 1960s and 1970s ‘was a commentary upon the ‘advanced’ art of that time. Contemporary critical jargon furnished much material with which I could.. reflect my ambivalent feelings towards the more extreme manifestations of recent art behaviour’.