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V+M | VIDEOFORMES 2015 | Chapel of the old General Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand | John Sanborn© | Photo by Loiez Deniel©


VIDEOFORMES #GabrielSoucheyre 

For this 35th issue, CULTURAMA continues its investigations off the beaten track, exploring the evolution of Video Art and digital technologies from their invention to the present day.

For more information on an article, click on the corresponding images
Gabriel Soucheyre
Luc Coeckelberghs & Gabriel Soucheyre | Photo by Loiez Deniel©

The real place where artwork exists is not on the screen or inside the walls, but in the mind and heart of the person who saw it.

Bill Viola

Eric of MA’A*: VIDEOFORMES is special for being one of the first festivals to present digital video works at a time when there was barely any infrastructure to accommodate them. Today it is an international event recognized for its quality. As a director, what artist struck you the most in the past thirty years?

Gabriel Soucheyre: The first VIDEOFORMES took place in 1986. One year later, Robert Cahen gave us one of his first retrospectives.

Stéphane Trois Carrés @ VIDEOFORMES
Saskia & Reynold Reynolds @ VIDEOFORMES
John Sanborn @ VIDEOFORMES
Then we had Gary Hill, with his magnificent installation Crux and his videos, John Sanborn and his premonitory inventions, Bill Viola et Nam June Paik, the official inventors of the video art movement. I also remember my surreal encounter with Ko Nakajima who has since inspired the new generations of artists. Meetings with such strong personalities made it possible to build long-lasting friendships and, around it, a festival in the centre of France.
The owl | VIDEOFORMES 2009 | Claire Gastaud gallery, Clermont-Ferrand | Bertrand Gadenne©

The ‘80s and ‘90s were marked by the presence of Jean-Paul Fargier, nicknamed Monsieur Art Vidéo. I still remember meeting him in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, an event engraved into my memory. At that era, I also discovered that with just 90 seconds a video artist could take us really far; an example for this is the legendary film Incatenata alla pellicola recovered during a fire by the artist Gianni Toti.

Lumina Fiction #2 | VIDEOFORMES 2017 | Oratory chapel, Clermont-Ferrand | Golnaz Behrouznia©
Cluster | VIDEOFORMES 2011 | Jaude square, Clermont-Ferrand | Rainer Gamsjäger©

Eric: You have participated in several cultural publications, such as the MARQ catalogues, as well as the quarterly review, named Turbulences Vidéo, that you have created. How was this magazine born?

Gabriel: What video artists of the ‘80s lacked the most was constructive criticism. Articles were rare. In 1989 we created the Tribune des Critiques, a kind of critics show tackling the works of artists presented at the festival, in the style of the famous radio show le Masque et la Plume. This encouraged us to create Turbulences Vidéo. The content is built on interviews with artists where we talk about their personal life, their childhood, tastes, etc.

Under The Centipede Sun | VIDEOFORMES 2019 | Oratory chapel, Clermont-Ferrand | Mihai Grecu©
Requiem dance | VIDEOFORMES 2016 | Boris Vian exhibition room, Clermont-Ferrand | Ko Nakajima©
Chroma | VIDEOFORME2012 | La Tôlerie exhibition space, Clermont-Ferrand | Jean-François Cantin©
Eternity | VIDEOFORMES 2009 | Fontfreyde hotel, Clermont-Ferrand | Sébastien Camboulive©

The interview is typically followed by a series of critical articles, the artist’s professional background and biography, the goal being to demystify the status of an artist. I still remember the first portrait dedicated to Ghislaine Gohard. It was a phone interview. Ghislaine Gohard, who thought she had nothing to say to me, admitted ninety minutes later that she finally understood why her first artistic act had been a performance. You can find out more in the up-to-date 106 issues on the VIDEOFORMES website. This digital version is the "augmented" review which also deals with dance, television series and photography.

Gary Hill | VIDEOFORMES 1992 | Photo by Gabriel Soucheyre©
Souche | VIDEOFORMES 2017 | Bargoin museum, Clermont-Ferrand | Anne-Sophie-Emard©
Nam June Paik collage | Gabriel Soucheryre's Collection©

Eric: What does Digital Art bring to more traditional modes of expression?

Gabriel: Digital media gives flexibility: from augmented reality to virtual reality, via mixed media, experiences, performances and immersive installations. We observe that there is an appetite from both artists and the audience for this form of content.

Anatomy & Peanut | VIDEOFORMES 2008 | Opera of Clermont-Ferrand | Charlie Mars & Digital Slaves© | Photo by Danyel Massacrier©
Totem | VIDEOFORMES 1990 | Gaillard square, Clermont-Ferrand | Conception Fabre & Speller Architectes©
Bridaines Insight | VIDEOFORMES 1990 | Jen-Michel Gautreau©
Eric: Paraphrasing the architect Jean Nouvel, can we say that Art integrated into architecture is always an answer to a question that is not asked?

Gabriel: Video Art, and by extension Digital Arts, occupy all spaces: from the small TV screen to the mega Red Square screen opposite the Kremlin. Everything is imaginable. There is no limit regarding technique, format or duration.
V+M | VIDEOFORMES 2015 | Chapel of the old General Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand | John Sanborn© | Photo by Loiez Deniel©
Unsigned | VIDEOFORMES 2012 | La Tôlerie exhibition space, Clermont-Ferrand | Rachel Rosalen & Rafael Marchetti© | Photo by Léa Crouzet©
Light House VS Centre Jaude | VIDEOFORMES 2010 | Jaude square, Clermont-Ferrand | Luc Coeckelberghs©
Flora | VIDEOFORMES 2018 | Oratory chapel, Clermont-Ferrand | Phillip Arthus©

Eric: What place does video Art now occupy in the field of contemporary Art?

Gabriel: Video Art has merged into the great wave of Digital Arts. It opened up paths, and it feeds from new research, new formal approaches. It has acquired a certain notability because we see it more and more in contemporary art fairs and galleries. Now video Art is also collected. Above all, it has reached an accessible form. Digital art has become an avant-garde, experimental and independent creation issue. Video is to poetry, what cinema is to literature, a free, living, reactive form.

Tribute to Eadweard Muybridge | VIDEOFORMES 2018 | Chapel of the old General Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand Bob Kohn©
Secret Life | VIDEOFORMES 2008 | La Tôlerie exhibition space, Clermont-Ferrand | Reynolds Reynolds©
One hundred faces | VIDEOFORMES 2018 | Gaillard exhibition room, Clermont-Ferrand | Scenocosme©

The more lights, the more colors. The more colors, the more sex.
Nam June Paik

Steina Vasulka | VIDEOFORMES 1999 | Photo by Gabriel Soucheyre©

Formes, meanings, pleasure

+'info: Gabriel's Mail | Wikipédia | Instagram | Facebook | Magazine Turbulences Vidéo (only Fench available)

Screen Clothes | VIDEOFORMES 2015 | La Tôlerie exhibition space, Clermont-Ferrand | Gérard Chauvin & Lanah Shaï©

Lux Voce Corpore | VIDEOFORMES 2015 | La Tôlerie exhibition space, Clermont-Ferrand | José Man Lius©

Meeting between regions of the World | Thierry Lo-Shung-Line Imagineur©

a magazine of the trend explorers

The 21st century began with a media revolution. The Social Network MY AGEND'ART* is thus fully becoming CULTURAMA: an independent web-magazine and a YouTube mini-series, both delivering each month exclusive interviews, reporting from and about the Art world.