press release

February 21–April 14, 2019

Opening: February 20, 8pm

In the exhibition of VIDEONALE.17 – Festival for Video and Time-Based Arts a total of 29 artistic positions, selected from more than 1,100 submissions from 66 countries by an international jury are presented under the title of REFRACTED REALITIES.

In optics, “refraction” refers to the bending of a beam of light, a change in direction which occurs at the moment when it passes from one medium to another. Through refraction, the light wave alters course, changing the way we perceive the objects it illuminates in the process. This optical deviation requires us to repeatedly correct our gaze, comparing the beginning and end points of our perception with reality, and bringing the object we see clearly into focus. In its figurative sense, refraction refers to a critical reflection on the means and channels of visualization, and by extension the possibility of a rearticulation of our view of things—how they are, were, or apparently always have been.

Not only since the big question relating to the veracity of documentary images has been raised, have we been faced with the latent question of which reality we are actually talking about when we invoke it. The debates of the past years on the loss of confidence in (digital) image material and many other forms of documents that establish facts have only increased the downward spiral of doubt. Never before has it been easier to withdraw into a filter bubble made up of allegedly fact-based micro-realities serving one’s own opinions. The view shaped through any type of camera lens—be it photo, video, or film—has always played a crucial role in the way we constitute the world. In this area, the diversity and rapidity of producing gazes has also clearly increased in recent years. The theme of this year’s Videonale, REFRACTED REALITIES, emerged from the awareness of an ever more complex and contradictory state of reality that moreover defines itself less and less by including and increasingly by excluding other concepts of reality.

Artists featured at VIDEONALE.17:
Monira Al Qadiri, Eric Baudelaire, Zanny Begg & Oliver Ressler, Mareike Bernien & Alex Gerbaulet, Andreas Bunte, Shu Lea Cheang, Marianna Christofides, Chto Delat, Mike Crane, Saara Ekström, Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani, Mahdi Fleifel, Johan Grimonprez, Laura Huertas Millán, Su Hui-Yu, Sohrab Hura, Adam Kaplan & Gilad Baram, Stéphanie Lagarde, Maryna Makarenko, Deimantas Narkevičius, Stefan Panhans, Laure Prouvost, Morgan Quaintance, Maryam Tafakory, Eva van Tongeren, Tris Vonna-Michell, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Andrew Norman Wilson, Tobias Zielony

The extensive VIDEONALE.17 exhibition catalogue includes guest essays by Dr. Erika Balsom (senior lecturer in Film Studies and Liberal Arts, King’s College London) and Mushon Zer-Aviv (designer, educator and media activist, Tel Aviv).

VIDEONALE.17 competition jury
Eli Cortiñas (artist), João Laia (freelance curator and author), Tasja Langenbach (artistic director VIDEONALE), Matteo Lucchetti (co-director of Visible Project, Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Fondazione Zegna), Vanina Saracino (freelance curator), and Lesley Taker (producer/curator FACT Liverpool).

Videonale Award of the fluentum collection
At VIDEONALE.17’s opening ceremony on February 20, one outstanding work will be awarded the 5,000 EUR Videonale Award of fluentum collection. Based in Berlin, the fluentum collection is a private collection of time-based media art, which has also co-produced artistic works for a number of years. This is the second year that the collection has sponsored the Videonale Award, which aims to support the winning artist in producing new works.

VIDEONALE.17 Festival:
The VIDEONALE.17 opening is accompanied by an extensive four-day festival program from February 21 to 24, open for professionals and the interested public. In a variety of event formats, including lectures, panels, and performances, as well as workshops and video screenings, the thematic focus on REFRACTED REALITIES is to be elucidated as comprehensively and diversely as possible. Check the full festival program here.

VIDEONALE.17 schedule:
Opening and presentation of the Videonale Award of fluentum collection: Wednesday, February 20, 8pm Festival program: Thursday, February 21–Sunday, February 24 (and further events throughout the duration of the exhibition)

City of Bonn, Ministery for Culture und Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Kunststiftung NRW, Stiftung Kunst der Sparkasse in Bonn, Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland, MedienStiftung Kultur, Ministry of Culture Republic of China (Taiwan)

Project funders:
bpb - Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, PwC-Stiftung Jugend - Bildung - Kultur, SK Stiftung Kultur

cine+ (Technicsponsor), DHL (Preferred Logistics Partner)

Sponsor Videonale Award:
fluentum collection

Cooperation partners:
DAS ESSZIMMER – Raum für Kunst+, Gkg - Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung, Ibis Hotel, IMPAKT Festival and Center for Media Culture Utrecht, Ivo Wessel Berlin, Künstlerforum Bonn, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Landesbüro für Bildende Kunst / LaB K, NRW KULTURsekretariat, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

Media partners:
Artblog Cologne, Camera Austria, EIKON, KUNSTFORUM International, PHOTO International, Spike Art Quarterly, Springerin, Stadtrevue, Texte zur Kunst, Videoart at Midnight