art is / music is / poetry is… what? Artist/poet George Quasha’s ongoing video work of “speaking portraits” puts this impossible, but inevitable, question before artists/composers/poets themselves, who let us in on their private space of art definition.…
art is / music is / poetry is… what? Artist/poet George Quasha’s ongoing video work of “speaking portraits” puts this impossible, but inevitable, question before artists/composers/poets themselves, who let us in on their private space of art definition. Over 700 artists (all kinds of artists, including sculptors, painters, filmmakers, video artists, poets, composers, performance artists, and so on) have been recorded on video in eleven countries and twenty-three languages in the first six years. The result is an ongoing and constantly changing work called "art is" or "music is" or "poetry is" (now including "myth is" and "peace is"), which has been exhibited internationally, primarily as installations, screened either on projection screen or on one or more monitors.
More specifically, "art is" develops an open-ended video art work in portraiture that registers artists in the act of saying what art is. It is presented as a continuous series of speaking faces viewed up close, one at a time, with no overlaps or special effects, filmed “on site” under many circumstances. One unadorned face at a time fills the image area. The framing effectively removes most social indicators (hair style, clothing, context, etc.). While many famous artists are included, they are mixed with lesser known ones. Identification of the artist is indicated only at the end of each "speaking portrait" in order to keep the viewer's attention focused on the act of saying what art is rather than on the identity of the speaker. The format is primarily single channel video, suitable for viewing as projection or on monitor, yet it aims as well at installation and performance contexts, where each format emphasizes different orders of experience within a singular matrix. more at quasha.com.