The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie

The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie

Eric Lewis
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 140
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  • Book Info
    The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie
    Book Description:

    The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie brings into focus the complete video oeuvre of a pioneering Canadian artist. Tracing the development of Safdie's work and its implications for the future of media art, this volume provides a stunning perspective on her videos and sets a new standard for the presentation of video art in book form.. Safdie's principal video works are presented in the form of more than 200 images, selected and arranged to suggest the content, rhythm, and movement of the videos themselves. Alongside the rich illustrations, the book explores Safdie's video art through a thoughtful introduction to the artist and two insightful critical essays. Eric Lewis relates her videos to her works in other media, considers how she poses key questions in the philosophy of art, and addresses issues concerning Jewish art and identity. He discusses the complex relationship between Safdie's video images and the improvised music she often employs as soundtracks. An essay by music scholar and conductor Eleanor Stubley explores the relationship between the body and mind in Safdie's videos, shedding light on the emotive and sensorial qualities of the breathing body. A vibrant appeal to both the eye and the mind, The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie showcases an artist at the vanguard of video and intermedia art and demonstrates how her work is representative of the next stage in artistic explorations of time, change, corporeality, and our place in nature.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8900-1
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-1)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 3-11)
    Eric Lewis

    The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie explores the most recent medium that this prolific artist has chosen to explore and situates her video work within her broader artistic career. Safdie’s works in painting, drawing, and sculpture are meditations on the convergence of place, time, and memory. The themes of temporality and transformation run deeply throughout her work, especially in relation to the human form and its connections and correspondences with the natural world. Indeed, much of her art invokes the human body either directly or abstractly. Bodies, or parts of bodies, are presented in a state of transformation and flux,...

  4. Sylvia Safdie’s Bodies: Portrait of a Hand at Work
    (pp. 13-35)
    Eleanor V. Stubley

    Many locate the heart of Sylvia Safdie’s art in her penchant for gathering objects and the ways in which she twists, turns, and bends them to both reveal and renew the flux of the world.¹ The centrality of the body in her expression has received less discussion. The body initially appears through the flat, two-dimensional language of the stick figure, where its image becomes a playground for exploring the transformative power of the artist’s own gesture. With the paint fabricated from an elemental mixture of earth and oil, the Earth Marks and Notations (as Safdie calls them) articulate the textured...

  5. Sounding Breath–Breathing Sound: The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie
    (pp. 37-114)
    Eric Lewis

    A bird hovers obliquely overhead, its wings beating as it remains suspended in space. The image is arresting, yet also somehow familiar. While the video (Gulls [2]) is unaccompanied by sound it is very loud. The thrust of the bird’s wings seem to corporealize the air and roar like a sudden wind. You can almost see the sounds created. The looping of the image creates a momentary caesura in your perception. The bird, jerking slightly, seems to suddenly recede back in time, only again to hover, as if forced to relive this moment. Your attention is fixed, while you ponder...

  6. Videography
    (pp. 115-129)