START, Wake Forest’s student art gallery, is hosting an exhibition of projection and monitor-based works produced by professor Joel Tauber’s video art students. Works from four different classes will be on display.
Video art produced by students in Tauber’s introductory class focuses on identity-based projects. “I want students to produce works about themselves, because a big part of a college education is about discovering who one is and who one wants to be,” says Tauber.
He encourages students to avoid generic ideas, clichés and stereotypes in their videos — especially those visual messages that society consumes every day. “Whether or not my students become filmmakers, recognizing what is real and meaningful in our visual lives is important in learning how to navigate the world.”
Student artists learn how to choose from a “toolbox” of stylistic options — picking the ones that are most helpful in communicating their ideas. “Choices in lighting, structure and composition, for example, can help artists produce a personal video that can also resonate with others,” Tauber says.
In this spring’s 200-level class, students each created two videos that are shown together at the same time and function as one piece. Video art students worked with sculpture students to think about the installation aspects of their projects and create a way for the two videos to work as a whole.
After the completion of their sculptural video installations, Tauber has students take their work into the community. “It’s about going out into the world and leaving the Ivory Tower,” he says. Students find a location off campus to make two videos that function as one. Video art produced by these students will be shown on the exterior of the art gallery during the opening reception. After opening night, the videos will be projected inside the gallery.
“The title of the show reflects the process of moving from a focus on the self, to a focus on the other,” Tauber says. “The exhibition starts with students producing single videos focusing on self-identity. Then there is an opening up to think about the project as a sculpture installation. Finally, the work becomes public art as students move outside of Wake Forest to include local sites and local people in their work.”
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