Founded in 1984 in Bonn, the Videonale is an international platform for video and time-based arts. With an exhibition of works submitted for competition as well as a festival program held every two years, it has been presenting the latest developments in moving image and time based arts for over 30 years. It has become one of the most important festivals for video and time-based arts in Germany and Europe. The focus is on young international artists, complemented by established representatives of moving image art.
The 17th Edition, VIDEONALE.17 took place from February 21 to April 14, 2019 at Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany. The theme for this edition was Refracted Realities. In optics, the light wave alters course through refraction, changing the way we perceive the objects it illuminates in the process. In its figurative sense, however, 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. The technical medium of the camera lens, which frequently mediates between us and the things we perceive, plays a central role here, since it significantly influences the degree of refraction. It can provide new images for old narratives, or create new narratives with new images. The works present confronted the language of the lens, calling into question the political, cultural and social narratives which it creates.
The exhibition presented a total of 29 artistic positions, selected from more than 1,100 submissions from 66 countries by an international jury. The artists who were featured included: 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 Narkevi?ius, Stefan Panhans, Laure Prouvost, Morgan Quaintance, Maryam Tafakory, Eva van Tongeren, Tris Vonna-Michell, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Andrew Norman Wilson, and Tobias Zielony.
All works were presented as individual presentations in the exhibition. The opening was accompanied by an extensive four day festival program, featuring panels, lectures, discussions with the artists, performances, workshops and master classes. One of the works selected for the exhibition received the Videonale Award of the fluentum collection, including 5,000 euros prize money.
Following the exhibition in the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the works displayed at VIDEONALE.17 will be presented in other international institutions as “VIDEONALE.17 on tour”. Works from previous Videonales could be seen at the Central House of Artists in Moscow, Russia, at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung, Taiwan, at the Insa Art Space in Seoul, Korea, at the National Gallery of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, at MONA Inner Spaces in Poznan, Poland, at ArtVilnius, Lithuania, at CCA/ Freedom Park Lagos, Nigeria and others.