David Gryn blog

Film at Art Basel in Miami Beach: Documenting an egalitarian perspective – David Gryn interview

In ABMB, Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Video, Artprojx, Daata, David Gryn, Film, Miami, Saudi, Saudi Gazette, SoundScape Park, Video Art on 29/01/2015 at 3:57 pm

Saudi Gazatte_The Gallery Jan 24, 2015

‘Film at Art Basel: Documenting an egalitarian perspective’

Interview with David Gryn, Curator Film, Art Basel in Miami Beach since 2011

Saudi Gazette, Mariam Nihal, Saudi Arabia, January 24, 2015

(the article is based on the following q&a)

1.      Tell us about this year’s Art Basel and the most challenging part of organizing the film sector for this year?

This year’s Film at Art Basel in Miami Beach had an underlaying vision of ‘playfulness’, the playfulness of internet gaming, online action, art making, dance and performing, colour, sound and music. This was conceived to communicate both to the galleries to consider submitting artists moving image works that were engaging and also to consider the audience in Miami during an art fair, that will want to sit and watch artists’ films that are enthralling, exciting, thought provoking and entertaining. The challenge is to encourage the majority of galleries to think about artists moving image during an art fair and to attract an audience that have so many competitive events during an art fair week in Miami. My other challenge is to encourage galleries to think about artists who are statistically underrepresented by them and think egalitarian and have a global perspective.

2.      How has film and video art developed during the course of the last decade?

Technology over the last 10 years has exponentially been enhanced, this has enabled more and more artists to consider film and video and digital platforms as other powerful mediums to use for their work. Several well known artists such as Steve McQueen, Sam Taylor-Wood have gained notoriety and are celebrated for their feature films that have engaged with Hollywood and the Film industry, therefore this aspect of an artists career, that starts with artists experimenting with film and video to make art works has a now grand vision for many artists and that making feature films is a possible natural output of being an artist. We are also firmly part of a digital, online world and the impact of that on artists work and their career is ever evolving and improving. I planned the talk with Chrissie Iles, curator at the Whitney Museum and artist Tabor Robak and Rachel Rose – titled Playfulness: artists as online gamers, surfers and armchair digital revolutionaries and this was really to give a position of where we are currently finding ourselves in artists practice and in showing this art medium too.

3.      What plays the biggest role in developing art and design?

The artists’ vision and belief in their aesthetic truth. The art fair and galleries only exist because of artists and we need to keep remembering that our role is to support their vision and enable these arenas to be platforms for their voices and how they can inspire, inform, enchant us in every way.

4.      Tell us about the greater role of film art at Art Basel.

Film at ABMB provides the art fair a platform to show works by artists that do not get seen too often at international art fairs. It also enables the general public to see durational works for free, and be part of the citywide art experience and understanding. We show work on the 7000 sq ft screening wall of the Frank Gehry designed New World Center, with a powerful 35k lumen projector and room in SoundScape Park for over 1000 people to see each of this years 8 screening programmes. We also introduced the Art Basel Film Library inside the fair this year, which gave fair goers a chance to interrogate and personally view all the films that were selected for the fair.

5.      Which artist who participated in the show did you most enjoy working with?

I enjoy the whole process of working with the galleries and their artists. This year we introduced sound to play on the amazing 160 speaker, purpose built surround sound system in SoundScape Park working with Raed Yassin, Jennie C. Jones, Larry Achiampong and Stephen Vitiello. Some artists such as Hayal Pozanti, Parker Ito, Charles Richardson completed edited works specifically for the program. I also collaborated with Tabor Robak on the programme I coined ‘The Digital Revolutionaries’ including his work, Jon Rafman, Oliver Laric and a tribute to Harun Farocki. Saya Woolfalk, Dara Friedman, Marcel Dzama, Charles Atlas, Marnie Weber, Takeshi Murata, Rachel Rose were works by other selected artists that had a great resonance with me.

6.      What is the role of art fairs like Art Basel on the medium? How does the fair help nurture the scene?

Art Basel approached me to work with them 5 years ago, to help nurture an area that needs inproving at the art fair and at all art fairs in general. Art Basel recognised the need for the support of artists mediums that do not all have immediate commercial attributes, which often get overlooked by us all during the hustle and bustle of preparing for and being at art fairs. We have to treat film, performance, sound as important and valued mediums in our art world, therefore they will become big and more valued, it is an obvious logic, but one which we all need reminding of and our constant attention.

Main image: from the Art Basel in Miami Beach, SoundScape Park screening of Charles Richardson’s ‘Rehearsal’, 2014

David Gryn, Artprojx worldwide, Curator of Film at Art Basel in Miami Beach, Curator at Royal College of Psychiatrists, Director of the Strangelove moving image festival at CSM 2015 and of a brand new Digital Art Editions model launching soon in 2015 …..


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