For the duration of 'Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray - Framing Sculpture', the Video Room was wholly devoted to avant-garde cinema. The museum showed a number of recently rediscovered films by Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) and experimental films by Man Ray (1890-1976) and others. Brancusi and Man Ray both experimented with photography and film in the early twentieth century to reposition the sculptor’s field of operations. They used these experiments to address the question of how to look at an object rather than what to look for. Ten works by Brancusi and Man Ray were being shown along with videos by Hans Richter and René Clair.
Between 1923 and 1939 Brancusi made films inside and outside his studio. At first he was helped by Man Ray, whom he met in 1921. In his films Brancusi sought transparency, movement and infinity, in contrast to the static and material character of his sculptures. The effect of light reflections and the mirroring of the surroundings in his bronze sculptures were paramount. Brancusi made his films primarily for himself. He may have also shown the images to a small circle of acquaintances in his home.
The four short films that Man Ray produced between 1923 and 1929 are regarded as highlights of Dadaist and Surrealist film art. Man Ray also made home movies. His earliest film, Le Retour à la raison of 1923, is closely akin to the photographic technique of the ‘rayograph’, which he developed two years previously. He used this technique, which creates images by placing objects on photosensitive paper, for Le Retour à la raison. He sprinkled salt and pepper on one piece of film and pins on the other. Here he added night time shots of a fair to them.
De collectie bewegend beeld
In 1972 the museum bought three 16 mm films by the Belgian artist Pol Bury (1922-2005). Since then film and video have been part of the museum’s collection policy. This collection also contains documentaries and recordings of performances and events. One such was Salvador Dalí’s visit to the museum in 1970. The Video Room is a splendid supplement to 'Pipilotti Rist’s installation Let Your Hair Down', which shows a selection of six continuously running video works. As well as showing art videos, the museum also presents informative videos about art and design on ARTtube.nl, the online video channel. This platform with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, De Pont in Tilburg and the M HKA in Antwerp is expanding enormously.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s Video Room stages presentations featuring video works and digitized films from the moving image collection. Every three months the Video Room focuses on the oeuvre of a particular artist, a specific subject or a selection from the museum’s collection.