Beryl Korot

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Beryl Korot (born September 17, 1945) is an American video artist, who pioneered the field of video art since the early 1970s.

Quotes[edit]

Looking back at the Hindenburg and Bikini Atoll, and forward in “Dolly” to new technologies, was a way of rethinking and understanding the soup in which we swim.
  • There have always been two aspects to my work: formal innovation and strong content. That goes for Steve’s tape pieces as well. To make a work together, we had to be engaged by the subject matter, and we shared an interest in technology as it has advanced. Looking back at the Hindenburg and Bikini Atoll, and forward in “Dolly” to new technologies, was a way of rethinking and understanding the soup in which we swim. We call this a theater of ideas, but its success as a work depends on the strength of the video and the music.
“Hindenburg” itself begins with the crash of the zeppelin in 1937 and ends with a view of its burnt-up carcass on the landing field in Lakehurst, New Jersey, taken from an airplane. What interested us here in viewing the archival material and listening to recordings of the period was the overwhelming conviction that technology was the sure way to progress. Naturally, after the atom bomb, a darker view of progress began to appear.
  • I was attracted to video art because it allowed me to combine a strong sense of content with formal innovation. The field was wide open and allowed for a great deal of experimentation for creating new forms.
    • In: Meeker, Carlene. "Beryl Korot." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1 March 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on July 9, 2015)
  • Germany at that time was synonymous with the Holocaust to me and as a Jew it was necessary to face that.
    • In: Meeker, Carlene. "Beryl Korot." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1 March 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on July 9, 2015); About Korot's first visit to Germany in 1974.
Germany at that time was synonymous with the Holocaust to me and as a Jew it was necessary to face that.

Dachau 1974, by Beryl Korot[edit]

Published in Ira Schneider, ‎Beryl Korot (1976). Video art: an anthology. p. 75-77; Republished in Steve Reich (2002) Writings on Music, 1965-2000. p. 109-112

  • In making the four-channel video work Dachau, my experience as a weaver directly influenced the basic structuring of the work. The content itself was taped in 1974 at the former concentration camp Dachau. The symmetry of the architecture and the present ambience of the space were the focus of the recordings. The past was recorded only insofar as the sounds of the voices of the present commingled with the feeling absorbed in the wood and revealed in the structure of forms which has no amount of time can erase.
    • p. 75
  • Just as the spinning and gathering of wool serve as the raw material for a weave, so the artist working with video selects images to serve as the basic substance of the work. All technology, in its capacity to instantly reproduce, store, and retrieve information, has moved continually in a direction that seeks to free us from laboring with our hands by giving us greater conceptual freedom to organize, select, and judge.
    • p. 76

Quotes about Beryl Korot[edit]

  • Since the early 1970s, Beryl Korot has been recognized as a pioneer of video art and of multiple channel work in particular. She was co-editor of Radical Software, the first publication to discuss the possibilities of the new video medium in 1970, and co-edited Video Art: An Anthology with Ira Schneider in 1976. Her study of the technology of the loom, in 1974, marks a critical shift in her own investigations and played a significant role as a thinking tool in her subsequent video work.
    Her first multiple-channel works, “Text and Commentary” and “Dachau 74”, are groundbreaking efforts that moved the video medium beyond the television’s frame and into a vocabulary of installation. By 1980, these and earlier works were featured at Dokumenta 6, The Kitchen, Leo Castelli Gallery, The Everson Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, among others and was featured in Video Viewpoints at the Museum of Modern Art.
  • In an effort to put different video artworks into separate categories, authors have come up with various solutions. Already in 1976 Ira Schneider and Beryl Korot observed three basic approaches to the video image: video in which the artist/performer is subject; video in which the environment is subject; and video in which the abstract synthesized image is subject.
    • Helen Westgeest. Video Art Theory: A Comparative Approach. (2015) p. 87

External links[edit]

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