I have just had two videos accepted for the Athens Video Art Festival:
They only contacted me yesterday, it starts on Thursday, so too short notice for me to attend, which is a shame.
Recently I seem to have dedicated a lot of time to filling in application forms, preparing DVDs and stills, writing summaries, packing up the work and nipping out to the post office, only to never hear from the organisers again. I put this down to the fact that I decided to include a statement at the start of the videos explaining their origin:
This is a video-walk through ruins and across scrub in a former concentration camp at Rivesaltes in the south of France, between the Mediterranean and the mountains on the edge of a motorway. Refugees have been held here during the dark episodes of the twentieth century: the Spanish Revolution, World War Two when thousands of Jews were sent from here to Auschwitz, the Algerian War of Independence, and recently, Eastern Europeans without visas seeking a better life.
The videos (including the ones accepted by Athens) ceased to be obscure and started to be overtly about the Holocaust and the other dark periods of twentieth century France. Prior to this year the same videos, without the statement, were generally accepted for festivals.
I accept that the work is not straightforward when compared to figurative videos based on a narrative, which was a reason for me to add the statement in the first place - my work demands time and effort from the viewer and the viewing experience desired is more akin to the experience of viewing paintings (after all, I am a painter).
Image: 'Athens Video Art Festival 2009'.