Beryl Korot has been involved in video art since its infancy. She was co-founder and co-editor of Radical Software (1970), the first publication to document artists’ work and ideas concerning video, and in l976 she co-edited the book Video Art. In 1977, she displayed her complex multi-channel installation Text and Commentary, including weavings, video monitors, and pictographic notations, at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City. That piece is reinstalled in the gallery at the far side of the exhibition.
In her early multiple-channel works Korot created narrative structures based on insights gained from loom programming. In 1980 she invented a language based on the grid structure of woven cloth, and began to translate texts into this abstract language that could be deciphered with a code—a kind of language as still life. Babel, the seven-minute scroll-based video from 2006–7 installed here, refers back to this period.
In her more recent work, her concern with the poetics of vision and voice, patterning, and the passage of time in the natural world are the qualities that leap out at the viewer. In 2007, when Korot began FLORENCE (projected in the next gallery) she made a “weaving” out of bits of video footage of snow storms and waterfalls, some elements of which were used in Vermont Landscape (displayed on a monitor beyond the next gallery).
This is complex, ruminative, and beautiful work—drawing on Korot’s rich knowledge of literature and history, infused with a lifetime’s commitment to art, music and time-based performance, and rooted in the ancient origins of digital media.
Harry Philbrick, Curator