— Ana Mendieta, Stephen Bonanno
Twenty years ago I was born in Taipei to an absentee father and an artist mother. I have never lived in the city of my birth. Today I attend University in London and curate a modest art gallery. Welcome to my world.
What is Intermedia art? There are different definitions and I was surprised to learn the term is older than I thought. Wikipedia says the term is from the 60’s and the 1st degree program came in 1968 when the University of Iowa offered an Intermedia MFA. Their graduates include Ana Mendieta and Charles Ray. They talk about the Fluxus-era confusion of remixing drawing with poetry (visual poetry) or painting with theater (performance art). Perhaps what they were thinking of as “Intermedia” in the 60’s is what we call Remix Culture today. I do like this juxtaposition, still, defining “Intermedia” this way has a lot of overlap with “Multi-Media” or even “Mixed-Media.”
If you break the word apart, “Inter” is between or among, and “Media” is a means of communication. A poet might wake up and ask what poem she is going to write today; a painter might wake up and ask what painting she is going to make today; for me an Intermedia Artist is someone who wakes up and doesn’t think of poems or paintings or videos or web hacks, but someone who wakes up and thinks about ideas. Yes, of course, poets and painters and lots of other people think about ideas, but I think the Intermedia Artist chooses to consider or critique some aspect of culture and only after the lodestone already has some inertia does she choose to realize that idea in poetry or paint or video or a Twitter stream or in glass, metal and wood.
Gallery Xue is an Intermedia gallery. The aspects of culture explored by the artists we exhibit are wide, united by a common compulsion to ask uncomfortable questions. We are less interested in commodities, and more interested in disrupting culture.
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