February 3, 2023

Miden International Videoart festival, Kalamata, Greece

Curated by Gioula Papadopoulou, Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos.

Miden (meaning ‘zero’) was the first Greek videoart festival to be presented in public spaces and the latest festival was in July 2011. Now the Italian videoart distributor visualcontainer has made a selection of the works available online for a wider audience to experience. The independent festival has run annually since 2005 and focuses on Greek and international videoart as well as new media art from emerging and established artists.

The festival received over 1000 submissions and showed 189 videos from artists in 45 different countries. The selection shown on the net come from the Monobalance category. Highlights of these eleven pieces include The Polymoids by Tina Willgren. This is an atmospheric narrative of plastic bags blowing idly in the wind. Seemingly simple, as they move they take on personalities, reflecting the way that human beings endlessly traverse the earth looking for meaning.

The Trace of Salt by Albert Merino is a surreal tale of cgi and retro-effects. Silent but for sound effects it drenches us in unlikely images: a girl with blood red fingers crunching sea salt in her hand, a well dressed rabbit dragging a dead fish around an empty cloisters, carving a loaf of bread which bleeds as it is cut. Finishing with shots of a disintegrated cityscape, it is cooly imaginative but would require several viewings to discern what is going on…

Butter Cow by Jun’ichiro Ishi is a clearer allegory of the goes-around comes-around school of Eastern philosophy. It shows the artist sculpting six blocks of butter into a cow with a lo fi charm. Then the buttery creation waltzes around the screen before heading outside and melting in the sun. The cow collapses in a painfully sad manner before being spread on a piece of toast. Ouch.

Balance study Threshold by Jacob Tonski is a humourous video of the artist attempting to stay upright in a rotating tube. It references the sensitive equilibrium of human existence and how easy it is for that to dissolve, whilst Liao Chi-Yu’s Megarich breakfast lets us feast on a dystopian cookery programme. On a background drained of colour the artist prepares a breakfast of undercooked sausages, salad and pink juice, false smiling eyes giving her a sense of visual lunacy whilst blinding her to what she is doing. Eventually she eats a strawberry, picks up a gun and stands spattered in pink blood.

This festival allows viewers to obtain a holistic view of an art form that is currently evolving unexpectedly, rapidly and diversely.


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