When Steven Vroom asked us to present a decade's worth of video and photography documenting the past ten years of Vital 5 activities, I squirmed in my chair. Retrospectives should be for the old, the dead or the really, really famous. And I don't consider Vital 5 old or famous or nearing the end of life. I don't talk about Vital 5 in the past tense. But I made the mistake of mentioning to him that we had over 10,000 images and 40 hours of raw footage. Who has time to organize such a mess? It was all over the place.
Vital 5 never made a blockbuster. We never had the attention span, or money to work on a grand scale. More than anything, the power of Vital 5 is held in our desire to take chances, do stupid things, fail, experiment, and fundamentally, help build a community of artists and enthusiasts looking to play and poke and every once in a while stick their middle finger to the conventions of contemporary art. It was and remains a principle focus.
Vital 5 is that weird art entity that is not propelled by wealthy collectors or a board of directors. It runs on ideas and the participation of friends and neighbors. As long as we have a pad of paper and a pen, a bullhorn and a hundred people willing to raise their hand on a rainy day, we are in business. Sometimes this manifests in a gallery, on a street corner, or in the dark corner of a local bar. Slim budgets require great versatility.
Straight to Video is more reunion than retrospect. It's a chance to see Derek Horton yell anti-work propaganda through a bullhorn, Nicole Grant whisper through a hidden microphone, Dylan Neuwirth spit rhymes in a back alley. It's a salute to the two hundred plus artists that a took a chance, stepped up to the plate and created art for all the right reasons.
We look forward to 2016 and looking back over anther decade of projects, collaborations and troublemaking. There is really so much more left to do.
May 30, 2007
Below are three of 15 retrospective videos created for the exhibit.
The Paper and Plastic Fashion Show
The Heroes Exhibit
The Overdrawn Exhibit