Peter Campus, Easement, 2012, videograph framed on video screen, dimensions variable
The Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is pleased to present now and then, an exhibition of historic and recent work by Peter Campus.
Peter Campus (b. 1937) is widely regarded as a central figure in the video art movement of the early 1970s. Having emerged among a group of artists including Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, and Joan Jonas, Campus’s early work pioneered the use of single-channel videotapes and closed-circuit video cameras as an art form. He has influenced generations of artists while his current work continues to push the boundaries of innovation and aesthetic potential.
Campus’s investigations into the apparatus of the video system and the relationship of the camera to the space it occupies were elaborated in a series of installations from the 1970s. Kiva , one of his earliest recognized video installations, is composed of a monitor with a closed-circuit camera mounted on top. The camera is pointed directly at the viewer of the monitor; however, its view is restricted and manipulated by suspended mirrors. The viewer is placed in the rare position of seeing their image in real time outside of themselves, as if they are simultaneously an observer and an actor. This situation of interactive engagement between viewer and image is further explored in his seminal works Anamnesis  and cir , both on view in this exhibition.
In 1979, Campus turned to photography while shifting his subject matter outward, from the inner self to the outside world. His newest works continue this focus on nature, presenting visual sequences of landscapes, pared down to basic elements of form, color, and movement, but which resonate with ontological musings on perception and temporal experience. Campus extensively manipulates video of the Long Island shores, transforming a traditional format into something simultaneously Modernist and 21st century. Shown on high-definition monitors, these works first appear static but are actually in perpetual motion. Within these subjects, he has remained keenly attuned to the power of technology, and its ability to transform visual and mental perception. Video—the apparatus itself and the experience of watching—becomes an extension of the physical processes involved in discerning reality and experiencing time.
Peter Campus’s work is included in the permanent collections of numerous institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He has been honored with Fellowships from the Guggenheim Museum and the National Endowment for the Arts.