Video Acts Single Channel Works from the Collections of Pamela and Richard Kramlich and New Art Trust

November 10, 2002–April 1, 2003

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art, presents Video Acts: Single Channel Works from the Collections of Pamela and Richard Kramlich and New Art Trust, an exhibition of performance-based artworks available in video format. Video Acts makes use of an exhibition design in which each video work is shown continuously and simultaneously on separate monitors or projectors. Allowing the viewer the time and space to relate the works to each other, this approach permits each work to be experienced on its own terms instead of in the context of video festivals or special screenings. This experimental approach to the exhibition's architecture references the archival nature of a private new media collection made available to a larger audience.

The exhibition echoes the Kramlich collection's focus on certain artists, its overview on early single channel pieces, and its specific acquisitions of recently produced single channel artworks and installations. More than one hundred works are on view, all of which date from the mid-1960s through 1998 and demonstrate the ongoing relationship between video and performance. The works in the exhibition were either made for video or later released as videos. Included are numerous landmarks in the development of performance video by Marina Abramovic and Ulay, Vito Acconci, Gilbert and George, Joan Jonas, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, and William Wegman as well as more recent work by Steve McQueen, Darren Almond, Pipilotti Rist, and others redefining the genre. Video Acts will be installed throughout P.S.1's first-floor galleries.

Video Acts was organized by Klaus Biesenbach, P.S.1 Chief Curator and founding director of KW (Kunst-Werke Berlin), with Barbara London, Associate Curator in MoMA's Department of Film and Media, and Christopher Eamon, Curator of the Kramlich Collection. All of the works were selected from the collection of videos in the Kramlich and New Art Trust collections.

The exhibition catalogue accompanying Video Acts: Single Channel Works from the Collections of Pamela and Richard Kramlich and New Art Trust, to be published by P.S.1, was edited by Biesenbach with contributions by Eamon and London.

Both of the collections from which this exhibition is drawn are the joint passion of Pamela and Richard Kramlich, who began collecting video art ten years ago. Though some of this world-class collection was exhibited in 1999 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the works in Video Acts have never been exhibited together.

The New Art Trust was founded by the Kramlichs to advance the media arts through the support of research and scholarship in the field. The preservation of video works by Nauman and Wegman was supported in part through New Art Trust initiatives and has advanced research in conserving video installation art. The single channel tape collection of the New Art Trust was formed initially through a gift from the Kramlichs.

Pamela Kramlich is a Board Trustee and a member of the Accessions Committee at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is a member of the National Council of the Aspen Art Museum and of the International Council of the Tate Modern in London, England.

Richard Kramlich is a founder and General Partner of New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm based in the Silicon Valley. He has been a member of the San Francisco Exploratorium Board for 18 years and currently serves as Vice Chairman. He is also a board member of the UCSF Foundation, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Bay Area Video Coalition.

  • Nam June Paik
    Merce by Merce by Paik (1978)
    Video, color, sound
    28  min 45 sec
    Collection of New Art Trust (NAT)

  • Nam June Paik
    TV Cello Premiere (1971)
    Video, color, silent
    7 min 25 sec
    Collection of New Art Trust (NAT)


This exhibition is made possible through generous contributions from Lawton W. Fitt, Ronald S. Lauder, David Teiger, the exhibition fund of the P.S.1 Board of Directors, and the partners of New Enterprise Associates, with additional support from Scharff Weisberg Inc., Electronic Arts Intermix and Video Data Bank.