Opens at the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA on May 17, 2014
Curated by Jonathan Wells and Meg Grey Wells of Flux
This groundbreaking exhibition explores music video as an important and influential art form in contemporary culture.
Although it has had an enormous influence on pop culture, music, cinema, fashion and advertising—music video as an art form has yet to receive consideration in a museum context. Spectacle changes all that. This is the first time a contemporary art museum has examined the music video format through a diverse exhibition—employing immersive environments, photography, video screenings, objects and interactive installations.
Spectacle features important examples from music video history, from the early pioneers and MTV masters who expertly used the medium to define their public identities, like Devo, Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson and Madonna, to artists like OK Go and Lady Gaga who follow in their footsteps today.
Spectacle also reveals the important contributions music video has made across genres. For example, many new filmmaking techniques prevalent today were first tested in music videos. And some of today's most innovative cinematic figures—David Fincher, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek and others—developed their signature style through experimentation with music videos.
The exhibition presents the changing landscape of the art of music video, highlighting the genre's place at the forefront of creative technology, and its role in pushing the boundaries of creative production. With innovation and exploration as hallmarks—from the A-Ha 'Take on Me' video, to Chris Milk, Radiohead and others introducing new forms of interactivity and viewer participation—it is apparent that music video as an art form is constantly being redefined.