News Releases

“In the Loop: Contemporary Video Art from the European Union”

May 10, 2010

The cultural program of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (Jan. 1 through June 30) has recently conducted a European video art competition to showcase the latest films and artists from the EU. Each country was invited to submit three short videos for selection by a jury composed of judges from the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, The Phillips Collection and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, as well as artist Jefferson Pinder. The museums will screen the selections June 9-12.

This competition was initiated by the cultural counselors of the embassies of the EU member nations and the delegation of the European Union to the United States of America in Washington, D.C., and was designed to introduce American audiences to the latest European video art and artists.

“Our interest was to introduce Washington audiences to the work of contemporary video artists from the 27 member states of the EU, as these newer expressions of visual arts, profusely used by younger artists, are not easily accessible here—with exceptions—and this art form is a very popular medium in all our countries,” said Jorge Sobredo, the head of the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington.

 “The National Portrait Gallery has explored the medium of video in a variety of contemporary portraiture exhibitions, including the current ‘Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2009,’ and has begun collecting video for its own permanent collection,” said Carolyn Carr, deputy director and chief curator of the museum. “The Portrait Gallery is delighted to look at video created from a distinctly European perspective.”

Videos to be screened at each museum have a strong thematic link: the National Portrait Gallery was particularly interested in videos that touch on portraiture and identity, the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center will show videos that have a social or political theme and The Phillips Collection screenings will have an aesthetic feel.

Entrants submitted works created after January 2007, and they demonstrate a wide variety of approaches: narrative, non-narrative, abstract and representational.

Free screenings will take place on the following dates:

“In the Loop: Contemporary Video Art from the European Union”
Location: American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Wednesday, June 9
6:30 p.m.
The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center screening theme is social and political.

“In the Loop: Contemporary Video Art from the European Union”
Location: The Phillips Collection
Thursday, June 10
6:30 p.m.
The Phillips Collection screening theme is aesthetic.

“In the Loop: Contemporary Video Art from the European Union”
Location: National Portrait Gallery
Saturday, June 12
2 p.m.
The National Portrait Gallery screening theme is portraiture and identity; it will screen all videos at this event.

The members of the jury that selected the works to be screened at the three organizing venues were: Carr; Rebecca Kasemeyer, director of education of the National Portrait Gallery; Ruth Perlin, associate director, Center for the Study of Modern Art of The Phillips Collection; Jack Rasmussen, director and curator American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center; Brooke Rosenblatt, manager of public programs and in-gallery interpretation of The Phillips Collection; Vesela Sretenovic, curator of modern and contemporary art of The Phillips Collection; and Pinder.

Video Artists Selected for Venues

National Portrait Gallery

Austria: People Who Like Bonnie Tyler by Susanne Jirkuff
Belgium: All Together Now by Hans Op de Beeck
Cyprus: The Calm by Yioula Hadjigeorgia
Germany: Sorry Curator by Annette Hollywood
Greece: About 6’ by Katerina Zacharopoulou
Malta: My Friends Call Me Ado by Patrick J. Fenech
Spain: Metropolis by Sergio Belinchon

American University

Bulgaria: untitled by Iva Nikolova
Czech Republic: Before I was There by Jan Pfeiffer
Estonia: My House by Rait Rosin
France: Marie by Pascal Lievre
Ireland: Lucha Libre by Moira Tierney
Latvia: Gold Digger by Verina
Netherlands: Pas de Deux by Eddie D
Slovenia: Wear VII by Tomaz Furlan
Sweden: Small Talk by Erik Rosenlund

The Phillips Collection

Finland: Pulse + by Pink Twins
Italy: Anamorphosis by Gregorio Sgarra
Lithuania: Synchronisation by Rimas Sakalauskas
Luxembourg: ? by Trixy Weis
Poland: Triptych by Andrzej Jobcryk
Portugal: Intercontinental by Miguelangelo Veiga and Susana Guardado
Romania: Workshop Minute by Regele Ionescu
Slovakia: Urban Metamorphoses by P. Kisantal 

Denmark and Hungary did not participate.

Embassies and Delegation of the EU in Washington, D.C.

The cultural counselors of the 27 EU member state embassies and the delegation of the EU in Washington are dedicated to the promotion of closer ties with the United States through the strengthening of transatlantic cultural relations. Through its work, the EU offers the U.S. public an insight into the rich and diverse world of contemporary European culture with examples from all 27 member states.

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

The American University Museum is a three-story, public museum and sculpture garden located within the university’s Katzen Arts Center. The region’s largest university facility for exhibiting art, the museum has a permanent collection that highlights the donors’ holdings and AU’s Watkins collection. Rotating exhibitions emphasize regional, national and international contemporary art. The Katzen Arts Center brings all the visual and performing arts programs at AU into one space. Designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts, the Katzen includes the museum, the Abramson Family Recital Hall, the Studio Theatre, a dance studio, an electronics studio, artists’ studios, rehearsal space and classrooms. The museum, located at   4400 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. For more information call (202) 885-ARTS (2787).

The Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection, the first museum of modern and contemporary art to open in America, is one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist and modern American and European art. Its distinctive features include its small-scale galleries and its constantly changing installations. The Phillips actively collects and regularly organizes acclaimed exhibitions, many of which travel internationally. It offers multidisciplinary programs, many featuring contemporary artists, for teachers, students and adults. The museum’s Center for the Study of Modern Art explores new ways of thinking about art and creativity. The museum is located at 1600 21st Street N.W., Washington, D.C. Website:

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story. It is at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Admission is free and it is open every day, except Dec. 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000; (202) 633-5285 (TTY).

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Media Only
Bethany Bentley, National Portrait Gallery
(202) 633-8293

Maggie Barrett, American University
(202) 885- 5951

Cristina Fernandez, Embassy of Spain
(202) 299-7810

Cecilia Wagner, The Phillips Collection
(202) 387-2151, x235