The series Retrospective: German Video Art presents a retrospective of German video art from the 1980s to the present day. Axel Wirths, the curator, has organised the programme (a total of 34 pieces) into five blocks of works grouped according to their thematic dichotomies: Body and Soul, Politics and Daily Life, Nature and Technology, Music and Language and Irony and Fate.
Before the early 1980s, video art in Germany was not considered a form for artistic expression. During this era, neither the structures nor the means to exhibit these works existed; nor were there specialised critics or distribution methods. This situation meant that the first goal was to integrate video art into the traditional art scene and search for markets and ways to finance artists. During the 1970s and 80s, international video festivals were responsible for presenting these works, and their conservation was in the hands of the festivals and the distribution companies. It was only later that museums like the Kunstmuseum Bonn began to promote their own collections.
Trends in German video art reflect a development towards more complex forms of audiovisual art. Artists like Klaus von Bruch (Cologne, 1952) have been working with installations and video sculptures and others like Ingo Günther (Bad Eilsen, 1957) have taken their creations to the field of computers, using the Internet to do most of their work.