VideoFest '93 brings together a selection from the sixth Berlin Video Festival. Until the mid-1980s, video was only a small section within the International Forum of Young Film. In 1988, the Forum dedicated itself entirely to video, which was the signal for MedienOperative to organise an autonomous festival to present independent video work. Since then, VideoFest has grown and advanced to become one of the most important international video festivals. The sixth festival, held in 1993, included 241 tapes from 21 countries and attracted more than 6,000 viewers. The microcosm from the selection that is presented here reveals the character of the festival: programmes with structured content in which all genres are represented, from computer animation and video art to documentaries and narrative video fiction. Poetic videos are presented alongside decively political works, with innovative power and the search for a new visual language always used as the selection criteria.
On the sidelines of the competitive sections, parallel programmes present thematic, personal, national and historical ‘accents’. VideoFest 1993 was put together under the banner of French vidéo-création, taking on the risk inherent in an experiment of this nature: for the first time, the current scene in an entire country was presented.
Another section included a wealth of Latin American videos that, in various forms, articulate the reference to social and political themes, constituting an important opposing force to the many purely formal video art tapes done in the European style. North America was also well represented this year. After the historic video retrospective Made in USA in the 1992 festival, the New York-based distributor Electronic Arts Intermix presented a complete thematic selection from their archive. At the same time, with Jem Cohen (Kabul, 1962), it was possible to once again discover a young artist who represents the link between the art and documentary genres in the tradition of a series (originally entitled Artist in Residence), to which Paul Garrin (Philadelphia, 1957), Jon Alpert (Chicago, 1948) and Jean-Louis Le Tacon were invited. The programme being presented at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía includes some of the most important works from the pieces presented at VideoFest '93, a sample as heterogeneous as it is enriching.