Gerry Schum: TV Gallery at EAI

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
Oct 1, 2014 8:45PM

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)

535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor

New York, NY 10011

Admission $7/ Students $5

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Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and Deutsches Haus are pleased to present rare screenings of the work of filmmaker and television art pioneer Gerry Schum. From 1968 to 1970, Schum produced and broadcast original artist films on German television, through his Fernsehgalerie (TV Gallery) Gerry Schum. Schum’s Fernsehgalerie enlisted artists to conceive artwork specifically intended for viewing on TV. This radical model bypassed traditional institutions with the direct dispersal of artwork into the domestic space.

On Wednesday, October 8, EAI will screen Schum’s two groundbreaking TV exhibitions, Land Art (1969) and Identifications (1970), which included artists such as Joseph Beuys, Gilbert & George, Alighiero Boetti, Jan Dibbets, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, and Lawrence Weiner, among many others, followed by a discussion with curator Robyn Farrell. This will be the first formal presentation of Schum’s Fernsehgalerie in New York in thirty years, marking a unique opportunity to view this rarely accessible work and shed light on a lesser-known collaboration between European and American artists from 1967 to 1970.

The TV gallery only exists in a series of TV transmissions, that means TV Gallery is more or less a mental institution, which comes only into real existence in the moment of transmission by TV.”

      –Gerry Schum in a letter to Gene Youngblood, 1969

Like many working in the arts during this period, Schum—a documentary filmmaker for West German broadcast television—saw the traditional hierarchies of painting and sculpture as outdated, and the institutions in which they circulated as an inaccessible system. Together with his wife Ursula Wevers, Schum sought ways to break “the eternal triangle of studio, gallery, collector,” and employ network systems via conceptual means to achieve new forms of communication. In 1968 Gerry Schum initiated Fernsehgalerie (TV Gallery) Gerry Schum. Albeit brief, Schum’s project introduced a new framework for viewing earthworks, performance, and conceptual art in the context of everyday life, a practice carried on today.

Gerry Schum: TV Gallery at EAI, October 8, 6:30 pm:

Gerry Schum, Land Art - Fernsehausstellung I, Fernsehgalerie Berlin, 1969 (32 min)

The first exhibition featured works by Richard Long, Barry Flanagan, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, Marinus Boezem, Jan Dibbets, and Walter de Maria. These seven artists utilized water and land as art medium. The camera functioned as witness to earth-driven art installations, capturing and dispersing artistic process outside the typical studio environment. Schum is now recognized as coining the term “Land Art” with this 1969 broadcast. 

Gerry Schum, Identifications - Fernsehausstellung II, Fernsehgalerie Berlin, 1970 (36 min)

Schum’s second broadcast featured twenty artists from six countries, including Joseph Beuys, Klaus Rinke, Ulrich Rückriem, Daniel Buren, Hamish Fulton, Gilbert & George, Stanley Brouwn, Ger van Elk, Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Mario Merz, Keith Sonnier, Richard Serra, Franz Erhard Walther, and Lawrence Weiner. Their contributions, which ran from thirty-five seconds to five minutes, revealed an artistic concern with designed action, including physical interactions with the camera. This Fernsehgalerie production exhibited what Schum asserted as the new mode of art experience: “(...) We no longer experience the art object as a painting or sculpture with no contact to the artist. In the TV object the artist can reduce his object to the attitude, to the mere gesture, as a reference to his conception.”


Gerry Schum (b. Cologne 1938-1973) studied television and film production at the Deutsches Institut für Film und Fernsehen in Munich, and at Deutsche Film-und Fernsehakademie Berlin from 1961 to 1968. He began work as a cameraman and filmmaker for television broadcast stations in Berlin around 1966, completing a series of documentary collaborations for television broadcast: Schaustücke - Ereignisse (Showpieces - Events)(1967); Kunst-Biennale San Marino (1967); and Konsumkunst-Kunstkosum (Consumption-Art, Art-Consumption)(1968). With Ursula Wevers, he initiated Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum, 1968–1970 and Videogalerie Schum, 1971–1973. Over the course of five years, Schum worked as collaborator and cameraman to broadcast and distribute artist films and videos by John Baldessari, Joseph Beuys, Jan Dibbets, Gilbert & George, Mario Merz, Bruce Nauman, Ulrich Rückriem, Richard Serra, Ger van Elk, and Lawrence Weiner, and others. In 1972 Schum was commissioned to present video art sections at Documenta 5 and the Venice Biennale. Before his death in 1973 Schum accepted the position of curator for the first video art studio at Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany.

Robyn Farrell is a writer and curator based in Chicago. Her academic interests include the intersection of contemporary art, technology, and time-based media, and early European video collectives circa 1970. She has participated in panels and conferences on this topic at the University of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the College Art Association Annual Conference. Robyn has organized exhibitions and screenings throughout the Chicago area and has written for organizations including INTUIT: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, the DePaul Art Museum, Conversations at the Edge at the Gene Siskel Film Center, ArtSlant Chicago, Jettison Quarterly, and Timeout Chicago. She is currently Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.

On Tuesday,October 7, 6:30 pm, Deutsches Haus will screen rare documentary films produced by Schum, including Dies alles Herzchen wird einmal dir gehören (All This Darling Will Once Belong To You) (1967, 6:55 min) with a lecture by curator Robyn Farrell. 

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About EAI

Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world’s leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI’s core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI’s activities include viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists’ talks, exhibitions, and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art:

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