SINGLE-CHANNEL 4: Gravitas
The Days of the Family of the Bell
May 3 — July 7, 2013
Video gallery, Richard Meier building
Single-channel is a program dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of important single-
channel video by contemporary artists. Each year-long series is dedicated to a specific theme
explored in unexpected and surprising ways by artists from around the world. The exhibition format
presents one video for approximately 12 weeks in the video gallery of the Richard Meier building.
Single-channel 4: Gravitas explores the myriad ways in which the notion of gravitas can be applied
to various video works while not ascribing to the traditional parameters of the thematic exhibition.
The standard definition of the word emphasizes solemnity, seriousness, and importance, while
its Latin root is derived from gravitas: weight or gravis: heavy. The term gravitas is also linguistically
connected to the term gravity, which relates to energy, motion, and force. All of the works
presented in Single-channel 4 will relate in some way to these definitions, yet will assert their singular characteristics and unique view of the world.
Gilad Ratman uses performance and video as a way of addressing the impossibility of deciphering the real from the make believe. His recent video The Days of the Family of the Bell, 2012, draws inspiration from a 1907 short film by director Segundo de Chomo´n entitled “Les Kiri-Kis” in which a family of Japanese acrobats fakes a gravity defying performance. In Ratman’s version, he collaborates with professionals, amateurs, and friends to re-imagine Chomo´n’s vision and in doing so, shows us a world where struggle and empathy can coexist. The video also argues for the fundamental human need for interdependence, while poignantly illustrating the pains, struggles, and rewards that come from true collaboration.