LISBON — There is a massive survey of video art from the last 10 years at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT). Titled Tensão & Conflito (Tension & Conflict), it focuses on the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath, and is challenging not only in its content, but in how it demands a viewer’s sustained attention.
“We know from statistics that have been published recently, that people now tend to spend even less than one minute in front of an artwork,” said the museum’s director and exhibition curator, Pedro Gadanho, in a telephone interview with Hyperallergic. “And therefore video becomes much more challenging, because people are not used to the fact that, rather than just glimpsing at a work, they have to be there for five, six, seven, 10 minutes. For us it was a very interesting challenge to question that aspect, but I think it has been successful, because when I go around the exhibition, I see people sitting, paying attention, and really following the narrative. Because, at the same time, we know that video deploys a language that is much more common for people to relate to.”