Video Art

video artA selection of Mark Graver’s video works

Abbey Parish Memorials 2015 from Mark Graver on Vimeo.

The ten street memorials in the Abbey parish, St Albans, UK were unveiled in 1920 and 1921 to commemorate the dead of the 1914-18 war.
The wall plaques recorded the names of more than 100 men, including nine pairs of brothers, who from a small group of streets around the Abbey left their homes, never to return.
It is believed these memorials are unique. The Imperial War Museum knows of no others still in existence.

Umbra Sumus  – HD Video, Home Movie (Super 8), Sound 2015

Umbra Sumus – HD Video, found sound/original music, 2013

Taken from a quote by Horace Pulvis et umbra sumus (we are but dust and shadow) Umbra Sumus is an ongoing project begun in 2013.  The work is partly a response to the death, in January 2011, of my father and to the universality of passing time.

Containing and connecting photography, printmaking, video and sound the project is made up of photopolymer and acrylic resist etchings each 200 x 200 mm. Video and sound works complement the prints.

The use of shadows alludes to the movement of light and therefore to the passing of time and, ultimately, to mortality.  Still images are used for the etchings while the video works allow for an actual temporal experience using the same or similar source material.  The use of photographs, video and found sound relates also to place, and again reinforces the idea of time.  Time fixed, or recorded, in a specific place, reproduced then re-presented through video.  The shadow source photographs are gathered from different places and countries to emphasise the universal correspondence of shared existence and place. Material for the project has so far been collected in NZ, UK and Thailand.

Kissing Gates – HD video, field recordings/sound, 2013

Dotted along public footpaths, Kissing Gates punctuate the English countryside. This film is made with footage and field recordings gathered in the heart of Constable Country, between Dedham Vale and Flatford Mill, Suffolk in August 2013.


Human Condition  – HD Video, sampled sound, 2013

Human Condition is part of  a collaborative project between artists and writers in NZ called Chain Reaction, . The work was made in response to a poem sent to me, I then sent the work on to the next person in the chain.The film is made from footage recorded at Tate Modern London, overlaid on a shot of Art at Wharepuke Gallery, Kerikeri, NZ with the soundtrack sampled from the footage itself. When reviewing the footage the phrase ‘..related to the human condition’, spoken by a guide to a tour group about a particular artists work had been recorded. The chance aspect of the phrase and it’s significance related well to the poem I’d been asked to respond to.  The footage was shot at the Tate on the day I fist heard about the death of the artists Cy Twombly and is, in part, an homage to him and his work.


Forty Four Sounds – HD Video, found sound, 2012

Forty Four Sounds is a text based, sound collage, film work.  The text was arrived at through a random selection of previously chosen words and phrases. The soundtrack was then composed from samples of forty four found sounds.  There are 44 frames/prints and the video lasts for 4 minutes and 44 seconds.

The work and its process references Dada poetry and sound and the chance compositions of John Cage.

The work can be realised in a number of formats, as an installation of 44 digitally printed magnetic text panels and video or as separate elements, prints, video or sound.

Impression- HD Video, sampled sound, 2012

Impression is a response to Impressionist painting, the work of Monet and in particular his Nymphéas series.  It is said that the camera freed painters from the need to represent, allowing greater expression leading to abstraction while the photograph became the depicter of reality (truth).

This film references environments similar to those that inspired Monet’s great works and uses the camera and modern technology to explore ideas of the real, the impression with a sound track sampled from Debussy’s La Mer

The Hay Wain – HD Video, digital drawing animation, 2012

Part of the installation ‘Constable Country’ The Hay Wain is an animated digital drawing.  As a child my Grandmother used to take me to Dedham Vale to visit the sites of Constable’s great paintings (she also painted her own versions for friends, changing colours and tones to match their home decor).  The installation uses reproductions of Constable’s paintings bought from charity shops and on-line auctions.  These are hung in 6 x 4 feet blocks to replicate the size of the original works.  Most people come to Constable through reproductions, particularly here in NZ, and are often unaware of the scale of his original works.  The video records the process of producing a digital drawing based (literally) on The Hay Wain.  The drawing was first made on an iPad and then produced as a commercially printed postcard which is also part of the installation.  In 2013 I  re-visited the places where Constable painted around Dedham Vale and Flatford Mill and gathered footage for further video and sound works relating to the place, Constable’s paintings and my remembered experience.  This will be added to later versions of the project.

The first part of ‘Constable Country’ was shown at Art at Wharepuke, Kerikeri, NZ in January 2013. The installation addresses questions of originality and reproduction, memory and place and the meaning contained within the reproducible artistic process.