The Art of The Pop Video

Moving image and music have skipped lovingly hand-in-hand for around 80 years cementing a relationship which is much bigger than the MTV dalliance of the 80s and 90s. 


Pet Shop Boys - Go West
Pet Shop Boys – Go West

New exhibition The Art of The Pop Video will take a forensic look at the subject with Fact gallery presenting more than 100 videos.

 The story will take visitors through Fred Astaire’s choreographed scenes in the film Top Hat and the virals of OK Go – which arguably became bigger then the band – via both big budget Hollywood directed videos and DIY efforts.

The exhibition will aim to map the history of music videos, and speculate on the future of an increasingly accessible and immediate format.

A sense of the pop video’s history has been imbued through things you might expect like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and things you might not, like man of the moment Man Ray who’s 1926 film Emak Bakia is the oldest in the exhibition.

The Conquest of the Arts looks at videos made by bands with a visual arts background and includes New Order’s Blue Monday, and Franz Ferdinand’s Do You Want To.

The Dancing of Politics takes in Pink Floyd, Arcade Fire and Pussy Riot’s political statements, while Dance itself is celebrated by the likes Robbie Williams’ Rock DJ and Grace Jones’ Slave to the Rhythm.

Meanwhile Amateur looks at lo-fi hit videos such as Fatboy Slim’s Praise You, which gave infamy to a fictitious community dance group, and Weezer’s Pork and Beans that featured people who had become internet sensations.

There’s a great deal more to see as well, divided by subsections including Abstractions, The Conquest of Film, The Wilderness Downtown, and Local Heroes, which dips into a rich Liverpudlian history charting videos by the likes of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, OMD, Ladytron, and The Beatles.

Ok Go - White Knuckles
Ok Go – White Knuckles

To celebrate the lo-fi video, Fact and festival Liverpool Sound City launched an open call competition to make a video for Liverpool band Outfit. The winner will be shown at the exhibition, where the band will also play on launch night. (14 March)

Björk - It's Oh So Quiet
Björk – It’s Oh So Quiet

The Art of The Pop Video runs from 14-26 March at Fact, 88 Wood Street, Liverpool, L14

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