An alchemy occurs when the outer world is transformed into video: it becomes mind-stuff. I carry this process forward, questioning the nature of reality, exploring time and dimensionality by weaving fragments of the world into new patterns. In this way, video can enjoy the same freedom as painting and music; it can be something, not just about something.
Van McElwee’s body of work includes over fifty video installations and single channel works.
Selected one-person shows and installations include: Anthology Film Archives, New York City, The Kitchen, New York City, The Shanghai Duolun Museum of Art, China, a retrospective and six installations at The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Galerie Trabant, Austria, a twenty-five year retrospective at St. Louis University Museum of Art, Thread Waxing Space, New York, a ten-year survey at Rencontres Video Art Plastique in France; Argos Gallery in Belgium; two one-person shows at Berkeley Museum of Art Pacific Film Archive, California; a Virginia Museum of Art touring exhibition, The Marsh Gallery at the University of Richmond, Virginia; Medienwerkstatt in Vienna; a video wall at the Continental Insurance Building, New York, Citicorp Center, New York, Ohio University Gallery of Art, Athens; Artist’s Television Access, San Francisco and a commissioned installation for the COSI Museum in Columbus, Ohio.
Selected group shows and festivals include: Paula Cooper Gallery New York for the NAP Video Biennial, The Long Beach Museum of Art, Ars Electronica, ZKM, Siggraph, Camden Arts Centre, UK, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Wexner Center for the Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum, New York Video Festival, Berlin Film Festival, London Film Festival, Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo, Experimental Intermedia, New York, Worldwide Video Festival at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Impakt, Videonale, Bonn, Black Maria Festival, European Media Arts Festival, Artpool, Budapest, Montevideo, Amsterdam, an installation at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Art in General, New York, Onion City Film Festival, Digital Dance Festival, Seoul, Korea, The New York Expo, The Biennial of Media and Architecture, Graz, Austria, a video wall at the Dallas Museum of Art for the Dallas Video Festival; an Installation at The International Symposium on Electronic Arts in Montreal; an installation at F.A U.S.T. in France; an installation at the Palais des Beaux Arts, Lille, France, for the Lille International Film Festival, and installations at international art fairs in London, Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Zurich.
Broadcasts include the United States, Germany, Switzerland, France and Brazil.
Grants and awards include: The American Film Institute Independent Filmmaker Award; Seven Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts Independent Production Fund; a travel grant from the Government of India and two production grants from Media Arts in Missouri. McElwee was Artist-in-Residence at the Experimental Television Center, Owego, New York.
Other awards include: the Grand Prize at the New Arts Program Biennial, the Experimental Video Award at the Athens International Film and Video Festival; Director’s Choice Award from the Black Maria Festival; Award of Excellence, Award of Recognition, and the Wendy Hearn Invitational Award, from the Missouri Video Festival; Award of Merit from the Sinking Creek Festival; Honorable Mention at Film+Arc in Austria; a Jury Award from the New York Expo and the Center for New Television Consulting Award, three research grants from Webster University in St. Louis and a commission from the New Music Circle, St. Louis, MO for “Van McElwee and Friends” at the St. Louis Art Museum.
Nominations include: The International Award for Media Art (seven nominations,) sponsored by ZKM & SWR Television in Germany; The Rockefeller Foundation Intercultural Fellowship(1994),
The Rockefeller Foundation Media Arts Fellowship (2002, 2003 2004and 2005).
McElwee’s work is represented by Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, The Kitchen in New York, Heure Exquise! in France, Inter Media Art Institute in Germany, LUX in the United Kingdom and Galerie Trabant, Austria. McElwee’s works are archived in numerous international collections.
Education: MFA in Multimedia 1978, Washington University School of Art; Merit Scholarship; studied with electronic music composer Tom Hamilton and sound and light pioneer Howard Jones.
BFA in Printmaking 1973, Memphis College of Art.
Van McElwee is Professor of Electronic and Photographic Media at Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri.