peter campus

video ergo sum

September 2 – December 8, 2019


peter campus video ergo sum is a single exhibition shared by two venues,
Hanes Art Gallery (2 sept-8 dec), and SECCA (6 sept-29 dec).

Works at SECCA include the interactive installations anamnesis, interface and dor which were created by campus in the early to mid-seventies, along with more recent work like barn at north fork that makes use of high-definition video technology.

Along with seminal early video works such as three transitions, Hanes Gallery is presenting a duo of 4-channel installations, optical sockets and convergence, which bracket the span of campus’ oeuvre, from the early 70s to 2016.

peter campus’ contributions as a pioneer of video art have not been reflected in a larger awareness of his work. This is due in part to the technical complexities of his early works, which has limited their public exposure. All of campus’pieces, from the closed-circuit video installations he began making in 1971 to his more recent work, may be said to explore the processes of perception and vision, exploiting the specific characteristics of both the electronic and later the digital image.

For visitors, video ergo sum is truly experiential, requiring them to actively engage the artworks’ mechanism and thereby creating the work itself. Thanks to the use of the “live image,” the artist’s interactive works from the 1970s are a source of mystery and strangeness, generating disconcerting and destabilizing iterations and repetitions of one’s own image.

In 1978, peter campus set aside video to devote himself to photography and working outdoors. When he returned to video in 1996 the medium was now digital, and the equipment much more manageable. His “videographs” of familiar environments, beginning in 2007, were composed of static, unedited shots; intimate and poetic, and quietly experimental.

campus’s treatment of the images, at the level of the pixel, creates a certain degree of abstraction, engaging the viewer in a new exercise of perception and interpretation. His intense connection to the site chosen and his attention to light, colour and framing may best be seen in his most recent work, created specially for this exhibition and presented in this instance at the Hanes Gallery. Filmed in a natural setting in ultra-high definition (4K), in convergence d’images vers le port the visitor’s gaze intersects with the sensibility and emotion of the artist’s vision.

“Video never left me,” claims Peter Campus. It is his medium. video ergo sum.


Curator: Anne-Marie Duguet

Exhibition organized by the Jeu de Paume, Paris, with the participation of the Hanes Art Gallery, Wake Forest University, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, in collaboration with Cristin Tierney Gallery, NYC, for its presentation in Winston-Salem, NC. Additionally, Reynolda House Museum of American Art is presenting works of peter campus in support of video ergo sum.


October 15, SECCA, 6pm: video ergo sum reception followed by a 7pm conversation with Peter Campus and Valerie Hillings

October 16, Reynolda House, 4:30pm: panel discussion: video|installation|presentation|conservation