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The One Minutes World
    2008-06-25 20:10:46     CRIENGLISH.com

What would you do with sixty seconds of complete freedom? The "One Minute Foundation" from Holland is inviting young video artists from around the world to make one minute movies. The foundation is currently holding the "World One Minutes" exhibition at the Beijing Today Art Museum, where two participating artists are on site organizing workshops with Chinese artists. Our reporter went to the workshop to see how things were going.

One minute, what could possibly happen in just one minute?

"In a minute, you change your mind, in a minute you make a great decision in you life. I thought it was too short at first, but then I figured, when it's good, you only need one minute to make a statement."

"The One Minutes are a very nice length. People can express their idea within the short time of one minute."

"The One Minutes really stand out and I think their power is in the fact that they are just one minute, because they grab your attention. They have to be successful."

The One Minutes refers to an exhibition in which one minute videos from 100 countries are shown. It opened on June 6th at the Today Art Museum in Beijing. One thousand one-minute videos lighted up the museum's main building. Within one minute, the artists are free to do whatever they want. Visitors will be amazed at what an artist can achieve with 60 seconds of freedom. Graphic Designer Melissa Agostino says this new art form fits in well with our fast-paced world.

"It's such a thing to have whatever you want to say in such a short time. You kind of have to be more concise about what you want to say. Like most people these days, I have a very short attention span, so you can get somebody's entire idea in a minute."

A one-minute workshop is being held along with the exhibition. Two professional artists from the One Minutes Foundation used 10 days to teach 25 Chinese art school students how to make a one-minute movie. Artist Ivo Van Stiphout explains that what is fantastic about a one minute film is that anybody can have a go.

"We found out that one minute is an easy, accessible format for people to get trained about video art. And also it's easy for the people to watch because if you don't like it, it only takes a minute. But it's not only about meeting people's ability to watch movies, but we found one minute format interesting because it's hard to condense a whole story to one minute. And a lot of things to explore within this time frame. So you can see the big diversity how people around the world actually deal with that format."

When you only have one minute, every second counts. The director is forced to think hard about what he is cramming into that short time length.

Zhang Yi, a senior from the Beijing Film Academy, shot a short video during the ten-day workshop. He compiled different images from nature, like flower blossoms and changing cloud formations into a one-minute video with a background track of human breath. He is trying to express the traditional Chinese philosophy that the entire universe lives and changes within a breath of time.

He believes his one-minute video will become a cultural experience, once it is completed. Viewers do get a chance to experience previously unfamiliar cultures by watching the videos from around the world.

"I think the cultural element is the most important thing. I can't understand the works of some artists' because we have different cultural backgrounds. But because they are from a different culture, they look even more attractive. But for those I do understand, I also find them interesting because it makes me feel human; we share something in common, no matter where the video tapes come from."

All the students gathered in the small cinema at the museum at the conclusion of the 10-day workshop to begin their visual journey through the compilation of works done by their classmates. One of the tutors, Avi Krispin, thinks that although not all of the viewers will feel connected to every artist's particular minute, the workshop does encourage students to explore new ways to convey their messages.

"They can let go of a certain way of working and try a different approach which I think gives them another idea or way of looking at things. It gives ideas of how a new approach, a new way you can think about doing things."

After the students are inspired with a genuine idea, the two artists helped them to hold on to it and then execute it. Zhou Yin, a postgraduate student from the Beijing Film Academy got his project idea from watching the short movies of the other artists. He turned to his tutors for help when he ran into problems.

"The two teachers encouraged us to develop our own interest. They were very supportive. They didn't interfere with our ideas; instead they talked to us individually and showed us how to dig deep into the subjects we were dealing with by using the available technology."

Zhou Yin feels that he received a lot of benefit from working together with the artists and art school students for 10 days.
"The atmosphere gave me ideas for future works. I found a group of people with the same interests as mine. We didn't know each other at the beginning, but after a few days, we worked together closely. The workshop is a good stimulant for the brain."

After Beijing, the World One Minutes will continue on to its next stop on its worldwide tour to spread the idea of mini-video expression.

 

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