The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie brings into focus the complete video oeuvre of a pioneering Canadian artist. Tracing the development of Safdie's work and its implications for the future of media art, this volume provides a stunning perspective on her videos and sets a new standard for the presentation of video art in book form. Safdie's principal video works are presented in the form of more than 200 images, selected and arranged to suggest the content, rhythm, and movement of the videos themselves. Alongside the rich illustrations, the book explores Safdie's video art through a thoughtful introduction to the artist and two insightful critical essays. Eric Lewis relates her videos to her works in other media, considers how she poses key questions in the philosophy of art, and addresses issues concerning Jewish art and identity. He discusses the complex relationship between Safdie's video images and the improvised music she often employs as soundtracks. An essay by music scholar and conductor Eleanor Stubley explores the relationship between the body and mind in Safdie's videos, shedding light on the emotive and sensorial qualities of the breathing body. A vibrant appeal to both the eye and the mind, The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie showcases an artist at the vanguard of video and intermedia art and demonstrates how her work is representative of the next stage in artistic explorations of time, change, corporeality, and our place in nature.
Eric Lewis is associate professor of philosophy at McGill University and the director of the McGill Center for the Critical Study of Improvisation.