Moving Image In The Art Museum or The Gallery

Today, we have many methods to access moving images, such as cinemas, video websites and art museums and so on.

“In comparison to recent digital applications, such as cell- phone cinema or DVDs watched on small computer screens, the museum auditorium guarantees a cinema of atmosphere, ritual, and careful programming.With small movie theaters awash in financial difficulties, the museum is the new temple of cinephilia” (Vacche,2012:2).

Therefore, the art museum has lately become an important place to access moving images and many artists choose to exhibit their work in museums. In art museums, there are some film installations and cinema assemblages, which can offer audiences a better visual effect. In addition, they have opportunities to access more independent filmmakers’ works in museums or galleries.

Many filmmakers exhibit their work in museums and galleries. For example, William Kentridge’s animated films exhibited in Tate gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Whitechapel Gallery and so on. Thick time, which is one of his works, includes two audio-visual installations, namely The Refusal of Time(2012) and O Sentimental Machine (2015). It is an exhibition of primarily video installations and there are many drawings embodied in these videos. This is a special art form and it is attractive for audiences.

For some filmmakers, galleries and museums provide a good place to exhibit their work and they can have more forms to show it. They can choose single screen or multiple screens and even use digital technologies to present better visual effects. In addition to this,

“the museum saves objects but erases personal stories about relationships. By contrast, the cinema is always about beginnings and outward- bound spins of energy originating from absent objects, but forming new bonds” (Vacche,2012:18).

The Museum is a powerful place to preserve film’s archive and footage, rather than simply providing something to view. However, this does not mean that museums or galleries are better than cinema, DVD and so on. Different films can be presented differently and these methods have different advantages in this context.


Vacche, D.A. (2012), “Introduction: A Cosmology of Contingency” in: Vacche ed. Film, Art, New Media: A Museum without Walls?, Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 1-22.

Whitechapel Gallery (2016). Thick Time (2003). Available from [Accessed 14 February 2017]

Written by Dandan Li


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