Vernissage TV was Founded in September 2005 and broadcast from Basel (the art capital of Switzerland with noteworthy locales like Messe Schweiz and events like the annual Swiss celebration Art Basel). Vernissage, which is French for an exhibition or event opening, is a non-profit network that gives those of us incapable of jet-setting around Europe the opportunity to view art galleries and festivals around the world in streaming video.

Vernisasage TV’s global correspondents take viewers into galleries, museums, and festival openings, sharing the experience of the art world’s social side through video clips and interviews with gallery owners and curators.

The videos, which average about 40mb each and are posted about 10-30 times a month, each focus on one exhibit and make viewers feel as though they were experiencing openings at venues like Chile’s Telefónica Foundation and Germany’s Klosterfelde Gallery in person. A sense of cinema verité is also present in the clips, due aided by the videos’ lack of narration.

While the various hosts interview artists, curators, and gallery owners, the camera zooms on discussed pieces as gallery-goers mill about, talking art, enjoying cocktails, and texting on their cell phones. A clip filmed during Oliver Ross’s opening at the White Trash Contemporary (WTC) in Hamburg highlights his brightly colored paintings and sculptures. Though most of the tours are filmed in Europe, the interviews are conducted in English and the site’s coverage of the 2006 Armory Show in New York City is just one example of their global interests. There’s also a newsletter, which can be viewed in PDF format.

The three-part interview series with Ambra Medda of Design Miami/Basel helps explain why Basel has become an art mecca in Europe and gives reasons for her choice to host an exhibit there.

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