Don’t Talk to Strangers

Trinity Square Video and Pleasure Dome present:
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Harry Dodge (Los Angeles) and Alison S.M. Kobayashi (Toronto)
February 6 to March 6, 2010

This two-person exhibition features new work by two gifted performance artists who portray a range of eccentric invented characters; they employ video to show these personalities scrutinized by the mediating force of the camera. With each persona, the artists test not only different identities but also different ways of reacting to the pressure of being recorded. In Dodge’s This Beast Called Force (18 min, 2009) a character of unstable identity and shifting masks spars with TV images and proffers alternately cogent and dysphoric theses. Kobayashi’s DO GOOD (11 min, 2009) meanwhile features five girls forced to give video presentations explaining the brownie badges they have created and how they earned them. This ritual seems designed to tame all the restless and reckless energies of childhood – the volatile id of Dodge’s “beast.”

Harriet “Harry” Dodge is a visual artist working in video and sculpture, with a focus on shape, unnameability and hybridity/defiance. She has been acclaimed for her large-scale, performative monologues and her award-winning feature film By Hook or By Crook (2000). Dodge graduated with an MFA from Bard College, and became part of a videomaking team with Stanya Kahn whose work has been exhibited internationally, including at the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Dodge is also co-founder of the collaboration TESTHOLE, which has undertaken a series of community-based interventions/partnerships experimenting with decomposition and fertility, and teaches art and writing at CalArts, UCLA and UCSD.

Alison S.M. Kobayashi is a visual artist working in video, performance, installation and drawing. Working with found narratives from a variety of sources, including lost letters and discarded answering machine tapes, Kobayashi imagines identities for the subjects of these marginalized media. She incarnates a panoply of personas that are both studiously and playfully rendered. Kobayashi won the TSV Artistic Vision Award for Best Local Short Film at the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival (2006) and was awarded the Mississauga Arts Award for Best Emerging Artist (2007). Her films have been shown in Canada, the US and Hong Kong.

Trinity Square Video
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 376, Toronto, Canada
Hours: Monday to Friday 12–6pm, Saturday 12–4pm
Phone: 416-593-1332
www.trinitysquarevideo.com

Analogue: Pioneering Video from the UK, Canada, and Poland (1968-88)


Steve Partridge, Monitor 1, 1975

Analogue: Pioneering Video from the UK, Canada, and Poland (1968-88)
at Gallery Lambton, Sarnia, Ontario
February 5 – February 27, 2010

Analogue illuminates the early histories of video art in the UK, Canada, and Poland. By examining twenty years of artists’ video from these three countries, Analogue aims to broaden our understanding of this versatile medium, while charting its transition from the politicized margins of artistic practice to the mainstream.

Panel Discussion
Saturday, February 6th, 1:00 pm

Join Lisa Steele, Peggy Gale, Kim Tomczak and Deirdre Logue, in a discussion on the evolution of video art and its future from their unique perspectives as practitioners and curators.

Art & Ideas Screenings

Every Thursday during Analogue at 7:00pm, Gallery Lambton will screen a topical contemporary video program. Assistant Curator Cameron Starr invites the public to join him and local artist Tyler Manzon in discussion. The series is planned with an eye towards forging a deeper understanding of the role these works play in our community, in our collection and in the discourse of Canadian Art History.

Thursday, February 11th

Dream Deferred

Curated by Vtape
Dream Deferred features works dedicated to the poetic potential of dystopian notions. While they unravel destructive forces, each work promises trust, a hopeful end, and a setting free of all things good.

Thursday, February 18th

But what have you done for me lately? Analogue (89-09)
Curated by Cameron Starr

This screening will feature contemporary work from a select group of the video artists featured in the Analogue Exhibition. It will offer the viewer an opportunity to see the development of video art through the work of a few historically significant artists.

Thursday, February 25th

Anything they can do we can do better
Curated by Cameron Starr and Tyler Manzon

From Gallery Lambton’s contemporary video art collection, this screening will be comprised from submissions over the past 2 years. Manzon and Starr will offer their critical insights on the current state of video art, as demonstrated through the work of emerging contemporary video artists.

Gallery Lambton
Bayside Centre
150 N. Christina St.
Sarnia, ON N7T 7W5
519-336-8127
www.lclmg.org

FRAK FACEBOOK

Vtape is pleased to present:
Curatorial Incubator v.7:
FRAK FACEBOOK: celebrating the anti-social

Growing Up Stupid , curated by Mireille Bourgeois (Ottawa)
Vtape Video Gallery, February 16-20 2010

This year, The Curatorial Incubator, v7 – FRAK FACEBOOK: celebrating the anti-social called for proposals to participate in this research and presentation project that aims to uncover works that buck the current trend of “social networking” and “living in public” that is so prevalent today. FRAK FACEBOOK: celebrating the anti-social explores the urge to burrow under the covers, to hide in the basement – in short, the drive to NOT connect, to NOT be nice. Our 3 emerging curators have answered the call with gritty aplomb. With her programme, Mireille Bourgeois posits stupidity as “an act so powerful that it can interrupt the very foundation of thought.”

On her program: “This program focuses on non-narrative forms of video, using disorder, chaos, or the ridiculous subvert and revolt against overbearing structures such as war, mass-produced culture, and the rhetoric of power. Acting outside the bounds of social behavior is a way to at once distance oneself from society and history, and bring oneself closer to humanity, by communicating in a way that does not need language to be implicit or shared.”(M.B)

The Programme

Drawing Attention
Penelope Buitenhuis
20:00, 1984
Buitenhuis speaks from the position of youth in critical interaction with a world from which they want to liberate. Due to the complex phrasing of simple poetic words that lure us away from linear narration and into an underlining web of meaning, the characters take the form of punk Shakespearians.

Penelope Buitenhuis was born in Toronto, studied at UBC and the Sorbonne in Paris, Penelope graduated from the Simon Fraser University film program in the eighties. In 1989, a retrospective of her shorts called Guns, Girls and Guerillas was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, JFK centre in Washington and in Berkley. Publications on her work include a lengthy piece in Fringe Film in Canada, by Mike Hoolbloom. In 1990 Buitenhuis directed her first feature Trouble, a political rock and roll set in post-wall Berlin. The film won Best Film honors at Montreal Women’s Film Festival and the Magdeberg Film Festival in Germany. Her NFB documentary Tokyo Girls, about hostessing and geisha in Japan, won two Geminis and two Leo Awards in 2002 and best doc at the Columbus Film festival. She is presently developing feature film projects Midnight Climax, Punk Not Dead and Regenerate. http://www.penelopebuitenhuis.com

Black Flag
Istvan Kantor
9:00, 1998
Are we starved of food, or humanity? What can we do after all your choices have been taken away? Istvan Kantor’s Black Flag very literally suggests we can create chaos out of what has been forced onto us; television, concrete, machines and shiny objects meant to distract.

Istvan Kantor, recipient of the 2004 Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts, also known as Monty Cantsin, open-pop-star, the founder of Neoism, “Self-Appointed Leader of the People of the Lower East Side”, is an action based media artist/subvertainer/producer, active in many fields, performance, robotics, mixed-media, installation, painting, sound, music, video and new media. Kantor was born in Budapest where he studied medical science. In 1976, at age 26, he defected to Paris and from there he immigrated to Montreal. He also received many prestigious awards among them the Telefilm Canada Award for Best Canadian Film and Video in 1998, in Toronto and the Transmediale Award in 2001, in Berlin.

Skinny Teeth
Jennifer Reeves
7:00, 2001
In Skinny Teeth two teenage punk girls disrupt the stepford stale air of an Ohio shopping centre, challenges the expectations of social class and normative behaviour.

Jennifer Reeves (b. 1971, Sri Lanka) is a New York-based filmmaker. Her films have shown extensively, from the Berlin, New York, Vancouver, London, Sundance, and Seoul Film Festivals to the Robert Flaherty Seminar, Princeton University, and the Museum of Modern Art, and many independent cinemas in the US, Canada, and Europe. In late 2007 and early 2008, two major retrospectives of Reeves’ films were hosted by the Kino Arsenal in Berlin, and by the San Francisco Cinematheque. Reeves has also been awarded a 2008 Media Arts Fellowship from Renew Media/ Tribeca Film Institute, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, to develop a new experimental narrative feature FIRELIGHT SONG about the first female forest ranger in the United States. Reeves teaches film courses part-time at Cooper Union and the Bard College MFA Program.

What’s the love making babies for
Ryan Trecartin
20:00, 2003
With Trecartin, we face a very nasty human condition; the video operates as a portal from Alice in Wonderland, connecting us with the morbid reality of earth’s chaos.

Ryan Trecartin is one of the most innovative young artists working with video today. Trecartin’s fantastical video narratives seem to be conjured from a fever dream. Collaborating with an ensemble cast of family and friends, Trecartin merges sophisticated digital manipulations with footage from the Internet and pop culture, animations, and wildly stylized sets and performances. While the astonishing A Family Finds Entertainment (2005) has drawn comparisons to Jack Smith, early John Waters, and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Trecartin crafts startling visions that are thoroughly unique. (EAI)

Curator’s bio:
Mireille Bourgeois received a Bachelor in Fine Art in 2002 at NSCAD, and a Masters at the Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies in New York (2009). She has also independently curated/contributed to programs at the Eastern Edge Art Gallery, The NBCCD gallery, Electric Arts Intermix, Creative Times, Emerson Gallery and for the Canadian Museum of Civilization, as well as published critical writing in Visual Arts News, Creative Times Press, and C-Magazine.

Vtape
401 Richmond St., #452
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
416 351-1317
Tuesday-Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday 12-4pm
For more information, contact info@vtape.org

www.vtape.org

Binh Danh


Binh Danh. Dead # 4, Chlorophyll print and resin, 29.88″ x 26.34″, 2006

When Binh Danh prints pictures on leaves, something inexplicable happens. His small, green canvases expand beyond measure with both the seen and the unseen. The serenity of the Buddha on a circular nasturtium suggests a primordial, benevolent world; armed soldiers in camouflage, crouched in calla lily foliage, appear to be both predator and prey; and a young Vietnamese boy, held in the fingered palm of a philodendron, aches with human vulnerability.

As a photographer, Binh Danh has found that chlorophyll prints capture his belief in the interconnectedness of the natural world. One of his pictures features soldiers in the jungle; their image is printed on a very long, tropical leaf. “In a way,” he says, “the soldiers in their camouflage uniforms are becoming one with the landscape.” He also makes poignant use of leaves that are marred by insects or scarred by weather, which he finds add a sense of injury and decay to his prints.

From start to finish, his technique is this: Binh Danh begins by picking a leaf — often from his mother’s garden. To keep it from drying out, he fills a small bag with water and ties it to its stem. He places the leaf on a felt-covered board, and puts a negative directly on the leaf (he has an archive of images he’s collected from magazines and purchased online). He places glass over the leaf, clips the glass and board together, and puts the assemblage on the patio roof.

Binh Danh will check the image periodically to see how it’s “baking.” The process can last days or weeks. Four out of five times, he’s dissatisfied, and throws the leaf away. But when the chlorophyll print is right — whether precisely rendered or eerily vague — he takes the leaf, fixes it in resin, and frames it.

Though the images he chooses are often haunting and heart-wrenching, the Vietnamese-born Danh is not angry about the difficult years his family experienced during the Vietnam War. The 25-year-old Stanford University graduate student says it’s time to lay aside blame. “I try to look at all positions,” he says, “and learn from history. So we don’t repeat it again.”

source: NPR, June 23, 2003

more images

Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel

diana

Featuring photos taken by paparazzi and others who happened on the scene, this documentary examines the tragic 1997 car accident in which Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed died, and tells the story of the photographers who were arrested. Produced by the U.K.’s Channel 4, the program reveals a never-before-scene photographic record of the events that transpired in the hour following the crash in Paris’s Pont de l’Alma tunnel. Director: Janice Sutherland, Stuart Tanner (Netflix Description)