Online Screening: Troubling Nostalgia curated by Noor Bhangu

Online Screening: Troubling Nostalgia

curated by Noor Bhangu

Zwei Indianer Aus Winnipeg by Darryl Nepinak

2008 | 2:40

Two ersatz “Indian warriors” chase a beautiful Indian maiden through the streets of Winnipeg. But she loves Chief Big Bear. Who is the hunter, and who the hunted in this tableau? Based on the 1964 German song, “Zwei Indianer Aus Winnipeg,” our heroes are in for a surprise when they reach the Ancient Lake of Schweinsteiger. The film was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for their Culture Shock program.

Missed the online screening? Watch Zwei Indianer Aus Winnipeg on VUCAVU.com now!

The Indian Miracle by Divya Mehra

2004 | 2:33

A rickshaw driver and passenger chat about selfishness and trees without water.

Missed the online screening? Watch The Indian Miracle on VUCAVU.com now!

Documentary of My Father by Garland Lam Turner

2004 | 2:00

This documentary of the artist’s father is in Cantonese with English subtitles. The visual image is expressed by a technique called stop-motion painting where each stroke is recorded for 2 to 3 seconds. The footage is sped up to create a fluid painting motion.  Documentary of My Father is about Lam’s father before she knew him personally, before she was born.

Missed the online screening? Watch Documentary of My Father in VUCAVU.com now!

Troubling Nostalgia curator’s essay:

“Within modernity nostalgia is marginalized. It is treated as a failure to adapt… Nostalgia disturbs modern life.”

-Alastair Bonnett [Left in the Past: Radicalism and the Politics of Nostalgia, p.10]

In recent anti-colonial discourse, nostalgia has been employed as a strategy to revisit and revive pre-contact past on one’s own terms for one’s own. Because of its “failure to adapt” to the structures of modern life, nostalgia is evoked as a radical tool that can trouble the colonial. Through these films, I explore the ways in which nostalgia can also spill into and trouble the lives of those already marked by colonialism. In brushing up against colonial, pre-colonial, and personal sets of nostalgia Darryl Nepinak, Divya Mehra, and Garland Lam Turner deliberate on the persistence of memory in the present. Finally, in being troubled by and, in turn, troubling nostalgia, the artists demonstrate nostalgia’s incompatibility with radical modern life.

Darryl Nepinak’s Zwei Indianer Aus Winnipeg follows the adventures of two white men – costumed as Plains Indians – chasing a young Indigenous woman around the city of Winnipeg. Setting the tone for the drama is a 1964 German song whose chirpy notes facilitate a return to the not-so-distant romantic past when Indigenous bodies and lands were up for grabs. Running after the energetic, albeit bored, woman the hungry men are tricked into Lake of Schwinestieger, which activates their full transformation into indigeneity. Yet even after the emergence of Indigenous life from the fictional lake there linger notes from the German soundtrack – pointing us to consider how colonial nostalgia continues to haunt the contemporary landscape.

Divya Mehra’s The Indian Miracle articulates nostalgia of another variety, one that is produced through anti-colonial means. The film starts with the artist getting inside a motor-rickshaw, asking the driver if he knows the way to Vikram Hotel. After getting in the rickshaw, questions about directions are replaced by a dialogue on Deepak Chopra and ways to find inner peace. Deepak Chopra, like other self-help gurus, represents a peculiar kind of nostalgia that is rooted in the desire to return to pre-colonial India: a time when Hindus, Buddhists, Jains etc. are imagined to have existed in a peaceful whirlpool before the arrival of the Persian and then British colonizers. Mehra asks, “Do we have to ignore the poor to achieve inner peace?” Yes, because the future-oriented nostalgia of Chopra has no space for the troubled conditions of the present.

Sitting close to Nepinak and Mehra is the artist, Garland Lam Turner, whose work, Documentary of My Father, presents on the inheritance of familial history and the inheritor’s place within it. Produced through the technique of stop-motion painting, the film recounts the life of the artist’s father – his birth in Hong Kong, life under the Japanese invasion, education, work, marriage, and his eventual move to Canada. Lam’s film gives in completely to the unraveling of her father’s life and his portrait until the final moment, when the artist steps inside the frame to distinguish her place within her father’s narrative. Listening to one’s parents and their immigration histories is an ethical action but it is also true that listening can easily dissolve into a secondhand nostalgia, which can then encroach upon and diminish the agency of the listener.

About the curator:

Harnoor Bhangu holds a BA in History of Art from the University of Winnipeg, where she is currently working on her MA in Cultural Studies: Curatorial Practices. She focuses primarily on South Asian, Central Asian and Middle-Eastern artists who interrogate gender, religion and diaspora in their work. In her recent work, she has begun to look critically at the ways in which marginalized bodies take up or contest spaces online.

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Online Screening: Curated by Yasmin Nurming-Por

Online Screening – TV Dinner Curated by Yasmin Nurming-Por

Thunderbolt by Heidi Phillips

2015 | 3:55

Light explodes out of the darkness engulfing a young woman as she tries to find her way through the storm.

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Game On by Divya Mehra

2007 | 3:54

Being a real woman is never simple.

mehra-gameon

Missed the online screening? Watch Game On on VUCAVU.com now!

Forced Back by Nida Home Doherty

1983 | 2:30

Forced Back uses the structural aspects of the camera and the female figure to present personal feelings of gradually increasing constraint.

Doherty-ForcedBackA_1920x1080

Missed the online screening? Watch Forced Back on VUCAVU.com now!

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Online Screening: Pasts/Futures curated by Mariana Muñoz Gomez

Paths/Futures

curated by Mariana Muñoz Gomez

BOT I by Praba Pilar

2014 | 13:10

Performance artist Praba Pilar’s video version of her techno-obra performatica, BOT I. Samuel Beckett gave us “Not I,” Asimov gave us “I Robot,” and now, from the neo colonial world center of silicon nanobots of San Francisco, California, Pilar offers us BOT I. The body in the techno craze? The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency? Biopiracy and indigeneity? Military Robotics? Trafficking of women over the internet? E-Waste? Autobiographical and contemporary, this interpretation of the delusions and illusions of the technocultural era delivers us Out, Into This World….

pilar-BOT IA

Missed the online screening? Watch BOT I on VUCAVU.com now!

Sacred not sacred: pilgrimage by Shawn Olin Jordan

2014 | 4:00

Notions of externalized and internalized journeys, identity and place, and the mundane and the exotic are explored in a series of clips from an imagined nature documentary series. At question is our spiritual and psychological relationship with the land and how we project our unmet needs and desires onto it.

jordan-Sacred not sacred pilgrimageC

Missed the online screening? Watch Sacred not sacred: pilgrimage on VUCAVU.com now!

Still by Leah Decter

2011 | 3:51

still is part of an ongoing body of work that addresses the persistence of colonial structures in contemporary Canada through a critical white settler lens. These works confront facets of this overarching concern through a practice of performing interventions into the land/scape and tampering with iconic elements of Canadian visual culture. Integrating the residue of an off-camera performance within a quintessentially ‘Canadian’ landscape as a politically, culturally and historically mitigated representation, still speaks to the ways dominant nationalist mythologies work to conceal colonial realities and perpetuate the inequities of colonial logics.

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Missed the online screening? Watch Still on VUCAVU.com now!

Pasts/Futures notes from the Curator:

These video works bring up questions of possibilities for pasts and futures of a colonial, capitalist world.

In BOT I, a disembodied, feminized mouth becomes abstract, becomes part of the screen. Becomes a cyborg bursting with awareness, and painting a picture of a nearing apocalyptic world: hazardous materials, human trafficking, Christopher Columbus…STOP! Its programming informs this cyborg to become more “efficient,” but it resists.

Sacred not sacred: pilgrimage begins with a view of decontextualized landscape. Machines function among the frozen land, and forgotten remnants from an industrial world peek out through the snow. A meditative voice-over questions human relation to nature, the sublime, and the exotic. It asks, “what matters?”

As Sacred not sacred ends with themes of thawing and regeneration, Still opens with the hopeful sound of birds. But is it smoke that we’re looking at? Rushing water? A wider shot offers some context but a disappearing relic makes us question: was anyone ever there?

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Curators of the 2017 Online Screenings

Meet the Curators of the 2017 Online Screenings

Jessica Murwin-januaryJessica Murwin

January 2017

Jessica Murwin is an independent filmmaker and programmer based in Montreal, Quebec. Her focus is championing stories about and by women, First nations and LGBTQAI+ peoples in the hopes of reclaiming narratives from white-cis-hetero-patriarchy. She would love to meet your pets.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Madeline Jantz- marchMaddy Jantz

March 2017

My name is Maddy Jantz and I’m a student of sociology, musician and aspiring filmmaker. I’ve lived in Winnipeg my whole life, and am just beginning to step into the marvellous film scene that shines so brightly in our city. While choosing the pieces for this year’s International Women’s Day online screening, I saw it as crucial to choose pieces that would help us reflect on our world’s current state, as well as on our individual reactions and our shared humanity.

 

 

 

 


 

 

mariana headshot-JuneMariana Muñoz Gomez

July 2017

Mariana Muñoz Gomez is an artist living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is interested in addressing issues of identity, language, and otherness in her work, particularly as they relate to marginalization in the West.

 

 

 

 

 


Yasmin Nurming-Por-Septebmer

Yasmin Nurming-Por

September 2017

Yasmin Nurming-Por (b.1989) is a curator, writer and educator from Toronto, ON, based in Banff, AB. Previous curatorial projects include Blind White (2015), At Sea (2015), andARCTICNOISE(2015). Her writing has appeared in Drain Magazine, esse, Inuit Art Quarterly, thisistomorrow.org, and c magazine. In 2015-2016 she was a instructor of Art History and Media Writing at Humber College in Toronto. Yasmin holds an M.A. in Art History from the University of Toronto (2013), and is currently the Curatorial Research Practicum at the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre.

 

 


Noor Banghu- NovemberNoor Bhangu

November 2017

Harnoor Bhangu holds a BA in History of Art from the University of Winnipeg, where she is currently working on her MA in Cultural Studies: Curatorial Practices. She focuses primarily on South Asian, Central Asian and Middle-Eastern artists who interrogate gender, religion and diaspora in their work. In her recent work, she has begun to look critically at the ways in which marginalized bodies take up or contest spaces online.

 

 

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International Women’s Day Online Screening

International Women’s Day Online Screening (Mar 7, 2017)

Curated by Maddy Jantz

Armour for Living by Hope Peterson

1987 | 1:50

The Common Handbag: it contains the only survival equipment carried by many women.  Is it a useless burden, or a vital accessory?  This short story plunges into the woman’s “tool box”.

peterson-armourforlivingA

Missed the online screening? Watch Armour for Living on VUCAVU.com now!

Isolating Landscapes by Heidi Phillips

2007 | 5:00

Isolating Landscapes is a short experimental film which includes found footage of landscapes, sailboats, and people washing in water. Thematically, the work seeks to describe detachment and loneliness.

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Missed the online screening? Watch Isolating Landscapes on VUCAVU.com now!

Étoiles by Caroline Blais

2013 | 2:45

Meteors and lunar rocks seen through a microscope slowly morph into an interstellar landscape.

Des météorites et de roches lunaires vues à travers un microscope se transforment en un paysage interstellaire.

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Missed the online screening? Watch Étoiles on VUCAVU.com now!

Notes from the curator:

My name is Maddy Jantz and I’m a student of sociology, musician and aspiring filmmaker. I’ve lived in Winnipeg my whole life, and am just beginning to step into the marvellous film scene that shines so brightly in our city. While choosing the pieces for this year’s International Women’s Day online screening, I saw it as crucial to choose pieces that would help us reflect on our world’s current state, as well as on our individual reactions and our shared humanity.

The world has taken us down a strange path— one where sexism, racism and environmental disregard dominates and continues to persist. Many have risen up and fought for a more compassionate world, but despite this, we have found ourselves in a time where a man who embodies these exploitative ways runs the most powerful country in the world.

Marginalized groups have felt the weight of this exploitation since its inception— its deep roots are not easily ignored. For groups at the intersections of marginalities, this weight is even heavier. But never in modern times has our collective reality been so blatantly dismal.

In these turbulent times, the creation and appreciation of storytelling is increasingly important. Not only can rich stories restore our spirits, they may also offer us direction on how to reflect upon and express our inner turmoil. I hope that the specks of humanity within these stories resonate with you.

As the increasingly common protest chant goes, “people gonna rise like the water, gonna calm this crisis down.” We have risen in the past, both distant and recent, and we will continue to rise.  With chaos comes movement, and with movement, an opportunity for change. Its up to us to make the change a positive one.

Enjoy the Videos? Consider a donation to our Tape Archive!

Video Pool’s online screenings are made possible through the financial and volunteer support of individuals and organizations that contribute to the preservation and restoration of the 2200 titles in our archive. Your donation will directly support the preservation activities of more than 34 years of video making in Winnipeg, the Prairies and Canada, and will ensure Manitoba Video Art remains a significant part of the International dialogue.

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Online Screening: Journeys (Or alternatives to the Monomyth)

Journeys (Or alternatives to the Monomyth)

curated by Jessica Murwin

Brief Encounters and Sustained Engagement by Freya Björg Olafson

2012 | 10:00

Brief Encounters & Sustained Engagement is part of the AVATAR series exploring methods of creating, validating and disseminating one’s identity through the use of technology and the Internet.  The series is inspired by the mantra “I post therefore I am”, whereby Internet users legitimize their existence by documenting their lives and uploading this media to personal webpages and blogs.  The work in this series facilitates an inquiry into our desire to share and publicize our lives.

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Missed the online screening? Watch Brief Encounters & Sustained Engagement on VUCAVU.com now!

Eye Eye Captain! (Eau Claire) by Shawn Olin Jordan

2011 | 3:15

Narrated tale of the dynamics between passengers on a ship and extreme weather conditions using archived televised hurricane weather reports. The piece weaves together multiple layers of meaning: shifting perceptions, a mythological journey, and contemporary environmental issues.

jordan-Eye Eye Captain!B

Missed the online screening? Watch Eye Eye Captain! (Eau Claire) on VUCAVU.com now!

Roundtrip by Caroline Blais

2013 | 3:11

Leaving to travel, uprooting yourself, discovering new geographies, getting lost, finding yourself.

Partir en voyage, se dépayser, être dérouté, se changer les idées, revenir transformé.

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Missed the online screening? Watch Roundtrip on VUCAVU.com now!

Call to Adventure:

Brief Encounters & Sustained Engagement (Freya Bjorg Olafson, 2010)

You have woken from a dream into somewhere even stranger. A woman dances alone in a

room. The image is distorted, but you can make her out. A stream of individuals, one after

another, watches the woman. Some are curious, some baffled, some upset. But there is no

denying this act of dual voyeurism is exciting. Each new random individual representing a

potential interlocutor, changing the experience of the performance.

Multiple paths branch out. This is our starting point.

Initiation: Wherein we face the road of trails, woman is positioned as trouble source and

temptress, and clarity comes.

Eye Eye Captain (Eau Claire) (Shawn Olin Jordan, 2011)

A harrowing tale, a myth, in which the Captain of a tall ship has god-like powers to summon

storms and the narrator must be strapped to the mast for her own protection. What was it they

were after? Where was it they were going? At it’s heart, however, is much different narrative

about a journey less tangible.

Through experience we have become wiser.

The Return:

Roundtrip (Caroline Blais, 2013)

It has grown dark. The rhythm and structure of Roundtrip is hypnotic as we move through

landscapes that manage to be both nostalgic and unfamiliar; a cross-country through

fragments of land and sky, seasons and climates. We have traveled far and in this calm we

realized that we are home again, we have arrived.

Jessica Murwin is an independent filmmaker and programmer based in Montreal, Quebec.

Her focus is championing stories about and by women, First Nations and LGBTQAI+ peoples

in the hopes of reclaiming narratives from white-cis-hetero-patriarchy. She would love to get

to know your pets.

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Call for Curators for 2017 Online Screening Series

Video Pool is home to Winnipeg’s only dedicated video archive of experimental and documentary work.  It is an incredible national treasure, developed from nearly four

stills from March 2016 online screening from Wendy Geller, Christine Kirouac and Divya Mehra

stills from March 2016 online screening from Wendy Geller, Christine Kirouac and Divya Mehra

decades of material! For the past four years Video Pool Media Arts Centre has been holding online screenings three to four times a year, that allow us to share the video gems that are part of our archive. The titles are made available to view for free on Video Pool’s website for a 48 hour period.

We are seeking curators for 3 online screenings. Curators will be responsible for choosing 3 videos from the Video Pool Media Arts Centre catalogue, write a brief text (2 to 3 paragraphs) about the program they have put together, and promote the program. Curators will receive $150 for their time.

Video Pool is responsible for providing the support of our Distribution Coordinator to help the curator access videos they would like to preview, pay artist fees, do promotion of the screening, and set up the videos on our website.

The themes for the screening are open, however we would like the first screening to be in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017. The following screenings would take place in August and November.

The purpose of the screenings is to activate our archive and make artists work more accessible to the public. We will be using the screenings as an educational and fundraising opportunity for the archive.

Please email a letter of interest including a subject you would like to research and CV to:

Jennifer Smith

vpdist@videopool.org

204-949-9134 x.4

Deadline February 12, 2017

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Video Pool Media Arts Centre continues their online screening with Insomniac’s Dream

Insomniac’s Dream

In conjunction with Nuit Blanche Winnipeg 2016, Video Pool is excited share four works from our collection selected by Letch Kinloch and Kegan McFadden. Video Pool will host this selection for exclusive online viewing from Friday 30 September – Sunday 02 October.

Howie Cherman

Untitled (Time Stand Still Life), 1997
2:40, Black & White
The kinetic/static composition references a potential for action within the contained architectural and psychological space. The elements within the frame allude to an implied action within an implied narrative of continuous presence, though no action takes place.

 

Freya Bjorg Olafson
HYPER, 2012
3:00, colour
The word ‘hyper’ is derived from the Greek ‘above, beyond or outside’. In mathematics, hyper is used as a prefix, to denote four or more dimensions. Specifically, this work explores the possibility of passing to a fourth dimension wherein perception of past, present, and future becomes more fluid. This video was created in residency at Studio 303 Interdisciplinary Performance Centre in Montreal.
freya

Didn’t catch the online screening, watch HYPER_ on VUCAVU now.

 

 

Scott Leroux

Pepper Green Pepper, 2014

6:11, colour
Using a simple method of screen capturing low res images Scott Leroux creates a dense pallet of ever changing visuals drenched in subconscious efforts. Then par to the course is a score produced in similar fashion by XIE (eXperimental Improv Ensemble).
leroux-pepper-green-pepperb
Didn’t catch the online screening, watch Pepper Green Pepper on VUCAVU now.
Erika MacPherson
All of Me, 1996
3:06, b+w
An incident at the fridge. Some floozy, a gal in waiting, a gal in a camisole, a guy in a dress, a gal in a kilt, and a gal in charge. A meal of knowledge, a kiss… an incident.

macpherson-allofmed

Didn’t catch the online screening, watch All of Me on VUCAVU now.

Insomniac’s Dream
Somewhere between sundown and sunrise, we meet — or at least we keep trying to. To record another moment together. Where once there was discourse, we are now disquiet. Distant, distinct, disoriented. When I am x-rayed I think you are visible, for a moment, and when you stare stare at the moon maybe that’s me staring back, anxiously awaiting, always awake. Always the potential —to reunite, to fall awake to the part where our bifurcation occurred, to grab hold, hold, hold (pause).
Occupying this state, dreaming awake, your uninterrupted presence is a folly act — mocking, making absurd the reality of this existence. In which case, this physical rejoinder and your less than sharp materialization is a persistent tease at the impossibility of rewinding to anything, to a place where we once knew.  So we travel. We leave and arrive, together once again. Speaking nonsense, but together. We’ve rewound to the parts that worked when they worked and from here we start. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. wakeup. wkeup.
Letch Kinloch and Kegan McFadden, respectively, occupy a place on the spectrum that includes publishing, writing, curating, and making artwork. Insomniac’s Dream is their first joint effort.
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International Women’s Day 2016 Online Screening

Video works by Christine Kirouac, Divya Mehra and Wendy Geller curated by Bev Pike were available to watch online March 8 & 9!

In celebration of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8, Video Pool was excited share three works in our collection made by incredibly talented Manitoban women, curated by Bev Pike.


Girl on Girl Action by Christine Kirouac
2001 | Video | 5:33

"Girl on Girl Action" by Christine Kirouac

“Girl on Girl Action” by Christine Kirouac

This short film combines two opposite contexts of social interactions, one being life-size rock em’ sock em’ boxing footage at a seedy cowboy bar, and the other a refined tea party for two set against the dramatic fall forest. Both activities share a ritualistic nature that appears as natural as the absurdity of the situation itself. The result challenges expectations of feminine behavior, using a humorous narrative, as well as leaving the viewer unsettled and the match uncharacteristically unresolved.


Like Me by Divya Mehra
2008 | Video | 4:03

"Like You" by Divya Mehra

“Like Me” by Divya Mehra

In this video, I perform a traditional dance of the North Indians to a song that was first sung by my ancestors.

Missed the online screening? See Like You on VUCAVU now!


Jill Skinner – Diary of a Star by Wendy Geller
1985 | Video | 9:20

"Jill Skinner - Diary of a Star" by Wendy Geller

“Jill Skinner – Diary of a Star” by Wendy Geller

Through multiple costume changes and by assuming multiple personas the artist deconstructs the idea of celebrity. As the videotape unfolds the costumes and personas become increasingly transparent while the environment surrounding the artist becomes more and more claustrophobic. With a darkly humorous undertone the artist examines the suffocating effects of vanity and the conflict between desire and disappointment that underlie cultural notions of celebrity.


SOPHIE TUCKER’S SISTERS

This program for International Women’s Day 2016 is evocative o f the following quote by Sophie Tucker, the Last of the Red Hot Mamas (as told to the BBC in 1964).

I’ve always made up my mind to do what I wanted to do.  With numbers, with songs, with dresses, with anything with people.  If I make up my mind that’s what I want to do it’s done.  

I get what I want, I do what I want, I am the boss.

Tucker was a singer famous for her saucy Flapper era songs.  The 1920s and 1930s were lively times in which Manitoba women tossed their Victorian corsets, raised their hemlines, and some even sought professions and higher education.  Cheeky humour was, and so it remains, part of any emancipatory movement.  Sophie’s part in the revolution built on decades of feminist lobbying so women could be persons under the law, could own property, could claim their own children and vote.

Many of her songs advocated women take charge of their own romances.

Video Pool has many artworks by women that embody Sophie’s role-modelling.  This program features three tapes that compliment each other to embody her witty iconclastic mission.

            – Curator Bev Pike

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Call for Curators for 2016 Online Screenings

Online Screening call for Curators 2016

Over the last three years Video Pool Media Arts Centre has been holding online screenings three to four times a year, that allow us to share the video gems that are part of our archive of video that spans over 30 years. The videos are made available to the public on our website for 48 hours.

For 2016 we are seeking curators for 3 online screenings. Curators will be responsible for choosing 3 videos from the Video Pool Media Arts Centre Catalogue, and write a brief text (2 paragraphs) about the program they have put together. Curators will receive $150 for their time.

Video Pool is responsible for providing the support of our Distribution Coordinator to help the curator access videos they would like to preview, pay artist fees, do promotion of the screening, and set up the videos on our website.

The themes for the screening are open, however we would like the first screening to be in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016. The following screenings would take place in August and November 2016.

Please submit a letter of interest including a subject you would like to research and CV to:

Jennifer Smith

vpdist@videopool.org

204-949-9134 x.4

by Feb 21, 2016 at midnight

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