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Out of control...out of place...out of the realm of wholesome good taste.
Narrative voice from A Day in the Life of a Bull Dyke, by Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan

 


A complete upheaval of optics, of perspective and logic. It is more exciting than phosphorous, more captivating than love.
Film as a Subversive Art, by Amos Vogel


It takes far more discipline to make a short film than a feature, because shorts have to be like poems, they have to be concise, and as with a statue you remove everything that isn’t necessary.

Interview with Guy Maddin, Kino Delirium: The Films of Guy Maddin, Caelum Vatnsdal, page 103

 

Video Pool Media Arts Centre and Winnipeg Film Group present the Winnipeg 19, curated by Dave Barber.

Rooted on this windswept barren prairie is a city which stayed true to itself while progress marched on elsewhere. No skyscrapers. No gleaming expensive cars. Deserted streets . . . Winnipeg-a city which gave birth to the Winnipeg 19. Nineteen artists who looked within and found something greater and more original than the outside world.

Nobody is entirely sure why. Maybe the long cold winter nights. Or broiling summers. But this prairie outpost is fertile soil for some of the strangest, most mysterious and irreverent film and video work in Canada. Far from major centres of influence these artists are not afraid to take chances. There's no career to ruin because they don't see it as a career. It's an obsession with art. No desire to explain or defend. Brash. Creative. "Like the bad seed their behavior may be characterized as either unruly attitude or denial and avoidance." 1

Nineteen works that express a truly subversive creativity, each is marked by a beautiful, obsessive attention to art direction and an incredibly imaginative sense of sound design. Nineteen works that could only have come from Winnipeg.

DAVE BARBER

Curatorial title courtesy of Clive Holden


Part of this introduction was used in an introduction to a film program of Winnipeg works assembled for the Boston Underground Film Festival in 2002.

1) Introductory essay Dislocations: A book of essays on films from the
Winnipeg Film Group, edited by Gilles Hebert

 

 

 

 

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THE KISS OFF
Jesse Peterson (2001) 01:30


A tantalizing kiss between a man and a woman unexpectedly “connects”.

Born in Winnipeg in 1974, JAMES JESSE PETERSON studied Fine Arts and film-making at the University of Manitoba. He continues to work in 8 and 16 mm film, recently creating the surreal Flagrante Delicto Herr Kracauer. Jesse Peterson is also a key member of performance art no-wave masters the Multiple Partners.

 

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1919
Noam Gonick (1997) 8:00

Awarded the Best of the Festival at the 1997 Montreal Image et Nation Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, 1919 centres on a fictional group of gay men who frequent a Chinese bathhouse which happens to be headquarters for the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike.This site,where men from all classes meet for anonymous sex, becomes the point of convergence for the bloody riots.The film culminates in a reimagined ending for the historic strike.


Born in Winnipeg in 1973, NOAM GONICK has exhibited films (Hey, Happy!, Stryker) at the Venice Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, TIFF, Sundance and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His films have been collected by the National Gallery of Canada, the National Library and the Australian Cinematheque, as well as released theatrically, broadcast and distributed internationally. Gonick has been on the Executive of the Board of Directors of Plug In ICA since 1997 and a member of the House of Aviancesince 1994. He recently collaborated with artist Rebecca Belmore on her installation for the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

 

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DOC1.doc
Sol Nagler (1999) 5:00

A hand-processed work using a Greek tragedy as a dramatic skeleton for a contemporary reassemblage of the history of cinema. Fashioned in the school of prairie surrealism, this film revolves around the idea that, "The gods don't know how to cook."

SOLOMON NAGLERis a Winnipeg-based filmmaker who has worked extensively with film co-ops in Winnipeg, Toronto, Vancouver, Warsaw and Paris. Nagler's films, installations, and curated programs have played across Canada,in the U.S.,Europe and Asia. His work explores the way in which film represents our individual personas,and the landscapes that are appropriated into our self-identity. Gritty, colourful, and always pushing the limits of narrative possibilities, his films attempt to challenge the boundaries of contemporary cinema. Nagler completed his eighth film, The Sex of Self-Hatred, during his tenure as the Winnipeg Film Group’s Artist-in-Residence in 2004.



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THE AROUSING ADVENTURES OF SAILOR BOY
Jenny Bisch (2002) 8:30

A naive mariner is out on the town in this frisky,vaudeville-flavoured piece. His search for the hermaphrodite of his dreams is scratched into each frame of this work, which played the New YorkFilm Festival New Directors/New Films series in 2004.

JENNY BISCH is a Montreal-based Anthropology graduate who has been dabbling in film since the spring of 2002. The Arousing Adventures of Sailor Boy is her first film.


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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BULL-DYKE
Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan (1995) 10:30

A big boned butcher finds passion and purpose in this faux-documentary film essay. From dawn to dusk, we follow the bull dagger into skirmishes, drag, and the arms of a beautiful recruit. Both the public and the private lives of this “strange animal” are documented with the same mix of reverence and glee found in the

photojournal exposés Bull-Dyke satirizes. However, because we see the world through the eyes of the subject,this tape is filled with all the joy, pain and ambivalence each of us experiences.

SHAWNA DEMPSEY AND LORRI MILLAN create smart and funny feminist performances, films, videos, artist’s books and public art projects. Each year they tour to an average of ten Canadian cities, and have performed throughout Japan, England, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Australia, and the U.S. They are infamous for pieces such as We're Talking Vulva, A Day in the Life of a Bull-Dykeand Lesbian National Parks and Services.All of their work explores transgression, monstrosity and the forbidden.


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EELS
Jack Lauder (1992) 4:00

A young man shovels out an overflowing sewer and lapses into a state of introspection. In a glaze of toxic fumes, he falls through a “thousand eels writhing . . . landing softly with a knife in his hand”. But when this sharpened defense against his own demons turns outward, he becomes confused. Is this instrument intended for use against others or against himself?

JACK LAUDER's video art works have screened worldwide in art galleries, major festivals and on broadcast television. His unique aesthetic is expressed in deep, lush and vibrant pictures and powerful and unforgettable metaphors. Lauder's words,when included in his artworks are poetic structures blended masterfully in his visual landscapes.

 

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APRAXIA
Janet BrightCorne (2003) 4:50

Apraxia is the loss or impairment of the ability to execute complex coordinated movements. This film studies the awkwardness of a woman renegotiating the once-familiar space of her potting shed.

Writer/director JANET BRIGHTCORNE was raised in rural Manitoba. After obtaining a degree in Environmental Design at the University of Manitoba, Bright Corne began work on short and feature films in Winnipeg. Apraxia, her first film, played the Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran, Iran, 2004.


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WINTER
Nicole Shimonek (2000) 3:05

Like a constant struggle against the elements of winter,five buds from a shrub are counted and then crushed by a finger from above.

Born and raised on a farm in southern Manitoba, NICOLE SHIMONEKis an interdisciplinary media and performance artist. Her videos have screened in curated packages both nationally and internationally. She has performed in solo, street, and collective events. Along with performance and video, her work includes animation and installation. Nicole's work focuses on themes of fulfillment and our placement within cultural context, often using personae and animals to represent elemental humanness.


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SKY RANCH
Sheridan Shindruk (2000) 4:00

Using the form of a promotional travelogue, Shindruk locates a fictional utopian airport in the heart of a distant hinterland, where fashion, beauty and wilderness coalesce into a seamless technological order.

SHERIDAN SHINDRUKworks primarily with video and digital imagery. His tapes have screened both internationally and regionally. Ideas within Shindruk's work spans notions of artifice, mediated viewer experience, and issues of identity within popular culture. Currently he is pursuing a Master's Degree at Concordia University, in the area of Open Media within the Studio Arts Program.

 

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DOCK-WATCH-BAY
Alex Poruchnyk (2002) 8:00

Weather vanes are consulted for the promise of good weather and smooth sailing or to prepare for hostile conditions. Weather vanes act as reminders of previous forecasts and real life mistakes. Should we dwell on these encumbered by a process of anticipation and fear, or check the wind and set sail accepting
an uncertain future?

ALEX PORUCHNYK is an internationally recognized artist who has worked in video for over 15 years. His last feature length video was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has toured through the United States. Alex Poruchnyk teaches at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art.


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PARTY KILLER
Daniel Barrow (1995) 3:00

Party Killer is a concept video intended for the purpose of ending a house party or quickly clearing a room.

DANIEL BARROW is a media artist living in Winnipeg. He exhibits widely in Canada and abroad. Much of Daniel’s work aims to collide the popular imagery from childhood and prepubescent adolescence with residual feelings of backwardness ,innocence, joy, shame and separation. In doing so he attempts a return to a former and less complex experience of media stimulus.

 

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SHAWN IS A BASTARD, NO ONE LIKES HIM
Amber Daniels and Elizabeth Keeper (1999) 4:00

This video is a "mock-umentary" about a boy all the girls love to hate. From the teenaged girls who brought you Dig It comes this fresh and irreverent experimental comedy. Performance/video artist Shawna Dempsey acted as mentor for this project, completed through Video Pool's First Video Fund.

This tape was made while AMBER DANIELS and ELIZABETH KEEPER were still in high school. They have been winning accolades for their artwork and their videos and photography have shown internationally. Amber Daniels was recently awarded a Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award for her accomplishments in fine art.

 

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38 JANSKY UNITS
Jon Krocker (1982) 3:00

This early new wave classic references the unit of luminous flux used by radio astronomers in measuring electromagnetic raÏdiation from space, named for Karl Jansky, the first person to detect radio frequency energy from the Milky Way.

After taking the early Winnipeg film scene by storm writing, directing and creating the soundtrack for 38 Jansky Units, JON KROCKER became an engineer for Boeing. Still into strange electronic music, he recently restored a 1966 250 Ducati motorcycle.

 

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THE HUNTER'S GUIDE TO BEREAVEMENT
Erica Eyres (2002) 4:00

A surrealist mourns death in this video work which pushes the edges of desolation and succeeds in tying the adult and the child together in one time.

ERICA EYRES was born in 1980 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Studied at the University of Manitoba with major in Sculpture (1998–2002). Currently acquiring an MFA at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. Attended the Skowhegan, New York painters’ residency program summer 2005.

 

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MONDAY WITH THE MARTINS
Jeff Erbach (2000) 3:00

The Martins would be a common, happy couple if it weren’t for the fact that Mr.Martins’ penis is a fully functional hand on the end of a short arm.

After graduating from the Confederation Film College Program JEFF ERBACH has established a reputation for controversial, thought-provoking work such as Soft Like Meand Under Chad Valley. His films have played at many festivals including Rotterdam,the New York Underground and Toronto. His feature The Nature of Nicholashas played numerous festivals from Argentina to Manchester.

 

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  CLAYGIRL
Victoria Prince (2002) 5:00

Pornography, sex and violence are the ideas played with in the alluring context of strip clubs. Claygirl references themes of woman as object, self identity, and social taboos.The juxtaposition between humor and violence raises questions on beliefs of mainstream ideologies of gender and interpretation.And what's with the eyeball?

VICTORIA PRINCE is a multidisciplinary artist working in video, film and performance art. Her work revolves around themes of sex, violence and self esteem with elements of black humour. Her film and videography ranges from experimental, documentaries, horror, and female heroic bloodshed.

 

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  SNARE
Diana Thorneycroft (1996) 5:48

SNARE (snar) n. 1.A device, as a noose,for catching rabbits or other small animals; a trap. 2. Anything by which one is entangled or trapped; an allurement.– v.t.SNARED, SNARING 1. To catch with a snare; ensnare; entrap.2.To capture by trickery; entice; inveigle. With a flash in the dark, the artist captures her prey – her own image.

DIANA THORNEYCROFT is a well-known photographer and visual artist who teaches at the University of Manitoba School of Art.Snareis her first video.

 

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  LEGS/NECK
Gilles Hebert (1992) 2:00

Part of a collaborative work called Exquisite Corpse,based on the surrealist game,Legs/Neck provides a gripping tale of hardworking circus performers in an ethical dilemma.

GILLES HEBERT is a Winnipeg- based curator and artist. Educated in visual art and social history at the University of Manitoba and the Ontario College of Art, Hebert is currently working as the Director of the Art Gallery of Windsor.

 

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ODILON REDON
Guy Maddin (1996) 4:00

This short filmic prose-poem is based on the work of Belgian charcoalier Odilon Redon. It was commissioned by the BBC who also invited such directors as Jonathan Demme, Jane Campion and Tim Burton. The resulting production won a Special Jury citation at the Toronto Film Festival and played festivals from New York to London to Telluride, Colorado.

Winnipeg filmmaker GUY MADDIN has received acclaim for delirious and confounding works such as Tales From the Gimli Hospital, Archangel, Heart of the World, Dracula - Pages From A Virgin’s Diary,and The Saddest Music in the Worldbased on an original screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro, starring Isabella Rosselini.Now a regular contributor to Film Comment and The Village Voice, Maddin recently premiered a video peep-show installation Cowards Bend the Knee



Scheduled screenings include Winnipeg Cinematheque, March 2007, Birdo Flugas (Japan), February 2007 and Yukon Film Society, February 2007. Past screenings include Ed/Video (Guelph, ON. March 10th, 2006). If you're interested in booking a screening of Winnipeg 19, please contact Video Pool for details.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts which last year invested $12.7 million in media arts throughout Canada.

Nous remercions de son soutien le Conseil des Arts du Canada, qui a investi 12,7 millions de dollars l'an dernier dans les arts médiatiques à travers le Canada.

VIDEO POOL Winnipeg Film Group Canada Council for the Arts

for booking information and exhibition contact:

Video Pool Distribution 204.949.9134 xt 2