Guest-curated by Marie-Pierre Burquier, Mariquita “Micki” Davis, and Allyson Unzicker!
Persistence & Loss by Joseph Clark (Canada, English, 35mm archival & 16mm archival, b/w and color, sound, 2021, 02:49)
With Persistence and Loss, Joseph Clark makes the spectator think about film, memory, and deforestation. Still images of trees being cut in British Columbia are flickering on the screen while a voice over gives a lecture about what makes movies possible, and the way human eyes perceive movement.
The following images never happened by Noé Grenier (France, English, 16mm on digital, color, sound, 2022, 07:12)
In 1996, a screening of the American action film Twister by Jan de Bont, initially scheduled at the Can-View Drive-in in southern Canada was canceled due to a tornado warning. Throughout The Following Images Never Happened,French artist Noé Grenier gathers fragments from the film’s trailer that strangely appear to be physically marked by the wind and scratched by the heavy rain. Dividing the screen into three parts, he gives shape to the imaginative visions some spectators had after thinking they attended the screening in the middle of the storm.
Al Atlal (The Ruins) by Raed Rafei (Lebanon, Arabic & English, English subtitles, digital video, color, sound, 2021, 15:37)
Al-Atlal (The Ruins) reflects upon the paradoxes of queer histories where homosexuality is both celebrated and condemned. Exploring the complex relations between the histories of intimacy and empire, the film engages with the fragmented nature of archives as a digital ruin. A vision of an ancient, empty Hammam is juxtaposed with various images appropriated from visual culture, news footage, and Egyptian cinema, the physical and digital ruins are recontextualized together linking various histories of gay saunas from East to West. Through these disparate sources, the film engenders harmonies, frictions, and tensions where the site of architecture and bodies converge as an evocative site of pleasure and pain.
On the Line by TT Takemoto (United States, digital video & 16mm, color, sound, 2018, 06:40)
A soundscape of sloshing waves, seabirds and slicing knives sets the backdrop for a mirage of hidden desires. Close-up shots of women smiling are juxtaposed with hands sensuously kneading dough to violently cleaning and slicing tuna along an assembly line. Bouncing between warm and cool tones, this abstract blend of found footage scenery of prewar cannery workers in San Diego functions as a queer meditation on the Japanese American women who engaged in same sex intimacy while the men were off at sea.
How the dead live by Marcelo Amorim (Brazil, Portuguese, English subtitles, digital video, b/w, sound, 2018, 03:22)
We old women are easily erased from the picture of the last century. […] Where are we all gone? Brazilian actress Iara Jamra embodies the voice of a woman who interrogates herself from the afterlife about the underrepresentation of women in images of History. Her childish interpretation of an excerpt of the book How the dead live (by Will Self) is coupled with black and white home movies, old commercials and film magazines that show women cleaning, working in factories or babysitting. By appropriating images that are now available on the internet, Brazilian artist Marcelo Amorim creates an uncanny picture that denounces the visible absence of women in history.
Ouroboros by Antonio Arango Vásquez (Mexico, Spanish, English subtitles, digital video & 16mm film archive, b/w, sound, 2018, 08:44)
Experimental film essay about the student massacre that happened in Mexico in 1968 with a dialogue surrounding the events of missing students in Ayotzinapa, Mexico. From Nietzsche’s texts about the Eternal Return (present in Thus Spoke Zarathustra and especially in the essay The Gay Science) the film project reflects on the History and the injustices that took place in Mexico (October 1968). These events keep repeating and manifesting themselves in one way or another. History marks us and points out events with a distance as an unrepeatable past that has no relation to our present. It is from a philosophical point of view that we reflect on what this means.
JUST LIKE THE FILMS by Sara N. Santos (Portugal, English, digital video, b/w, sound, 2020, 10:00)
Just Like the Films is a portrait of a man made entirely from 1940s Hollywood film noir excerpts. Through an intimate voice-over and thanks to the re-edition of the excerpts’ original sound, Portuguese artist Sara N. Santos creates an intimate archive of her deceased grandfather with black and white images from her personal cinephile filmography. Focusing her attention on specific details and unremarkable fragments, she exposes how fictional material can acquire a therapeutic value in the process of mourning and remembering.
two sisters by Magdalena Bermudez (United States, English, digital video, color, sound, 2021, 07:46)
A history of sister portraiture is reanimated by nascent datasets, as portraits dodge derogatory categories by paradoxically inhabiting one and multiple bodies. Two Sisters is a delightfully uncanny film telling of itself.
Dandelions in Virginia by Misael Oquendo (United States, English, digital video, color, sound, 2022, 05:29)
Dandelions in Virginia explores the skewed narratives of conspiracy fantasies and myths through the utilization of deep neural net A.I. motion capture applications, found footage, and stock imagery. Drawing upon obscure subcultures and peculiar narratives, the artifice of motion capture is emphasized through image infidelity where the peculiarities of the digital and the human converge through the uncanny. Dandelions explores the paradoxes of isolation, the hegemonies of consumer culture, and the incoherencies of conspiracies as they converge between digital networks and reality.
The Footprint of Freedom by Tom Rosenberg (United States, French & English, English subtitles, digital video, color, sound, 2021, 11:00)
In the 1970s the Chagos Islanders, or Ilois, were forcibly removed from their archipelago homelands in the Indian Ocean to make way for a US naval base. The Footprint of Freedom is part statement about the American empire in the 21st century and reflection on social media’s role as an archive of empire, diaspora, and collective trauma.
Cinema as Ritual by Darren Wallace (United States, English, digital video, color, sound, 2020, 03:16)
Cinema as Ritual is a techno-shamanic altar engaging Digital Anthropophagy to process the social iniquities of life in the U.S. during 2020 (Covid-19, West Coast wildfires, anti-Black state violence). It is intended to be experienced as an ecstatic purge or shamanic cleanse stirring audience members desensitized by the longue durée of colonial violence. The triptych structure of the film ushers the audience through shamanic initiation cycles of Death, Liminal Space, and Rebirth.