AFK | Screenings

For Business Nor Pleasure

Alize Zorlutuna, Nisha Duggal, Peng Zuqiang, Zinnia Naqvi, Natalie Wood

The Cyan Garden

Peng Zuqiang
2022 | 16MM>Digital | 8 MIN | Mandarin with English subtitles

Commissioned by Cell Project Space and Center for Experimental Film

Wednesday, September 27, 2023
3:00PM EDT
Gallery Hours

Find us at the Ace Hotel, Interspace at 7PM on the lower level. Please RSVP by clicking the "Purchase Tickets Here" button below. Tickets are free, RSVP is appreciated.

Artist Talk

Please join us after the screening for a conversation between artists Alize Zorlutuna and Zinnia Naqvi followed by a Q&A. 

Ace Hotel Toronto

51 Camden St, Toronto, ON M5V 1V2

For a map of Ace Hotel Toronto, click here

COVID-19 Policy

Images Festival is committed to providing an accessible festival and continues to work to reduce barriers to participation at our events. This year, we are implementing a COVID-19 policy to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission for all, and to prioritize the participation of people who are disability-identified, immunocompromised, or part of an otherwise vulnerable group.

The following guidelines will be in place: Self-Assessment: We ask that staff and participants screen themselves for COVID-19 before visiting the exhibition.

Please join us for the video program For Business Nor Pleasure, co-presented by Images Festival and the Ace Hotel as part of the Shorts in Conversation series. For Business Nor Pleasure brings together a selection of short films that complicate the subjects of travel and tourism. Identifying a third space somewhere between business and pleasure, this screening is situated in-between, where notions of preparation, hospitality, and residency can be actively and safely and challenged.

The Cyan Garden by Peng Zuqiang centres on Voice of the Malaysian Revolution, a communist underground radio station that was active between 1969-1981 and whose historical headquarters are currently being turned into a resort. The film's protagonist finds a job at the resort as a housekeeper in order to intimately get to know the space where their relatives once worked towards revolt, in a sense creating their own creative residency.The Cyan Garden was partly shot in Aerographic Negative film made by the Lucky Film Company developed and used by the Chinese military.  

Filmed primarily in black and white at the Overseas House, a private members club in England steeped in colonial wealth and privilege, Nisha Duggal’s In Residence is paced by letters sent between her parents during their courtship. The orated letters are ripe with the longing of two young lovers separated by vast continents, and detail their migrant experience. Made while the artist was in residence at Oversea's house, In Residence explores her parents route to legal residency in the UK.

Your Touch Unsettles How I See by Alize Zorlutuna, the current Ace Hotel x Images Festival AiR resident, emerged from the artist’s exploration of their intersecting identities as a queer, Muslim person. In the video, Alize tenderly and boldly traces along the patterned borders of a Turkish rug both emphasizing and challenging the symbology embedded within it. The rug, a family heirloom, resides in Anatola at the home of the artist's aunt. This video was filmed while Alize was a guest there.

Zinnia Naqvi’s Seaview is a meditation on whether documentary media is an effective means to translate and represent lived-experiences, cultures and places. In it, the filmmaker compares childhood memories to her current experience in her family’s country of origin, Pakistan, through home movies interspersed with contemporary footage from Zinnia’s trip to Karachi. 

During a silent conversation in which the contents of a person’s luggage is being scrutinized, Natalie Wood’s Packing Unpacking enacts Jacques Derrida’s theory of hospitality. In it, he identifies the words ‘stranger’, ‘guest’ and ‘power’ as having etymological links to “hospitality.” Natalie presents the stranger as someone who may be welcomed as a guest only after leaving behind much of their identity at a border. 

Poignant and playful, political and familial, these investigations of culture, home, and love subversively echo the familiar question, business or pleasure? revealing it as a false dichotomy, wholly inadequate and incapable of encompassing the plurality of one’s reason to come or go.

Alize Zorlutuna is a queer interdisciplinary artist, writer and educator whose work explores relationships to land, culture and the more-than-human, while thinking through, history, ancestral wisdom and healing. Having moved between Tkarón:to and Anatolia (present-day Turkey) both physically and culturally throughout their life has informed Alize’s practice—making them attentive to spaces of encounter. Alize has presented work in galleries and artist-run centres across Turtle Island, including: Plug In ICA, InterAccess, Gallery TPW, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Mercer union Centre For Contemporary Art, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Art Gallery of Burlington, XPACE, Audain Art Museum, Access Gallery, as well as internationally at The New School: Parsons (NY), Mind Art core (Chicago) and Club Cultural Matienzo (Argentina). Alize has been a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University since 2015.

Born and raised in Trinidad, Natalie Wood obtained her studio training at Ontario College of Art and Design and went on to complete an MA in Art Education from the University of Toronto in 2000. Her works have been presented nationally and internationally in several group exhibitions (Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art 2007), International Art Fairs (Artist Project Toronto 2010, Nuit Blanche 2007, Toronto Alternative Art Fair International, 2006,), and film and video festivals (the New York Mix Film and Video Festival, Inside Out, Images, Pleasure Dome and Mpenzi Film and Video festival where she won the Audience Choice Award in 2006). She has had solo shows at ASpace Gallery windows, Zsa Zsa Gallery and following on residencies at the Spadina Museum House and at the Caribbean Contemporary Art Centre 7 in Trinidad. A recipient of numerous awards from the Toronto, Ontario and Canada Council for the Arts, she received the 2006 New Pioneers Award for contribution to the Arts in Toronto and was nominated for the 2006 K. M Hunter Interdisciplinary Arts Award.

Nisha Duggal explores expressions of freedom in the everyday. She is interested in the transformative qualities of making and engineering situations that uncover deep-seated primitive impulses to connect. Nisha works internationally including installations at ArtNight and Watermans (London), Arnolfini (Bristol), Ginza Art Lab (Tokyo), Baltic (Gateshead) and Oriel Mostyn (Llandudno) with screenings at Videobabel (Cusco, Peru), European Media Art Festival (Osnabrueck, Germany), Rekalde (Bilbao, Spain), Cornerhouse (Manchester) and Iniva (London). She has been awarded commissions by Site Gallery (Sheffield) and Contemporary Art Forum (Kitchener, Ontario) and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Moving Image Awards in 2008 and the Jerwood/Umbrella Moving Image Awards in 2013. Between 2018-22 Nisha was artist-in-residence for Walthamstow Wetlands, The National Trust at Powis Castle in Wales, Royal Overseas League and In Situ. She is currently working on Wanderings, a participatory commission for Bethlem Gallery and the NHS that will be presented as a series of permanent works for London’s new mental health facility, New Douglas Bennett House, in 2023.

Peng Zuqiang works with film, video and installations. Exhibitions and screenings include Cell Project Space, E-Flux screening room, Kevin Space, UCCA Beijing, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 25FPS, IDFA, and Open City Doc Festival. He is a recipient of the Illy Present Future prize in 2022, and the Dialog Award at EMAF 2023. A resident artist at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (2022-24), he lives and works in Amsterdam.

Zinnia Naqvi (she/her) is a lens-based artist working in Tkaronto/Toronto, Canada. Her work examines issues of colonialism, cultural translation, language, and gender through the use of photography, video, the written word, and archival material. Naqvi’s work has been shown across Canada and internationally. She is a 2022 Fall Flaherty/Colgate Distinguished Global Filmmaker in Residence and recipient of the 2019 New Generation Photography Award organized by the National Gallery of Canada. Naqvi is member of EMILIA-AMALIA Working Group, an intergenerational feminist collective. Naqvi received a BFA in Photography Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University and an MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University. She is currently a sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto and Toronto Metropolitan University. 

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