Images Festival Announces 2018 Programming Highlights

February 13, 2018

Images Festival’s opening night on Thursday, April 12 will be SHAKEDOWN by Leilah Weinraub at The Royal Cinema. SHAKEDOWN is an intimate time capsule of a weekly party founded by and featuring African American women in Los Angeles’ underground lesbian strip club scene in the early 2000s.

On Friday, April 20 the closing night program will include Djamilia, an exquisite documentary shot on Super 8, by French filmmaker Aminatou Echard at Innis Town Hall. Premiering in the Berlinale, and also making its North American premiere at Images, Djamilia traces the influence of Tchinghiz Aitmatov's 1958 novel of the same title, whose protagonist broke societal norms for female conduct, inspiring generations of women to follow their own desires and ambitions. The screening will be followed by a performance by the Egyptian-Iranian performer and musician Lafawndah.

This year’s Canadian Artist Spotlight is Steve Reinke - an artist, writer and queer Nietzschean best known for his monologue-based film essays. He returns to Toronto to present a solo screening program, as well as an exhibition at Vtape, and the presentation of What Weakens the Flesh is the Flesh Itself, a collaborative work with British artist James Richards, which premiered in the 2017 Venice Biennale.

On Friday, April 13 at the newly constructed Toronto Media Arts Centre (TMAC), artist Lucy Raven and musician Deantoni Parks will present Bullet Points for a Hard Western, a live performance inspired by the artwork and music of Walter De Maria.

Images Festival will present short form works by a number of renowned international artists including Korakrit Arunanondchai’s with history in a room filled with people with funny names 4 which recently won the Tiger Shorts Award at Rotterdam; Moyra Davey’s Hemlock Forest, which was first presented in the Montreal Biennial; British artist Patrick Staff’s Weed Killer, commissioned by MOCA Los Angeles; Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams by grassroots Indigenous based media group The Karrabing Film Collective; as well as the North American premiere of Ben Rivers and Ben Russell’s new collaborative film THE RARE EVENT.

In addition to Images Festival ON Screen programs, the festival is pleased to announce its co-presentation of 4 first-time, Canadian solo exhibitions. Mercer Union will present Black Friday, by Qatari-American artist, writer, and filmmaker Sophia Al-Maria. Black Friday foregrounds the artist’s ongoing investigation into the accelerated development of the Gulf Nations and the sobering signs of a hyper-capitalist future to come. In a new two-part installation, American artist Trisha Baga presents an immersive 3D video environment titled Biologue at Gallery TPW. In her first museum exhibition in Canada, Vancouver-born artist Sara Cwynar presents her acclaimed works Soft Film and Rose Gold alongside the debut of her newest film at Oakville Galleries. YYZ Artists’ Outlet will present When Things Occur by artist Oraib Toukan. This compelling work weaves together Skype conversations with Gaza-based photographers, fixers, and drivers who were behind specific images that diffused from screen to screen in the 2014 War on Gaza.

As something new, in partnership with Super 8 Hotel, Images Festival will present a site-specific, multi-channel installation titled Public Intimacies with works by Jon Wang, Dani Restack and Sheilah Restack. Taking place in hotel rooms at the Super 8 Hotel on Spadina Avenue, Public Intimacies speaks to the boundaries between public and private space, presenting works that challenge notions of domesticity, and contemplate themes of intimacy, expressions of sexuality, desire, and identity.

Images Festival is also excited to announce the 2018 jury: scholar and critic, Erika Balsom, artist and curator, Christina Battle, and film programmer Charlotte Selb who are tasked with selecting the winners of the festival’s many awards, including Marian McMahon Akimbo Award, TD Bank Group Award, and York University Award for Best Student Work on Screen. In addition to being on the jury, Erika Balsom will present a lecture titled "Mere" Recording? : Documentary, Contemporary Art, and the Orthodoxy of Ecstatic Truth at Innis Town Hall on Sunday, April 15.

The full program for the 2018 Images Festival will be announced on March 15th at the Images Festival Programming Launch presented in conjunction with the opening of Trisha Baga’s exhibition at Gallery TPW.