Opening Night Feature: Leilah Weinraub
USA, 2017, DIGITAL VIDEO, 72 MIN
Propelled by pulsing beats and lyrical visuals, 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. This party was a crucial community-organized space of queer expression where black women’s desires, power, and autonomy were centred. Weinraub, a participant and member of this community, began documenting the party’s events, backstage banter, and unforgettable performances when she started attending in her early twenties. The film combines Weinraub’s footage with archival material and party posters, and includes up-close portrayals of several of the key figures, including creator and emcee Ronnie-Ron, star dancers Egypt and Jazmine, and the mother of the scene, Mahogany. SHAKEDOWN shares the unique cultural expressions of this community, which have often been appropriated by mass culture, yet are rarely seen and shown on their own terms.
Leilah Weinraub will be in attendance
Followed by Opening Night Party at Unit 2.
Thursday April 12th , 2018 , 7:00pm - 8:12pm
The Royal Cinema
Art and Theft
USA, 2017, DIGITAL VIDEO, 7 MIN
Framed within a countdown of the time it takes to rob a house, Magenheimer brings together a scene from Scorsese’s After Hours, outtakes of a reporter filming outside Trump Tower, and details from a Hieronymus Bosch painting to examine the construction and manipulation of narrative across media.
Christine Sun Kim and Thomas Mader
GERMANY, 2016, DIGITAL VIDEO, 6 MIN
Through a playful performance, Kim and Mader reflect on nuances in communication expressed in American Sign Language. Details such as shapes and sizes are relayed through “classifiers,” and the index finger indicates a single person. This digit is mobilized to explore commonly experienced social situations.
UK/USA, 2017, DIGITAL VIDEO, 17 MIN
Weed Killer orbits around a poignant monologue that draws from Catherine Lord’s memoir The Summer of Her Baldness, recounting her experience with breast cancer and the effects of chemotherapy. Thermal imaging is used as a visual metaphor for the extent to which bodily experience, and threats to it, are invisible to the naked eye. Staff composes vibrant expressions of illness, aging, and queer identity, climaxing in a performance by artist Jamie Crew.
With History in a Room Filled With People With Funny Names 4
Thailand/USA, 2017, DIGITAL VIDEO, 24 MIN
Arunanondchai’s video expresses the contemporary global condition through the scaled vantage of the drone spirit Chantri, voiced by the artist’s mother. Narrated in a poetic style reminiscent of Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil, the work surveys political unrest across the world, symptoms of the Anthropocene, interspecies relations, all the while circling back to the personal with reflections on Arunanondchai’s family history and his aging grandmother. The work affectively communicates the invisible relations that bind our shared existence on the planet, and is held together by the rhythm of breath.
Patrick Staff will be in attendance.
Friday April 13th , 2018 , 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Communing with Others
James N. Kientiz Wilkins
USA, 2017, S16 MM on DIGITAL VIDEO, 38 MIN
Exhausting the logic of the medium shot, Mediums depicts a series of subjects participating in the voir dire process as potential jurors in the American legal system. The dialogue is composited and culled from an array of found texts including technical literature from the internet, a jury selection pamphlet, an automotive manual, a union constitution, a fast food franchise contract, a health insurance FAQ, and blog posts. Channelling this content, the characters function as mediums themselves, sharing advice and a sense of civic duty with their fellow citizens.
Sex Without Glasses
CANADA, 1983, 16MM, 12 MIN
A playful examination of the artifice of cinematic space, Sex Without Glasses forefronts the background by centering the rear-projection process shot. Figures inhabit various scenes including a busy urban street, the beach, a rainy garden, and the classic driving shot in this intriguing formal experiment.
UK, 1977, 16MM, 17 MIN
A series of humorous incidents involving the use and misuse of public telephones—all featuring characters with the initials H.C.—is narrated over a montage of banal depictions of phone booths. Greenaway’s classic performs a critique of the arbitrary relationship between text and image.
James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Ross McLaren in attendance.
Friday April 13th , 2018 , 7:00pm - 9:00pm
View from Above
GERMANY/IRAQ, 2017, DIGITAL VIDEO, 12 MIN
In 1991, the Kurdistan region was considered a safe zone by the UN, and many European countries only granted refugee status to those coming from unsafe zones. An anonymous narrator recounts the experience of a refugee who is under interrogation for asylum. Learning to forget where he comes from, he adopts a map of a fictitious place instead.
Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary
USA, 2017, DIGITAL VIDEO, 13 MIN
Drawing from the theories of architect Kengo Kuma, Hopinka unravels the physical and visual elements of two prominent structures in Portland that embody a complex relationship to the Chinookan people who inhabit the same land. Entangled histories of resistance emerge through the audio tapes of the last speakers of Chinuk Wawa, as these monuments are explored beyond their perceived physicality.
Colectivo Los Ingrávidos
MEXICO, 2017, 16MM TO DIGITAL VIDEO, 9 MIN
Various historical moments of political activism in Mexico are layered together and corroded on the emulsion of expired film. Footage from the International Women’s Day in 2017 is coupled with the recording of a powerful speech that speaks to the gruesome aftermath of the 2006 civil unrest in Sant Salvador Atenco.
Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams
Karrabing Film Collective
AUSTRALIA, 2016, DIGITAL VIDEO, 29 MIN
The breakdown of a boat motor propels the retelling of an indigenous ancestral story of sweat, land, and spirits through a series of surreal re enactments by extended family members. The story unfolds across overlapping points of views that intertwine the pressures from the settler colonial state, the Christian faith, indigenous ancestry, and their day to-day realities.
Davani Varillas (Colectivo Los Ingrávidos) will be in attendance.
Saturday April 14th , 2018 , 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Space Without Path or Boundary
Ben Rivers and Ben Russell
UK/SWITZERLAND, 2018, S16MM ON DIGITAL VIDEO, 48 MIN
The Rare Event revolves around a forum involving a cast of notable thinkers, writers, artists, and critics gathered to imagine the possibilities of Résistance, the unrealized sequel to Jean-François Lyotard’s 1983 exhibition titled Les Immatériaux. Tasked with documenting the three-day “forum of ideas,” collaborators Ben Rivers and Ben Russell intervene in the philosophical discussion by gesturing toward the promises of Lyotard’s conceptual project concerned with the obverse side of communication: noise, distortion, and magic. Through the use of a haptic surround sound mix that is often deferred and delayed in time, the circling presence of a “Green Man,” and the dense digital environments of artist Peter Burr, a parallel event begins to appear, one that wanders in and out of the discursive space and toward other dimensions of sensibility and experience.
Invocation of My Demon Brother
UK, 1969, 16MM, 11 MIN
Almost 50 years since the conception of the film as “an attack on the sensorium,” Invocation of My Demon Brother still retains the possibility of “resistance” through satanic manifestation and magic.
Ben Rivers and Ben Russell will be in attendance.
Saturday April 14th , 2018 , 7:00pm - 9:00pm
The Rare Event
Guest curated program by Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys
Demands for indigeneity have long been entwined with efforts to erase and replace the Indigenous. Channelled through practices of salvage ethnography and “playing Indian,” subliminal attractions evince yearnings for a spectral indigeneity that is removed from actual Indigenous people. The relegation of Indigenous identities to the past denies the presence of bodies currently living on colonized land. Indigenous artists who participate in the art world of settler-colonial states are expected to provide knowledge in a relationship similar to that between informant and anthropologist. In our current period of existential and environmental catastrophe, desires for Indigenous epistemologies increase and enterprising settlers labour to extract this understanding as a natural resource. From an Indigenous perspective, this has palpable consequences, from romanticization and commodification to appropriation and cultural erasure.
Within the entangled emergence of multiculturalism, neoliberalism, decolonialism, and self-reflexive anthropology, cultural apprehensions which arise from fears of offense—imbricate and fuel stronger calls for Indigenous information and informants. Many non-Indigenous people find ways to frame themselves as Indigenous, just as Indigenous people perform indigeneity themselves. If these tendencies are so deeply entrenched in this nation’s self-image, can they be studied, manipulated, or employed by Indigenous people to catalyze an expansion of Indigenous agency, amplifying the power of the informant? Can desires that push Indigenous people to an ideal and irretrievable past instead be channelled to promote the imagining of Indigenous futures?
Through video and performance, The Informants will examine the desire for indigeneity in the myths, dreams, and political foundations of the so-called Americas.
Zack Khalil, Adam Khalil and Suzanne Kite will be in attendance.
Saturday April 14th , 2018 , 9:30pm - 11:00pm
CANADA/USA, 2016, DIGITAL VIDEO, 41 MIN
“I’m piecing together fragments because I don’t yet have a subject”—through this self-proclaimed process, Davey’s subject is found as she meanders through her apartment, and through her thoughts, carefully weaving together points of resonance across disparate practices, films, and texts. Responding to Chantal Akerman’s News from Home, both as a source of inspiration and to pay homage to the recently deceased filmmaker, Davey considers the film’s connections to herself and the experiences of those close to her. This visual essay is woven inside the frame, with and through the artist’s lived space.
UNITED KINGDOM, 2016, 16MM ON DIGITAL VIDEO, 3 MIN
A poetic narration speaks to the imagined future of a young woman and her reflections on her changing city, as a group of women traverse their turf in London’s Hackney to the repeated call to action: “Let’s get rid of the ghetto.”
The Wind Sleeps Standing Up
CANADA/PAKISTAN, 2016, DIGITAL VIDEO, 12 MIN
Memory and biography are examined through experiments in narration as Bamboat plays with ambiguous boundaries between fact and fiction. Lists of personal preferences of various quotidian textures such as pop culture, food, and sexuality are described both in first and third person, sketching a constellation of clues to form a biography. Footage shot by the artist in Pakistan several years apart becomes both an indicator of image technology and a metaphor for memory.
Ayo Akingbade will be in attendance
Sunday April 15th , 2018 , 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Steve Reinke and James Richards
UK/USA, 2017, DIGITAL VIDEO, 40 MIN
Before the Information Age we had three components to worry about: the mind, the body, the soul. Now we have a fourth—the archive—that we don’t yet know how to worry about. The mind fades, the body rots, the soul is a fiction, but the archive persists and grows stronger. We are only learning how to relate to it now.
The auto-erotic photography of Albrecht Becker (1906-2002) can serve as a model for this. Becker was a production designer, actor, and photographer imprisoned by the Nazis for homosexual behaviour. He recorded his life, his travels, and the people around him fanatically.
The Schwules Museum* holds a portion of his private archive: a series of staged self-portraits that demonstrate a profound exploration of genital modification and esoteric body tattooing. Over four decades, Becker obsessively produced and then reworked these photographs through collage and darkroom manipulation, duplicating and transforming.
This extraordinary series of photographs serves as the starting point for What Weakens the Flesh is the Flesh Itself (2017), the second collaborative video by Steve Reinke and James Richards. This work is an extended meditation on the archive, masculinity, photography, and the body. The double self-portrait is redoubled, repeatedly: a mise en abyme. Self is lost as flesh proliferates, escaping death, returning as a thin image resonant with desire and possibility.
—Steve Reinke and James Richards
Voce di Testa
Reading performed by Jean-Paul Kelly and Chris Curreri
Love and Torment—Albrecht Becker
Rosa Von Praunheim
GERMANY, 2005, DIGITAL VIDEO, 14 MIN
Steve Reinke will be in attendance
Sunday April 15th , 2018 , 7:00pm - 9:00pm
What Weakens the Flesh Is the Flesh Itself
The Private Property Trilogy: A Survey of the Life and Films of C.B.
MEXICO/USA/CANADA, 2018, CINEMA LECTURE, 37 MIN
The Private Property Trilogy is a performance lecture that surveys the life and work of C.B., a multifaceted artist, political activist, amateur archaeologist, self-proclaimed anarchist, and creator of a mining museum in the Northern Mexico desert. Stories of land rights and artistic endeavors become inextricably linked as Nicolás Pereda poetically uncovers the missing fragments of C.B.’s personal history.
UK/CHINA, 2018, DIGITAL VIDEO, 33 MIN
Following the expansion of infrastructure and distribution networks along the New Silk Road—the highly politicized trade corridor linking China and Europe—AAA Cargo maps the the flow of human and non-human agents across this vast landscape. Government efforts to facilitate and expedite trade are countered by desert sand and other environmental forces.
Bad mama, who cares
USA, 2016, 16MM TO 35MM, 12 MIN
Bad mama, who cares depicts the domestic ecology of a geologist who has moved into a housing complex at the intersection of a rail yard and an interstate. Looking from the outside in, the arid exterior landscape and seismic vibrations slowly take over the interior, transforming the domestic space into a tactile home.
Nicolás Pereda will be in attendance.
Sunday April 15th , 2018 , 9:30pm - 11:00pm
Watching the Detectives
CANADA, 2017, 16MM, 36 MIN
Photographs taken at the scene of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing serve as a screen onto which the prejudices of anonymous internet commentators are projected. Kennedy’s Watching the Detectives confronts the reverse side of the democratization entailed by the mass availability and instantaneous transmission of visual material. The result is a compelling metaphor for contemporary political subjecthood—in a time when experts are mistrusted and “truth” is increasingly thrown into question, one is ultimately forced to take up the role of amateur detective.
USA, 1986, 16MM, 22 MIN
A readymade film concerning the assassination of Malcolm X, Perfect Film is in equal parts a crucial document and a radical gesture. By refraining from altering his source material (a set of interview reels used for a TV news broadcast, found “maybe in a Canal St. bin, I forget“), Jacobs makes a powerful case in favour of the primacy of the document and against the rhetoric of the documentarist—the filmmaker not as artist but as disseminator of images; the perfect film as non-film.
Chris Kennedy will be in attendance.
Monday April 16th , 2018 , 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Watching the Detectives
The prolific and deeply personal practice of Steve Reinke includes video, drawing, needlepoint, photography, and writing. This program features many key video works from his career, spanning from the early ’90s to the present, and from the various series he has developed. Together, the works build upon each other, deepening Reinke’s examination of themes of mortality, sexuality, the subconscious, childhood trauma, queer identity, and his various Freudian preoccupations. Formally, the evolution of his visual style is evident, landing at his signature cocktail—an amalgamation of original footage, appropriated imagery, and hand and digitally rendered material, overlaid with his indelible, intimate narration.
Atheists Need Theology, Too
CANADA/USA, 2016, DIGITAL VIDEO, 11 MIN
Joke (Version One)
CANADA, 1991, DIGITAL VIDEO, 5 MIN
Regarding the Pain of Susan Sontag (Notes on Camp)
CANADA/USA, 2006, DIGITAL VIDEO, 4 MIN
Anal Masturbation and Object Loss
CANADA/USA, 2002, DIGITAL VIDEO, 6 MIN
Squeezing Sorrow from an Ashtray
CANADA/USA, 1992, DIGITAL VIDEO, 6 MIN
Hobbit Love is the Greatest Love
CANADA/USA, 2007, DIGITAL VIDEO, 14 MIN
A Boy Needs a Friend
CANADA/USA, 2015, DIGITAL VIDEO, 22 MIN
Steve Reinke will be in attendance.
Monday April 16th , 2018 , 9:00pm - 11:00pm
Canadian Artist Spotlight: Steve Reinke
Student curated program by Colin Rosati (OCAD University), Sahar Te (University of Toronto), and, Sara Wylie (Ryerson University)
This program visualizes the complexities of representation in order to question the role of spectatorship in our current complex, sociopolitical landscape. The filmmakers use moving image to render, erase, and bring into focus lives in liminal states.
From bearing witness in the passenger seat or a drone’s-eye view, to the non-human POV of the post-Anthropocene, cinematic conventions are upended in order to delve into these liminal states. The moving image provides us with a window into another perspective that can facilitate empathy, poetics, entertainment, and voyeurism.
—Colin Rosati, Sahar Te, and Sara Wylie
Tuesday April 17th , 2018 , 7:00pm - 9:00pm
GERMANY, 2017, DIGITAL VIDEO, 132 MIN
Over the past 25 years, the films of Heinz Emigholz have staged a sustained dialogue between cinema and architecture, attempting to reconcile the durationality of moving images with the simultaneity of built structures. Part of his recent four-part Streetscapes series, Streetscapes [Dialogue] uses cinema as a means of both apprehending and producing space, taking as its setting projects by architects Julio Vilamajó, Eladio Dieste, and Arno Brandlhuber, all shot in his idiosyncratic, dissonant style. However, unlike previous efforts, Streetscapes [Dialogue] places the artist in the midst of his own work, as an intensive therapeutic exchange between Emigholz and psychologist Zohar Rubinstein is acted out by avatars inserted into the discontinuous cine-architectural space. Through this intervention, Streetscapes [Dialogue] furthers Emigholz’s practice of thinking space through cinematic time.
Heinz Emigholz will be in attendance.
Tuesday April 17th , 2018 , 9:00pm - 11:00pm
GERMANY/GUINEA-BISSAU/FRANCE/PORTUGAL, 2017, DIGITAL VIDEO, 86 MIN
The resurrection of an archive of decaying film reels, shot during the revolutionary and post-revolutionary period in Guinea-Bissau, serves as the starting point for an archaeology of lost futures. Portuguese artist Filipa César collaborated with Bissau- Guinean filmmakers Sana Na N’hada and Flora Gomes, who were part of a group sent to Cuba to study filmmaking during the revolution and later tutored by Chris Marker, to organize and document the archive’s dissemination through a series of screenings, both in Europe and its country of origin. Rather than seeking to reconstitute the archive as a rarefied object restored to its original state, the material in Spell Reel is treated as an active element, a link not only to the past but to a revolutionary futurity whose charge it still holds.
Thursday April 19th , 2018 , 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Works by Toronto artists
Guest curated program by Alexandra Gelis
If redaction is a process of editing documents, in which the removal of sensitive information is typically replaced with black rectangles—an act of sanitization for documents to circulate to a broader audience—then this removal of what cannot be shared renders every document radically incomplete.
On occasion, the persons performing the redaction, the redactors, add brief elements of their own, covering and uncovering. The works in this program deal with radical interrogations of power, the body, the collective, the political, and the land, inviting different sensibilities to this fundamental recognition, and re-representation of incompleteness.
The Bed and the Street
Heather Frise and Mike Hoolboom
Bodies in Motion
the coyotes must see the
Thirza Cuthand is an Indian Within the Meaning of the Indian Act
Down the Drain
Recreactions (From The House in Ruins 1 of 2)
Thursday April 19th , 2018 , 9:00pm - 11:00pm
Fastest Man in the State
Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena Harold
USA, 2017, 16MM ON DIGITAL VIDEO,
Historical reenactments of athletes performing various sports at the University of Virginia are seen as Kent Merritt, one of the first African American scholarship athletes at the university reflects on his experience.
Germany, 2017, 16MM, 4 MIN
Part of a series of portraits about women close to the filmmaker, LISA is a lyrical study of Risa Tamaru, affectionately rendered through close glimpses of her daily life, and filmed in Berlin and Yokohama.
Akosua Adoma Owusu
USA, 2018, SUPER 8 ON DIGITAL VIDEO,
The spirit of Tracy Chambers, the struggling fashion design student played by Diana Ross in the 1975 Motown film Mahogany, is invocated and re-imagined by the Nigerian actress Esosa E.
CANADA, 2017, SUPER 8, 16MM AND
35MM ON DIGITAL VIDEO, 15 MIN
Through a dense process of collage, animation, and graphic techniques, a biography of an architect becomes an expression of the desire of cinema to partake of the art of building and the construction of spaces.
TURKEY, 2017, 16MM ON DIGITAL VIDEO,
Dinçel’s meditation on female labour utilizes close-up textures of skin, grape leaves, earth, and fabric, which are accompanied by a song written on occasion of a wedding.
3 Dreams of Horses
CANADA, 2018, DIGITAL VIDEO, 6 MIN
A triptych in which the figure of the horse becomes a medium for meditation on its various incarnations as symbol, domesticated animal for human domination, and its abstract power as spirit.
GERMANY, 2018, DIGITAL VIDEO, 13 MIN
The hypnotic oscillation of images crescendos into a fusion of figure and field as different temporalities, forms, and forces evoke an affecting, and at times ominous interior space of subconscious experience and transformation.
St. Bathans Repetitions
CANADA/NEW ZEALAND, 2016, SUPER
8MM AND 16MM ON 35MM, 20 MIN
Shot in a saloon and horse stables in the former gold mining town of St. Bathans, New Zealand, the film drifts between representation and graphic abstraction as these cinematic portraits, which are layered in-camera, multiply the solitary figure through temporal diffraction.
Claudrena Harold, Ute Aurand, Rhayne Vermette, Mike Hoolboom, Sylvia Schedelbauer, and Alexandre Larose will be in attendance.
Friday April 20th , 2018 , 6:00pm - 8:00pm
In Search of a Likeness
KYRGYZSTAN/FRANCE, 2018, SUPER 8 ON DIGITAL VIDEO, 84 MIN
Centring Kyrgyz women’s voices, Djamilia traces the influence of Chinghiz 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. Exquisitely shot on Super 8, the film is composed of portraits of women of all ages in intimate settings—around kitchen tables, in gardens, in parks, and across diverse Kyrgyz landscapes—each reflecting on traumas resulting from the practices of child marriage and bride kidnapping. Despite recent criminalization, these practices remain common, with nearly a third of Kyrgyz girls and women being forced into marriage against their will. The film transports us to a region rarely represented in the media, and shares these women’s experiences of selfhood and identity. Djamilia invites women to reflect on their lives, their roles in society, and their expectations for change.
Aminatou Echard will be in attendance.
Preceeded by Awards Ceremony
Friday April 20th , 2018 , 8:30pm - 11:00pm