Slippery Study

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Simon Liu, Signal 8, 2019

Slippery Study brings together a selection of structurally empowered works that withhold current conventions of personal and political form. Instead, the films deploy self-determined languages that express living with oneself, with inexplicable citizenship, among chosen family, in correspondence, in the fray of mall escalators, and in exile.

 

With attention to materiality and focused approaches to montage and sound design, the choice to employ silence, music, or narration (or lack thereof), these works elude the difficult triangulation—between artistic autonomy, self-representation, and the neoliberal imperative to access the personal and political particulate—that has become parcel to the institutional appraisal of artists’ and their work.

 

The program is framed by two formally akin and highly celebrated abstract animations jointly created by Evelyn Lambart and Norman McLaren, and supported by the National Film Board of Canada. We offer these works as historical examples of state-sponsored approaches to intuitive and formal exploration.

 

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Part Three
Kaya Joan
CANADA, 2019, DIGITAL, 4 MIN, ENGLISH
last night i awoke from dreams of other two legged beings like myself // they wore bright cloth and laughed around an elevated structure called table // the light on their faces was bright and artificial // some called me a name i thought i had forgotten

 

Lines Vertical
Evelyn Lambart (with Norman McLaren) CANADA, 1960, DIGITAL, 7 MIN, NO DIALOGUE 
McLaren and Lambart were driving in the countryside when he looked out the window at the telephone lines and said, “That’s a film.” Lambart created the dope sheets and etched all the film. Courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

 

Biometrics
Miko Revereza
USA, 2019, 16MM>DIGITAL, 3 MIN, NO DIALOGUE
There are no digital stills, preview screener, or digital file of this film. The image is created by the filmmaker repeatedly stamping his fingerprints onto the clear leader. The gesture recalls the process of recording bio data. The filmmaker must be present for the screening. The film will not be shipped. The film can only be screened where travel is permitted.

 

Black Mirror
Anocha Suwichakornpong
THAILAND, 2008, DIGITAL, 3 MIN, NO DIALOGUE 
A kaleidoscopic video essay exploring the state of contemporary Thailand.

 

Nisguya Chu
seth cardinal dodginghorse
CANADA, 2020, SUPER8>DIGITAL, 6 MIN, ENGLISH/ TSUUT’INA
“The first half of the video is footage I shot in 2014 when I was 19, on my family’s land before we moved because of the South West Calgary Ring Road. The second half I shot this summer while driving by our land, which is now the Ring Road’s construction site.”

 

Signal 8
Simon Liu
USA, 2019, 16MM>DIGITAL, 14 MIN, NO DIALOGUE 

They said a storm is calling this way but we’re still waiting. Lives carry on in Hong Kong as traces of civic upkeep morph into sites of remembrance.Decorative structures mimic nature then occasionally malfunction, transforming common spectacle to warning signs.

 

Life Mask (Peasant Leader)
Kiri Dalena
PHILIPPINES, 2018, DIGITAL, 2 MIN, NO DIALOGUE 

Life Masks is part of an ongoing series of photographic works and video portraits of political activists and artists in their homes or places of asylum. These works demonstrate mutual trust between the artist and subjects who appear in plaster masks to maintain their anonymity.

 

What Does The Water Taste Like Juliana Kasumu
UK/NIGERIA/US, 2019, DIGITAL, 8 MIN, ENGLISH/YORUBA

What Does the Water Taste Like? questions the production of identity as it relates to the filmmaker’s personal affiliations as a British-Nigerian. Prompted by intimate conversations, the film conjoins footage and voices of the past with their counterparts in the present-tense.

 

Begone Dull Care
Evelyn Lambart (with Norman McLaren, Oscar Peterson Trio)
CANADA, 1951, DIGITAL, 8 MIN, NO DIALOGUE
A film about discovering the value of accidents. McLaren could not decide how to finish the film and has said that, “the last thirty seconds belong to Evelyn.” Original score by the Oscar Peterson Trio. Courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

 

Lore
Sky Hopinka
USA, 2019, 16MM>DIGITAL, 10 MIN, ENGLISH 

Images of friends and landscapes are cut, fragmented, and reassembled on an overhead projector as hands guide their shape and construction in this film stemming from Hollis Frampton’s Nostalgia. The voice tells a story about a not too distant past, a not too distant ruin, with traces of nostalgia articulated in terms of lore; knowledge and memory passed down and shared not from wistful loss, but as a pastiche of rumination, reproduction, and creation.

  • Anocha Suwichakornpong (1976, Thailand) is a scriptwriter, director and owner of production house Electric Eel Films. Graceland (2006) became the first Thai short film to be included in the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival. 

  • Evelyn Lambart (23 July 1914–3 April 1999) was a Canadian animator and technical director with the National Film Board of Canada, known for her early collaborations with Norman McLaren, as well as her later films as sole director.

  • Juliana Oluwatosin Kasumu is a British-Nigerian artist based between London, UK, and New Orleans, LA, who engages with topics of diaspora. Kasumu’s work is largely informed by her own identity as a black woman traversing contemporary elements of Black culture to their colonial antecedents. Kasumu commits to the expression of critical ideas that challenge existing epistemologies of Blackness, honing in on a larger revisionist narrative to reclaim oppressive markers of cultural identity. 

  • Kaya Joan is an Afro-Indigenous interdisciplinary artist born and raised in T’karonto-Dish With One Spoon Treaty Territory. Kaya’s work focuses on healing, transcending ancestral knowledge and creating dreamscapes rooted in spiritualism from the lands of their ancestors.

  • Kiri Dalena examines, discusses, and contextualizes historical and present sociopolitical topics, particularly in the Philippine framework, from the position of an actively involved citizen, artist, and filmmaker. She uses various media such as photography, sculpture, video, and film to develop project that uphold human right amidst state persecution and the strucutra condition of the disproportionateness of the political and the economic democracy in the Philippines.

  • Miko Revereza (b. 1988, Philippines) is an award- winning experimental filmmaker, educated at Bard College. Moving from Manila, he has lived illegally in the United States for years. The work of this undocumented documentary filmmaker is strongly influenced by his own struggle with documentation and the exclusion that comes with it. 

  • Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) b. Ferndale, Washington, is currently based in Vancouver, BC, and Milwaukee, WI. He studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His work centres around personal positions of Indigenous landscape, language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable.

  • Simon Liu (based in Brooklyn, USA) was raised between Hong Kong and the UK. Liu’s films and 16mm multiple projection performances have been presented at film festivals and institutions internationally, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival, and Hong Kong IFF. Liu is currently in post-production on his first feature film, Staffordshire Hoard

Co-presented with

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA)
  • Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
  • Unit 2
  • the8fest
  • Western Front