The Belgo Report » Film and Video News and reviews of art exhibitions in the Belgo Building Fri, 15 Jan 2016 19:12:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Christina Battle at Skol Tue, 03 Nov 2015 22:21:21 +0000 Centre des arts actuels Skol, space 341
The People In This Picture Are Standing On All That Remained of a Handsome Residence
Christina Battle
10 September – 10 October 2015

Christina Battle’s piece, Skol’s feature for ‘La Mois de le Photo’, “The people in this picture are standing still on all that remained of a handsome residence” uses glitching and datamoshing to transform videos of a tornado in Edmonton into colorful abstractions. Since the images occur on several screens simultaneously, the viewer feels placed within the disaster scene but in a warped, almost dreamlike way. In her interview for ‘Mois de la Photo’, Battle, a Canadian who lives in works in the United States, mentions that only 5% of Americans have actually witnessed a natural disaster whereas the internet and the proliferation of ‘disaster porn’ creates the illusion that we know what one looks like.

When Battle manipulates these images of a disaster, they immediately register to the viewer as intentionally abstracted, altered or somehow ‘wrong’ in their depiction of a disaster. However, it is this very sensation that Battle is trying to invoke in order to cause the viewer to question his or her knowledge of what a natural disaster is ‘supposed’ to look like.

Thus, Battle’s work speaks to the post-photographic condition in that it questions photography as a memetic mode of representation. Since the photograph is often considered an objective and therefore somehow more ‘accurate’ depiction of reality, Battle’s deliberate manipulation of this convention is simultaneously unsettling and fascinating.

The title of the work also speaks to the installation itself in addition to the subject it is depicting. The viewers are standing in the midst of the proverbial wreckage, among the remains of something of unknown. Since photographic media and technology have been used to capture and disseminate these images, it is both ironic and yet appropriate that these same technologies can be used to warp these images and, in turn, our perception of what they seek to represent.

Battle’s work presents us with more than a simple questioning of ‘disaster porn’ in terms of why we are fascinated by it, but what it actually is in the first place. Her work is calling us to question the reality of these images of disasters by presenting us with a visual version of a disaster narrative that has so clearly been deliberately tampered with. Furthermore, in this way, she gives us a sense of the artist’s hand, a human touch in medium that can sometimes feel almost clinical in its disembodied depersonalization.

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Paul Wong’s Multi-Verse: Life, in GIF format Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:29:56 +0000 Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal
Joyce Yahouda Gallery | space 516
Paul Wong
September 10 – October 10, 2015

A wall of flickering images depicts the many details of multimedia artist Paul Wong’s daily life. Each image is visible for no more than half a second. The viewer is struck by the overwhelming quantity of content, and by the obsessive collecting that allowed its creation. Some of the GIFs include: geometric abstractions, a blooming rose, an iPhone message asking for confirmation to delete a photo, and a naked backside seen under a Pop Art filter. The personal mixes with the public, the figurative with the abstract, and the amateur with the professional. The images burn with the intensity of the everyday.

Capturing and exploring identity through digital imagery has always been an integral part of Wong’s practice. As one of Canada’s most respected, and prolific, artists he investigates what it is to be oneself in a society where it’s easy to be engulfed by overwhelming external influences and perspectives. Throughout his 40-year career, Wong has seen different technologies come and go. For many years, he carried two heavy cameras everywhere he went – one for video, and one for still photographs. Nowadays, his kit is much lighter. At a talk to open his exhibit Multi-Verse at Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal (MPM), he explained how smart phones have revolutionized his practice, saying, “Since I got the iPhone 6, it’s all I carry.”

This new media aspect of Wong’s works allows it to speak to what MPM curator, Joan Fontcuberta, identifies as the establishment of a “new visual order”. As one of the biennial’s key conceptual frameworks, this idea incorporates the notion that society’s relationship with the image is fundamentally changing. Nowadays, images are: largely digital, readily available, and easily transmissible. Their now ubiquitous nature means individuals communicate via images on a day-to-day basis. Wong presents four pieces as part of the exhibit. Each work offers us a glimpse into the artist’s world, and most are an expression of his identity as seen through his social media. One piece is an outdoor video installation, and the remaining three are presented at Galerie Joyce Yahouda.

In #LLL, Looking, Listening, Looping (2014), Wong covers a wall of the gallery with 40 tablets – each screen plays GIF animations on a continuous loop. Like much of his recent work, it was created and edited entirely on a smart phone. Each of the GIFs and videos were initially shared with his social media community through free apps like Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, and GIF Boom. He said that at the time he didn’t give much thought as to what he may do with the images, and certainly didn’t plan to present them in a gallery one day. Their sole context was to be shared with his community of followers, online. The GIF and video content is varied, and ranges from selfies to more abstract imagery. In total, Wong presents 75 minutes of work, the equivalent of a feature length film; he said he considers each GIF as a scene from his life.

Standing in front of the installation, it’s difficult to focus on any one tablet. However, to see each image within a GIF, it needs to be watched through at least a few repetitions. There is a sensation of distracted attentiveness that feels similar to being overwhelmed by online images, or scrolling through a Facebook feed. The feeling of being inundated by multiple photos, by the sheer quantity of content, is an integral part of Wong’s work. It raises the question: what is the point of all these images if it’s not possible to interact meaningfully with them?

Wong’s outdoor video installation, Year of GIF (2013), was created from the content he generated during his first year of GIF-making. Originally constructed as a site-specific piece for the Surrey Urban Screen, it was adapted for projection onto the brick wall outside Montreal’s Saint Laurent metro station. The work is a five-minute loop of 350 GIFs, all made on a smart phone. The content ranges from selfies, photographs featuring technology, individual portrait studies, art references, artworks, travel images, and architecture.

At his exhibit launch, Wong described how there is an interesting, yet tragic, link between his fascination with GIFs and his family life. Wong’s mother, who currently lives with him, suffers from dementia. In describing the situation, he said she lives in a “magical, abstract world” of non-linear time. Adding that her memory can play in constant loops, replaying certain events, while completely losing others. The poignant link between the nature of GIFs and his mother’s memory is not lost on the artist himself.

Wong’s third work, Solstice (2014), is a 24-minute video, which captures an infamous Vancouver street at intervals over a 24-hour period. Made using the pixel motion filter tool in After Effects, it evokes surveillance imagery, and shows the comings and goings of an area known as “Crack Alley” – a popular place for drug consumption and trafficking. The pixel motion filter makes it seem as though figures are continuously appearing out of, and then disappearing into, thin air. They materialize as if conjured by some external force.

Finally, Wong also presents Flash Memory (2010-2015), a four-channel video showing the iPhone photos he took over a four-year time period. Each channel is divided by year: 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. The channels scroll through each image at a rapid pace like when uploading photos from a cell phone onto a laptop. Wong said he came across the idea by accident when he was watching an upload onto his own computer. He added that he finds the way we look at images now, the way we scroll through them rather than closely examining each file, is very different from in the past. All images – good, bad, different, useful and not useful – are merged together chronologically, and awarded equal value in terms of the space they occupy in our mental memories, and in our digital memory systems. This complete blurring of amateur, professional, personal and public, is something Wong wants to convey with the work. The excessive accumulation of images is also a key idea explored by other artists involved in the biennial.

Wong is based in Vancouver, and works as a practicing artist, and curator. He is also the co-founder of several artist run organizations, and the director of On Main Gallery, which has been operating since 1985. His work is included in public exhibits at the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and the Canada Council Art Bank. His current exhibit, Multi-Verse, will be on display until October 10, 2015, at Galerie Joyce Yahouda.

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The Staging of Experiences Tue, 23 Jun 2015 01:52:44 +0000 Days pass: we interact, we buy, we login, we make dinner, we share, we speak.

What role are we playing in these exchanges? Why do many encounters remain static, identical, leaving no space for thought or connection? Days can play out like a formula repeatedly entered into a spreadsheet – CTRL+C, CTRL+V, CTRL+C, CTRL+V.

Les Territories, is currently presenting the work of two emerging artists, Maria Meinild and Émilie Franceschin, who both explore life and societal norms as purely a performance. By examining the daily behavioral patterns that are embedded in our notion of normalcy, the artists allow the questioning of these ideas.

Maria Meinild’s video, Curtain, explores life as a staged presentation of our expectations and preconceived ideas of what life is, and what it should be. Incorporating elements from both theatre and film, and expressed as a dialogue with slight variations and repetitions, she forces the viewer to question the theatrics of daily life, and how necessary the performance is to maintain one’s identity.

Maria’s short video features two main characters, at times reading from a script and at times speaking naturally. The female character repeats the phrase, “It takes solid preparation to provide spontaneity,” at different speeds and intonations – like she’s practising a line. Someone is introduced into the video as a “stranger” in the same way characters can be announced in theatre. The woman repeatedly corrects herself like she’s made a mistake on a line and is restarting the scene. Artificial visual creations scatter the set; there are oranges, skewered with cocktail umbrellas and arranged on a table. At Les Territories the video is projected onto a round surface that feels almost like you’re looking through a telescope or a pair of binoculars.

Émilie Franceschin’s series, Secrets, is presented in an adjacent room to Maria’s work, and is more tactile and tangible in its exhibition. It includes an assortment of objects, images and a video, which all culminated in a performance on Saturday June 20. The act called, I’ll Be Back Soon, saw the artist invite attendees to step into her journeys to understand her repeated struggles, real and imagined.

The objects created in advance of the performance are on display at Les Territoires for the duration of the exhibition. Her photographs, drawings and artifacts interact to reveal the work behind her performance, during the conception and before the execution. These objects offered audience members a new way of approaching the performance, which ultimately must be experienced. Viewers entered the act having seen these tangible materials and with a deeper understanding of the history and motivations that have driven the artist’s work. Émilie explores the body, its visceral quality, and intimate relationships with its surroundings. The performance, like a secret, is something that can’t be spoken – it must be experienced for it to become real and tangible.

The interactions between these two artists in the Les Territoires space is a fascinating one in that both approach this idea of life as performance in particularly unique, and moving, ways. Émilie’s idea draws its power from her very personal selection of artifacts, and her moving live performance. Maria’s approach is impactful by forcing a sense of detachment and unreality between the characters in her video. Additionally, her piece is scripted and produced in a way that presents many layers for audience interpretation.

Both exhibits are on display at Les Territoires in the Belgo Building until July 4, 2015.

Maria Meinild

Maria completed an MFA from the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen; she has also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Working primarily in video, but also extending to photo, collage, and installation, she has exhibited at New Jörg and Kunstverein Das Weisse Haus in Vienna, at Fauna in Copenhagen, and at ReMap4 in Athens. She was born in Karlshamn, Sweden, and lives and works between Copenhagen and Vienna.

Émilie Franceschin

Émilie is a graduate of the Toulouse School of Fine Arts, and has presented at performance festivals in France, Italy, England, Belgium and Germany. She has also participated in residencies at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, and in Dusseldorf. Recently she participated in the European Museums Night at the Calbet Museum in France. She lives and works in Toulouse.

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Maria Meinild, Émilie Franceschin at Les Territoires Sun, 24 May 2015 13:58:36 +0000 Exhibition: June 5 – July 4, 2015
Vernissage: June 5, 2015 at 6 pm

Maria Meinild

In Maria Meinild’s practice the staging of life, behavioral patterns and the scripts that seem imbedded in our notion of normality are combined with a strong interest in theatre and film methodologies. Through a continous loop of repetitions and variations, Curtain investigates the constant restaging and confirming of certain gestures we perform to maintain a notion of who we are. A broad fabric of film and theatre reference form a unique tapestry as the work enters a dialogue with its own conditions and simltaneously explores which relations are produced in and outside this controlled framework.

Les Territoires is proud to announce two special exhibitions of emerging artists. The Swedish artist Maria Meinild will present a video installation in conjunction with the Celeste Prize, an international contemporary art prize awarded by Celeste, a networking platform for arts professionals. In addition, the French artist Émilie Franceschin will offer a view into the mechanics of her performance work by exhibiting a selection of photographs, drawings and artifacts, followed by a performance.

Émilie Franceschin

Secrets by Émilie Franceschin is an exhibition that reveals the mechanics behind the conception and execution of performances. Though ephemeral, these creations give rise to a new set of tangible materials gravitating around drawing, text, arrangements of objects, music and video.  The act of performing, like the secret, is not something that can be told. It has to be accomplished, to be lived. And it is through this notion of “being there” that the artist accompanies us on a journey across places and times where the body acts and evokes the intimate relationship it has built with its surroundings. This soft immersion will be followed by a performance (date to come).
(Text: Les Territoires)
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John Player, Michel Huneault at Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain Tue, 19 May 2015 13:36:43 +0000 Exhibition: May 14 – June 20, 2015
Vernissage: Thursday May 14th from 5 pm to 7:30 pm

John Player
Nouveaux tableaux

Michel Huneault
10 Minutes à Tohoku

Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by John Player in parallel with a projection of 10 Minutes at Tohoku, a documentary video by photographer Michel Huneault.

John Player’s work presents a restrained and detached view of surveillance culture. Endless defense from an unknown but constant threat is unveiled in appropriated images from mass media, newspapers and archives found largely on the Internet. The imagery shares a kind of aesthetic of power and control, now commonplace and even expected, as well as a paradoxical inertia. Dominant culture’s obsession with speed and control is confronted with the slow read of painting; the banality and distraction of technology challenged by painterly care.

Michel Huneault’s 10 minutes at Tohoku is the video component of Post Tohoku, a transmedia art documentary project, bringing us to Japan one year after the 2011 tsunami hit the region. On March of that year, the Tohoku coast of Japan was devastated by a triple catastrophe: earthquake, tsunami, nuclear incident. 15 880 deaths, 2694 missing, 128 931 buildings destroyed. Michel Huneault travelled to Tohoku a year after the event with these questions in mind: How to represent the long term physical and psychological impacts of such a catastrophe, the trauma, the void? How to make sense of it while avoiding disaster porn? How to live near or in this scarred landscape for the years to come? Will Tohoku rebuild, physically and in our minds? 10 minutes at Tohoku is the resulting meditative video, shot along 250 km of the affected coast, from Fukushima to Kesennuma.

(Text: Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain)

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Journée Paroles et Manoeuvres at Skol Mon, 11 May 2015 13:15:09 +0000 Multidisciplinary Event

May 16, 2015
Curated by Mirna Boyadjian
in collaboration with ELEKTRA 16: POST-AUDIO, and the 1st edition of the International Sound Art Biennial.

Journée Paroles et Manoeuvres

In the spirit of exchange and reflection, Skol invites the public to participate in Journées Paroles et Manœuvres. A cross-disciplinary meeting of interventions, conferences, performances and discussions, this event aims to inverse roles, to encourage collaboration between different types of expertise and to support hybrid forms of communication. Journées Paroles et Manœuvres is an opportunity to take time, together, through various forms and ideas.


Program: Sound Art, War and the Arab World

- 2pm: Sound piece by Mazen Kerbaj, Starry Night, 2006.

A 40-minute improvisation recorded by Mazen Kerbaj in Beirut on the night of 16th/17th July 2006, in which Kerbaj’s trumpet ‘duets’ with the sound of Israeli bombs.

(The piece is presented in the gallery with earphones).

 – 2:30pm: Performance by Mirna Boyadjian and Raïa Haïdar, Une nuit, 2015

A visual and sound performance that speaks of war through the narration, both recorded and live, of the experience of a night during the Libanese civil war.

– 3pm: Conferences and discussions

Samir Saul – The Arab World in Turmoil: Points of Reference
Monia Abdallah – The War Regime in the Silence of Peace. Reflections on a Selection of Contemporary Artworks.
Serge Cardinal – Stereophony of the Syrian Conflict

 – 5pm: Short films by Abounaddara collective.

Emergency cinema that gives a voice to Syrian citizens.

– 5:30: Live music by “Jerusalem In My Heart”.

An experimental approach to Arabic music.

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The Short Form at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art Fri, 08 May 2015 01:59:32 +0000 THE SHORT FORM
02.05.15 – 11.07.15
Curated by: Sarah Pierce & Gerard Byrne

With: George Barber, Catherine Elwes, Nicky Hamlyn, Barbara Hammer, Simon Hartog, Ian Helliwell, Kurt Kren, Rosalind Nashashibi / Lucy Skaer, Grace Ndiritu, Jayne Parker, Laure Prouvost, James Richards, Chris Saunders, John Smith, Stephen Sutcliffe, Peter Todd, Vision Machine Film Project, Cerith Wyn Evans

SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, in association with LUX, presents The Short Form, a selection of short films drawn from the LUX archive compiled by the artists Sarah Pierce and Gerard Byrne.

The Short Form
Using simple search criteria of LUX’s film and video archive, the Dublin-based artists Sarah Pierce and Gerard Byrne chose an elemental, structural way of sifting through the inventory and of selecting films rather than sorting according to key words or themes, era, artists or genre.

The resultant program, The Short Form, presented at SBC, escapes the curatorial ‘thesis’ approach that typically bonds artworks, in order to think of the works as singular, detached, and irreconcilable. More

Sarah Pierce & Gerard Byrne in conversation
May 23, 2015, 3pm

(text: SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art)
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Velibor Božović, Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron at Les Territoires Wed, 22 Apr 2015 02:30:00 +0000 Velibor Božović: My Prisoner
Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron: Euh… non pas le premier soir. Les jeunes filles ne veulent pas d’histoire

Exhibition: April 24 to May 23 2015
Vernissage: April 24 2015 at 6 pm

Galerie Les Territoires is proud to annouce these two exhibitions as part of MAPPE, an exhibition and mentorship program that provides emerging artists with basic tools for embarking upon and developping their artistic careers. Artist-mentor : Chih-Chien Wang

Velibor Božović
My Prisoner is a video work that reconstructs an event that occurred on 3 April 1994 in Bosnia. It shows a young man being escorted by an army intelligence officer to visit his imprisoned father. As the men travel side-by-side in the back seat of a car Shine on You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd begins to play on the car radio. The young man acknowledges the music and tries to make conversation but the officer does not even recognize the track. A composite of autobiography, documentary and fiction, My Prisoner navigates through the space where the historical, the personal and the fictional simultaneously interfere with and enhance one another.

Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron
Euh…non pas le premier soir. Les jeunes filles ne veulent pas d’histoire delves into mechanisms of seduction and how young girls’ figures often seem to provide easy access to perfect, malleable bodies. The female body was a territory of male conquest, a trophy, a site of projection. The boundary between fashion models, sexually radiant girls and inflatable dolls is fragile. Revisiting some of the characteristic codes of this fantasied space, Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron examines the motif of the young girl: a motif of luxurious commodities and commodification. The doll sells the dream (and also the insurance), she is the source of fantasy… The hussy commands respect and brings about all that is sellable. She is the commodity that we can’t burn easily because doing it would be painful.

(Text: Les Territoires)
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Brent Meistre at Galerie Joyce Yahouda Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:09:10 +0000 Brent Meistre
The Stranger Who Licked Salt Back into our eyes

Exhibition: March 26, 2015  – May 09, 2015
Vernissage: Saturday March 28, 2015,  4 – 6 pm

The video tells the fictional story of a stranger who arrives in a land to search for himself and his love. He brings with him knowledge which on the one hand is enlightening but on the other is a burden. This work is a subtle exploration of themes around xenophobia, contrasting images of Greece (the Greek term xenos means stranger) with those of regions in southern Africa crossed by the Dorsland trekkers. The soundtrack is an adaptation of a traditional Swahili love song, Malaika, sung by Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba and long seen as an unofficial pan-African anthem.

(Text: Galerie Joyce Yahouda)
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Dil Hildebrand, Nelson Henricks at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain Tue, 10 Mar 2015 12:20:48 +0000 Dil Hildebrand
A few good words that still work, and the tide

Nelson Henricks
Endless Paper

Exhibition: March 19 – April 25, 2015
Vernissage: Thursday March 19th from 5 pm to 7:30 pm

Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Dil Hildebrand in parallel with a projection of Endless Paper, a single-channel video by respected multi-disciplinary artist Nelson Henricks.

A few good words that still work, and the tide represents a synthesis of Hildebrand’s two previous painting series. Alternately flat and spacious, this new hybrid body of work examines the artist’s ongoing interest in architecture and painting from a new angle.

In Henricks’ video Endless Paper a hand enters the screen and removes sheets of paper one at a time. This action continues in a seemingly infinite manner, without beginning or end. This work is an excerpt from the three-channel video installation, The Sirens.

Dil Hildebrand was born in Winnipeg and obtained his MFA at Concordia University in 2008. National winner of the RBC Painting Competition in 2006. Hildebrand has participated in numerous exhibitions including the 4th Beijing International Art Biennale (2010), “Back to the Drawing Board” at YYZ Toronto (2011), “The Builders” at the National Gallery of Canada Biennial (2012), “Re-configuring Abstraction” at the Manitoba University School of Art Gallery (2013), “Le Projet Peinture” at Galerie de l’UQAM (2013), “Shape Shifters” at the Herron Galleries of the University of Indiana (2013), “Young Canadian Painters” at Cambridge Galleries (2014), “La Beauté du geste” at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2014) and “Land-reform(ed)” at the Canada Council Ajagemô Gallery (2014). His work has been collected by major public institutions throughout Canada, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Bank of the Canada Council and in several corporate collections including the RBC Royal Bank, the Bank of Montreal, TD Canada Trust, Caisse de dépôt et placement, Bennett Jones LLP, Ernst and Young, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and McCarthy Tétrault LLP among others. In 2016, he will have a solo exhibition at Plein Sud in Longueuil.

Nelson Henricks was born in Bow Island, Alberta and is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art (1986). He moved to Montréal in 1991, where he received a BFA from Concordia University (1994). A musician, writer, curator and artist, Henricks is best known for his videotapes and video installations, which have been exhibited worldwide. A focus on his video work was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as part of the Video Viewpoints series in 2000. A mid-career retrospective of his work was presented at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery in Montréal in 2010. Henricks was the recipient of the Bell Canada Award in Video Art in 2002 and received the Board of Governors’ Alumni Award of Excellence from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2005. Henricks’ work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery. He lives and works in Montréal, where he is currently completing a PhD at Université du Québec à Montréal and will be presenting a solo exhibition at Dazibao, “A Lecture on Art” (30 April – 30 June 2015).

(Text: Galerie Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain)

Please visit the gallery website for more information, detailed images of the works presented and installation views.


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