Vtape - Program II



Program II: Bodies of Water


Sep 22 07:00 PM

Sep 24 12:30 PM


Cinesphere presented by Air France


Film & Video

Artist Details


Curated by Sam Cotter and Fraser McCallum

The future-oriented visions espoused in late modern expositions, exhibitions, trade shows and fairs are not without considerable historical myopia. These techno-utopian events are made possible only by the destructive forces of global capitalism and colonialism. This screening serves to re-centre the historical blindness upon which modernism is built. The works herein are characterized by broad sensitivities to land and place, formed by past and present migrations of living things, ideas and commodities. Informed by de-colonial and postcolonial theory, anti-imperialist struggles and critiques of urbanism, water is the medium through which ideas are made to flow, erode, and surge forth.

Saskia Holmkvist, Blind Understanding, 2009
A riverboat journey is narrated with stories of migration and adaption, highlighting the mutable nature of language.

Richard Fung, Islands, 2002, 8:45
A classic Hollywood film is deconstructed to reveal the geographic and cultural inaccuracies upon which its aspirations of exoticism and fantasy lie.

Shani Mootoo, A Paddle and a Canoe, 1992, 9:10
A cross-cultural conversation between canoeists reveals vastly different expectations of outdoor activity, underscoring broader pressures of assimilation and Canadian identity performance.

Keesic Douglas, Trade Me, 2010, 22:00
Douglas paddles from Rama First Nation to the Humber River, in an epic journey that exhumes histories of trade and commerce amid the re-emergence of colonial-chic products.

Vera Frenkel, Once Near Water: Notes from the Scaffolding Archive, 2008, 15:24
The notes of an anonymous city-dweller speak of Toronto’s changing cityscape, and its dissolving relationship with Lake Ontario.

Sam Cotter is a Toronto-based artist and writer interested in intersections of research, text and image. Cotter regularly employs photography, film and installation to examine issues of visual representation and artifice. Recent exhibitions and projects include Reciprocity – a failure to communicate, a special commission for C Magazine’s participation at the L.A. Art Book Fair, Spit and Image at Ryerson Image Centre and An Exhibition (with Fraser McCallum) at Xpace Cultural Centre, he will have a solo exhibition at Zalucky Contemporary in the fall of 2016. His writing has appeared in publications including Canadian Art, CV, C Magazine and Flash Art.

Fraser McCallum is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto. He holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto (2016), was a recent participant in Demos: Life in Common at the Banff Centre (2015), and a research fellow for the Curatorial Incubator program at Vtape (2013).

About Vtape:
Vtape is a vibrant distribution organization that represents an international collection of contemporary and historical video art and media works by artists. They make this collection accessible to curators and programmers, educators, scholars and public audiences worldwide. In addition to providing a distribution framework for established and emerging artists, Vtape is committed to establishing video art preservation and exhibition standards, and strives to support hybrid practices in an increasingly complex technical milieu.