About the 2017 Festival
August 10, 9:00 pm: Program 1 in the Art Gallery Gallery of Hamilton’s Irving Zucker Sculpture Garden
August 11, 7:00 pm (AGH Design Annex) & 9:00 pm (weather dependent, Hamilton Artists Inc. ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard): Photophobia Throwback
August 12, 9:00 pm: Program 2 in Hamilton Artists Inc.’s ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard
All three screenings are free and fully accessible.
Photophobia is the 11th annual festival of short-format contemporary media, film, video and moving image hosted in partnership between the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Hamilton Artists Inc. Established in 1999, Photophobia was Hamilton’s first film and video festival dedicated to the development of experimental time-based media at a time when there were no such platforms in the Hamilton community. The Art Gallery of Hamilton and Hamilton Artists Inc. are once again partnering to showcase contemporary practitioners who test the boundaries of the medium in 2017. Not confined by restrictions or themes, Photophobia is a free, two-part screening series presented under the cover of night in the Irving Zucker Sculpture Garden at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard at Hamilton Artists Inc.
Thursday, August 10, 9:00 pm: Program 1
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Irving Zucker Sculpture Garden
123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON
Natalie Hunter (Hamilton) – No More Than a Breath, 2017
What is a breath? Is it a muscle movement? A private moment? A burst of air? A gentle hum? A sign of life? Or a sudden gust of wind? No More Than A Breath explores all of these things by investigating the psychology of space, consciousness, embodiment, the senses, and memory.
Caught somewhere in-between motion and stillness, compiled video and sound footage from daily experiences explore the ephemeral qualities of air, whether from the body or from the environment. A breath becomes a metaphor for being. Using strategies that pertain to video montage and multi-channel video installation, No More Than A Breath attempts to unravel the microscopic, missed, and overlooked experiences of daily being according to a careful study of embodied and sensorial awareness.
Simon Zagari (Montreal) – My Father, 2015
For the Photophobia Festival, Simon Zagari presents a video based on the principle of the puppet theater, featuring his own father in the. Simon invites today visitors to contemplate a side of a fragile and fantasized decor.
Mary Porter (Hamilton) – Elegy for Springhurst, 2017
This film is about my former neighbourhood (Parkdale, Toronto) that has up until recently been an affordable place to live. As with many similar neighbourhoods across the world, it’s undergoing a rapid gentrification which risks erasing the idiosyncratic sense of place. I started making this project after learning that my landlord was going to sell my building, which I knew would precipitate a “reno-viction”. This film, which documents a walk from my door to the grocery store, is a study of the colour, light, and textures that I’ve come to know over ten years. It’s an experiment to see if I could make anyone care as much about this place as I do. The images are taken throughout the summer of 2016. They have been collaged frame by frame using a way of working that I’ve developed over the course of several animations that explore the built environment and our relationship to it. The sound is all found—the music comes from a neighbour’s window. It’s a love poem and an elegy to a weird place.
Stephanie Deumer (Los Angeles/ Guelph) – What is an Object, 2015
What is an Object? utilizes collaged imagery to interrogate the objectification of women in film, art, and everyday life. The video includes found footage from films featuring women viewed from behind, and under the male gaze – whether through the eyes of an artist, filmmaker, actor, or character. Using collage and a continuously shifting ground, the video renders something entirely apart from its components while relying on the context and framing of its fragments to do so. Women who were once subjects turned into objects (through the objectification of the male gaze) are now turned back into subjects through matter (that being the video, which also interrogates other material objects including film, painting, and sculpture). Not only are the women now subject matter, they are subjects that matter.
Kristina Durka (Hamilton) – Lady Lagomorph, 2017
This video is an intimate visualization of a shared moment of trust and sensuality, in which the artist’s persona, Mrs. Lady Lagomorph, publicly displays her tender affection for her rabbit.
I am interested in the parallels between women and animals throughout history, and apply this through representations of myself and pet rabbit Lou. First wave feminism suggests the removal of all dominance in relationships, between men and women, as well as human and animal. This philosophy is impossible to practice as a caregiver to a pet, and I view my rabbit as a life partner instead. During the duration of our time spent together, both myself and Lou experienced benign growths in the same location, thus suggesting our relationship was fated.
Yuka Sato (Tokyo) – Numb, 2016
This film is a combination of drama and experimentations mainly using the darkroom.
Kandis Frieson (Montreal) – To the Nightingales, 2017
To The Nightingales is a filmic collage, an audio-visual poetics emerging from a rhythmic anterior space. Sifting through found footage from early colour handheld-camera films, the video transports the viewer into another realm, absorbed in darkness and washed in light. The layered sound and textured image become a kind of casual rumination on the materials of an artist, of beginnings and endings, of tending, constructing, and holding – an abstract list of those things one cannot contain.
Penny McCann (Ottawa) – Gibraltar Point (transformed), 2017
Erratic flashes of light spark across a flickering expanse of Lake Ontario. The image itself can’t be contained as light and debris spill outside the frame. The random alchemy of hand-processing techniques creates a landscape that transcends the observable, edging into the sublime.
The ninth work in an ongoing series of poetic landscape films. Gibraltar Point (transformed) was created during a residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island. Shot on black and white 16mm film, hand-processed, then transferred digitally with an ambient sound design by Michelle Irving.
Jillian McDonald (Brooklyn) – Spirit, 2014
In Spirit, a line of fog creeps across wintry landscapes, hinting at a haunting presence.
Aislinn Thomas (Kitchener) – Stuffing, 2017
Stuffing is a response to both the accumulation of “stuff” and cultural expectations around body size, weight and shape. Food journals are often recommended to women as part of programs for weight loss or gain, nutritional therapy, and identifying food sensitivities. stuffing documents the artist taking a large pile of accumulated food records and stuffing them into her clothing, sculpting a different body in the process. Viewed at high speed, this action becomes an awkward and humorous dance that speaks to our relationship with our bodies and our “stuff.”
Deanna Restivo (Hamilton) – Lithargic Gestures, 2017
Lithargic Gestures is an analogue exploration of movement, life, and decay. Found footage, shot in the mid-twentieth century, has been carefully destroyed. Using a particular process, the film has been melted and fragmented, then allowed to reform to express the movement of the figures depicted. Some have been completely erased, while others contain remnants of their past lives and bodies. The fragments create clouds or swarms, swelling and disappearing throughout the movement of the camera and the figures themselves. Within these shadows and the quiet of the mountains, life and death remain.
Lydia Santia (Hamilton) – Surveillance (Ongoing) Version 2, 2017
This version of Surveillance (Ongoing) is a short video of a small CRT monitor showing security camera footage of my bedroom chosen over the span of several weeks. I not only carry out daily rituals but also acknowledge the camera’s presence on several levels. This arrangement mimics the idea of false privacy upheld by surveillance practices common in suburban neighborhoods, even in the most mundane moments of life. By upholding a subtle relationship with the camera, I introduce the theory that the roles of “watcher” and “watched” become redundant and irrelevant in a society that expects and reinforces these actions in everyone.
Judy Whale (Brampton) – (My) Secret Agent Zed, 2014
My adorable Grandson, Zachary, has long been fascinated with the secret agent world. He has his “spy gear” and code words and one day, we got together and decided to make a video, just for him! It turned out quite fun and he loves it (that’s what matters most). I hope you enjoy it too! 🙂
Friday, August 11, during Art Crawl: Photophobia Throwback Program
AGH Annex – 7:00 pm on
118 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8R 2K8
& Hamilton Artists Inc., ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard
(weather permitting) – 9:00 pm on
155 James Street North, Hamilton, ON
Su Rynard, The Day Jesus Melted, 1999. (3:15)
The Day Jesus Melted is a playfully poignant story of a child’s confrontation with the mysterious world of faith.
Scott Clark, Headdress, 1998. (3:30)
Drawn directly onto film, Headdress is a colorful example of scratch animation. An eagle flies over the forests and rivers and his spirit descends over the dancers at a pow wow. The live images of the dancers are intertwined with the animated images of an eagle in flight, magnificently illustrating the close relations between the world fo nature and the world of humans.
Sara Angelucci, In a Hundred, 2000. (4:00)
In a Hundred examines the experience of time: both as an ongoing linear progression, as well as a circular patter of nostalgic fragments. Ultimately, ‘real’ time can be measured and mathematical, as well as incalculable and personal.
Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, The Fine Arts, 2002. (3:38)
“I hate the fine arts, I hate, am disgusted by the fine arts because, um, the fine arts are always made with artifice.”
Mike Hoolboom, Rain, 2003. (4:00)
Found footage is reworked to suit a strangely melancholic thesis: it’s raining inside me.
Adad Hanna, Dinner in Florida, 2002. (1:29)
This is, quite literally, a video snapshot of a dinner table in Florida. It uses an unconventional strategy to reveal the ways in which photography deceives us.
Ximena Cuevas, La Tombola, 2001. (7:00)
Cuevas is interested in the border between truth and fiction, with the “impossibility” of reality. Here she redefines the meaning of documentary, by infiltrating a Mexican television talk-show.
Divya Mehra, Mother – Daughter: Together but Separate, 2005 (3:50)
A mother and daughter recite a sacred Hindu prayer. Without the prescence of her mother, the daughter’s memory fails and she loses confidence in completeing the prayer ritual.
Liss Platt, You Can’t Get There From Here, 2005 (8:00)
A short experimental documentary, this kinetic scrapbook of being sixteen is rife with burgeoning desire, adolescent rebelliousness and family crisic, circa 1982.
Shelley Niro, Tree, 2006. (5:00)
Personifying Mother Earth, she walks through her domain. She observes her environment and what has happened to it. She weeps. She feels violated. Not only has man damaged her, they continue to harm each other. She sighs. She will visit and start again sometime soon.
Abedar Kamgari, Pare, 2016. (15:00)
Pare (v.): to trim off an outside, excess, or irregular part of; to make smaller, to reduce in size, amount, or number (Merriam Webster dictionary)
Saturday, August 12, 9:00 pm
Hamilton Artists Inc, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard
155 James Street North, Hamilton, ON
(Note: by 9:15, front entrance will be locked, please enter through gate on Cannon St.)
Patrick Blenkarn and Lily Ross-Millard (Vancouver) – Heart and Soul: S12 E10, 2016 (9:09)
Created through a series of improvisations, Heart & Soul: S12 E10 presents a couple seemingly trapped in a red room waiting for a doctor and a last dance. The film explores the embodiment of desire and its mediation through technology and language.
Nicole Brunel (Calgary) – Perfect, Crazy, Boss, 2016 (1:29)
Perfect Crazy Boss is made of a collection of videos from Instagram humour accounts. The videos were edited so that the humor/punchline is removed and then collaged to create an apocalyptic narrative. This project is part of the artist’s ongoing research of the relationship between comedy, affect, and strategies for social justice. The video was created in response to the idea that leisure can be resistive; researching the leisurely act of watching humour videos on social media. Perfect Crazy Boss, exposes the nature of contemporary, digital humour, and the (ongoing) connection between comedy and tragedy.
Alexis Bulman (Montreal) – Jump and Slap, 2016 (4:11)
Jump and Slap is a video documented performance drawing that exaggerates the straight walls that surround my body, a body with a rare type of double curvature Scoliosis.
Anthony Easton (Hamilton)- Fidget, 2016 (4:34)
Fidget, is my hands playing with “Fidget Toys”, which are quite commonly found in people that have sensory disorders. I continue to be interested in the semiotics of autistic bodies, and it was strange making these–because it put how awkward my body is in space, evidence of clumsiness that i knew but perhaps did not internalise.
Alex Da Costa-Furtado (Hamilton) – Study for a Tradition, 2015 (4:12)
Study For A Tradition preserves a state of decay found in VHS tapes and uses it as a visual representation for the experience of memory. The video presents a narrative from personal archived footage that examines a cultural tradition – the pig slaughter. The tapes having not been played in more than ten years created the unstable video.
Super Vague (David Saunders, Keeley Haftner) (Chicago/SK) – Plunge, 2017 (4:20)
Plunge is a performative video in which polystyrene (Styrofoam) is submerged into a solvent (dichloromethane) to make it ‘disappear’ over and over again into the liquid. The video is edited to accompany Anohni’s “4 Degrees”. Together, the two serve as a powerful reflection on global warming, complacency, desperation, and the contemporary anxiety and exasperation that accompany them.
Margie Kelk (Toronto) – Substratae, 2015 (4:37)
Substratae, is an exploration of mythical lives glowing, under the eternal flux, with energies hidden deep within the earth. There is mystery here, and a sense of the otherworldly tempered with a dash of humour. In the film, a colourful array of characters interacts with metaphorical electronic components to present vignettes of activity and emotion in a rugged terrain, not unlike that found in the Alberta Badlands.
Žana Kozomora (Kitchener) – The Tourist, 2017 (10:31)
The Tourist is a single channel video that situates the artist’s exploration of displacement from her hometown as a kind of collaborative travelogue. The artist follows the path of a tourist, overlaying her voice onto his camera’s roaming eye as a tool to unmask the colonial history that lies beneath the nostalgic landscape. Accompanied by his performative and nationalist gestures, the tourist walks her hometown of Ilidža in Bosnia; filming post-war landmarks, ruined and renovated architecture, and her exiled family home. Personal narrative slips between bits of information culled from NATO digital archives, utilizing processes of familial memory and storytelling with digital mapping tools in order to experience a simulated journey home. Positioning herself as a secondary tourist to her own place of birth, the artist seeks to enact method
Isabel M. Martinez (Toronto) – Tiempo, 2015 (3:08)
TIEMPO examines temporal ideas associated with language and time. The work is a hybrid of photography and moving image: an animated photomontage, made from digitized medium format negatives. Dozens of sequences run simultaneously within a single-channel projection.
In a grid, a hundred and twenty-one mouths enunciate the six letters in the Spanish word for time, tiempo. The rhythmic qualities of language are used to dictate the patterns of fragmentation, flow, and assemblage. Formations that are kaleidoscopic and slightly hypnotic underscore durational gestures. These hint to phenomenological factors involved in the perception of temporal speed.
Christine Negus (London) – I’ve been waiting to smile for a long time, 2017 (3:52)
i’ve been waiting to smile for a long time is a film “filled with as much sadness as Billy Corgan,” combining simulated castration, those highly anticipated moments that just fail to deliver, and the pain every child of the 90s feels when they realize Danny Tanner moonlights as a smutty comedian – from Clint Enn’s curatorial program for If Seeing This It’s Too Late, presented through Visions & La Lumiere in Montreal QC in July 2017.
Alison Postma (Toronto) – Hotel, 2016 (5:57)
Hotel is a video work that examines the space of a hotel room as a stand-in for the familiar space of a home. The hotel room is a place stuck between familiar and not – meant to be both welcoming and comfortable while remaining standard and sterile. As a medium video highlights this space in-between familiar and not with its own indecisiveness – stuck between photography and sculpture. In Hotel the effects of existing in this perpetual in-between are explored through physically imagined dreams and nightmares.
Carolina Reis (Toronto) – Form Follows Body, 2016 (2:08)
Being the most visible and immediate manifestation of self, dress is both an individual and a social phenomenon regulating complex sets of values and beliefs in every culture. While clothing is mainly conceived for a standing position, the body has the capacity to take many other positions. Are clothes shaped by the body or does the body bend itself into clothes? If clothes were shaped differently, would that affect the way we moved, the positions we adopted, and even the way we think?
Andree-Anne Roussel (Montreal) – Milky, 2014 (14:43)
Three women live together in a closed and quiet apartment. Aude, Emma and Anne have an ambiguous relationship. Aude’s breasts start to produce milk, for no reason. Her two roommates become aware of this, and it disturbs slightly their microcosm.
Erin Whittier (Hamilton/Montreal) – Five Glacial Actions – Contemporary Glacial Theory and the Beingness of Nature, 2016 (5:34)
Focusing on the effects of the Ice Age on the Canadian Landscape, “Contemporary Glacial Theory and the Beingness of Nature” explores the inherent beingness of the environment, and the intelligence of geologic material. This video presents a series of performances where the artist attempts to understand deep time and geology’s sublime beauty, by mimicking the actions and behaviours of a glacier. Unable to escape fast time, the artist struggles and ultimately fails – the quality of sublime prominence belonging to geology does not translate onto a human figure so small and insignificant, and thus these actions fall short.
Kelly Zantingh (New Lowell) – Seascape, 2016 (2:27)
Seascape traces the movements and actions of an unseen human hand on a fabricated and malleable environment. The timeline combined with an invisible human presence examines our interference with an ecosystem’s natural process of change over time.
Ted Zourntos (Toronto) – Omnia, 2017 (5:18)
For the past several years my work has been focused on a critique of the petroleum industry and consumerism. While participating in a residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2016 I created a large diorama of plastic artifacts that were used for a photography project. Inspired by simple curiosity, I randomly navigated a cell phone through the diorama and recorded the scenes and sounds of the reflective surfaces and plastic objects. This experimental short film is a collection of selected scenes integrated with an electronically modified soundtrack.