Join us for the Virtual Launch of Speculating Art History! The livestream will include a film screening, accompanied by a conversation with both Annie MacDonell and Sanaz Sohrabi, moderated by our Assistant Curator Tak Pham. Follow along on Facebook Live beginning at 5:30 PM CST!
Both films will be available to view online after the screening.
About the films:
The Fortune Teller, 2015, 16mm and digital video, 16:00 minutes
The Fortune Teller tracks the repair of a cast resin hand from an arcade fortune telling machine. At the centre and foreground of the film the object is carefully reassembled, while other sets of hands perform separate tasks around, behind, before, and after it. The hand-object is a proposal for a non-linear, non-progressive relationship to time. The process of its restoration moves it backwards through history towards its point of origin, but also returns it to functionality, re-enabling its connection to the future. Backward and forward happen simultaneously and the proliferating hands become portals through which past/present/future can merge. The film, shot on 16mm and digital video, generates the illusion of time collapsing and expanding as the narrative splits, stutters, and repeats.
Annie MacDonell makes photography, sculpture, film, and installation. Her work questions assumptions around originality, authenticity, and our shifting relationship to images, both moving and still. MacDonell’s work often begins with gestures of recuperation and reanimation, which spiral off into multi-layered and self-reflexive meditations on the act of looking.
Annie MacDonell received a BFA from Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts in 2000, followed by graduate studies at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing, France. Recent solo shows include The Hand and the Glove at Mulherin New York, The Fortune Teller at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Image and The Abyss at the Art Gallery of Windsor, and The Originality of the Avant Garde at Mercer Union Gallery in Toronto. She has participated in group exhibitions at The Power Plant, MOCA Cleveland, Le Grand Palais in Paris, and the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea. In 2012 she was long listed for the Sobey Art Award and short-listed for the AGO Grange prize for photography.
Auxiliary Mirrors, 2016, video with sound, 12:07 minutes
Auxiliary Mirrors is an experimental video-essay set around the ‘status of image’, its materiality, and the latent narratives. The video emphasizes that what is visible and inside the frame becomes tantamount to what is missing and out-of-frame. Through four sets of archival videos and images, Auxiliary Mirrors investigates the role of cameras in the formation of historical narratives and collective memory. The video discusses the anonymity and multiplicity of conditions and actors in creating what we come to know as an “iconic” image. Structured as an essay, it looks at the frame of an image as a container of space, bodies, and stories, which can be reframed into another narrative once it is taken out of its chronological order. Auxiliary Mirrors studies (moving) images not as entities with a linear lifespan, but rather, as malleable things that are always in process of becoming.
Sanaz Sohrabi is a research-based artist who works across moving/still image practices, video and installation to analyze the status of moving image as a gateway to a larger investigation around the role of archives as the materials of times and spaces of spectatorship. Her research and studio practice focuses on performing history via memory and animating the pace of memory through destabilizing the residual archives. She received her BFA from the University of Tehran College of Fine Arts and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a merit scholarship. She is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture in Montréal.
Exhibitions and screenings include: Videonale 16 Bonn, Athens International Film and Video Festival, European Media Arts Festival, Fiva 06 Buenos Aires (first prize for short film), Images festival 2017 Toronto, Centre Clark Montréal, and Beirut Art Center, among others. Sohrabi has been awarded numerous fellowships and residency awards such as the Transregional Academy at the American University of Beirut, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, SOMA Summer School Ciudad de México, Est-Nord-Est residence d’artistes, and Vermont Studio Center, among more.
For more information on the exhibition, click here.