What The F**K?! Video in the Age of Sublime Uncertainty
Dec 8, 2018
VTAPE, Toronto ON

Curated by Mel Day
Program 2 of VTape’s Curatorial Incubator program, mentored by Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick
Screens at Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space, 401 Richmond St. West, 4th floor Toronto CA

On Saturday, December 8th from 1-5pm, VTape presents it’s Curatorial Incubator program with a series by Mel Day called “Remote Preparation”. The series responds to the psychic and cultural shock unleashed by the political crisis in democracy. Featuring new videos alongside VTape archival pieces, these works “focus attention, engage critique, forge relations, and invent ways of collective feeling that re-imagine aspiration, consolation and freedom.” Short descriptions of the program are below.

More info is available here

Curated by Mel Day

1. Steven Eastwood, The End, 2002, 9:00
A young woman asks random strangers for directions to “the end.” The ambiguity of this question and the diversity of the responses guide the film to an unpredictable conclusion.

2. Suzanne Caines, Romance in China, 2009, 3:38
The artist instigates conversations with strangers on park benches in China using canned love lines from famous Hollywood movies. Her inability to speak or understand Mandarin leads to a series of awkward and failed connections with confused would-be suitors.

3. Jeremiah Barber, Advocate, 2013-2018, 4:25
Since 2013, the artist has been gathering footage of his attempts to mimic and return the sounds of foghorns around the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay. He conducts this durational work in solitude in a variety of sublime settings and weather conditions.

4. Angela Willetts, Escape Raft, 2017, 2:56
For this split-screen work, the artist constructs a raft and then sails it on the waters off San Francisco. The left screen depicts Willetts building the craft out of scavenged materials in her house. The right screen shows the voyage as the artist practices maritime flag and distress signals.

5. Zoe Leigh Hopkins, Star Wars Trash Compactor Scene, 2014, 3:13
Students from the Mohawk language immersion for adults at Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa, in Six Nations, Ontario, re-enact the famous ‘Trash Compactor’ scene from Star Wars IV: The New Hope (1977) using everyday materials, low-brow techniques and deadpan delivery.

6. Ariella Pahlke, Women Down Prospect, Final Report, 1996, 9:00
In this nested film-within-a-film, a group of women from Lower Prospect, Nova Scotia, grapple with how to write a final report for a project on women’s health. They decide to perform their findings as a video-cum-karaoke party as a way to bear witness to their experiences and work through their stress.

7. Yudi Sewraj, A Cold Night in February, 2006, 13:00
In response to a newspaper ad, an actor sits on a couch and prepares to cry for twenty minutes by listening to songs from his past. Intersecting relationships emerge between the actor, couch, spectators, and objects that have slipped between the cushions. (Originally conceived as single-channel video installation with couch.)

The Curator: 
Mel Day is a British-Canadian interdisciplinary artist based in the San Francisco Bay area. Her curatorial, video and new media projects investigate the role of uncertainty across diverse belief systems. She has published in the Journal of Performing Arts and has recently curated Love & Longing (San Francisco) and co-curated Two Things at the Same Time (Toronto). Her artwork has been exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Grace Cathedral (San Francisco), San Francisco Film Festival, and Berkeley Art Museum. Residencies include Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito) and Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus (Schwandorf, Germany). Day teaches at San José State University.