Magnetic North showcases the recent explosion of compelling Canadian independent video in a six-part series that premieres at the Walker before touring internationally. Occasionally shocking, often funny, and above all, genuinely experimental, this body of work asserts beyond a doubt that video is alive and well, and that Canadians have produced some of the most energetic work in the international arena. Organized by thematic concerns, each program in the series establishes relationships between diverse works. Including tapes ranging from innovative documentary to conceptual art, experimental narrative to performance video, the programs create associations across history, regions, languages, and genres. Comprised of 40 tapes by 47 artists from the last 30 years, Magnetic North is not a historical survey; rather, recent work from the last decade is screened alongside art video from the 1970s and 1980s, providing a basis for rich and complex comparisons between eras and modes of Canadian video art.
Featured videos travel a full spectrum of story and style from John Greyson's explicit mixing of a gay cruising bust and a 1940s film adaptation of Kipling in The Jungle Boy to an Inuit women's collective's storytelling via CB radio in Piujuq and Angutautug to the humorous portrait of two Québecois women's obsession with Formula One racing in Le Beau Jacques to photographer Donigan Cumming's subversive and powerful video eulogy for his elderly model in A Prayer for Nettie. "Many of the videomakers in Magnetic North take risks--they risk offending, self-revelation or self-assertion, political commitment, resisting censorship . . . or entertaining in the face of catastrophe. At stake is the act of invention: the process of trying out something, and a willingness to gamble. I use 'experimental' as an inclusive term associated with inventive, often subversive approaches to process, context, or content," guest curator Jenny Lion writes in the introduction to the book Magnetic North.
WALKER ART CENTER
OCTOBER 12-27, 2000
PLUG IN GALLERY
NOVEMBER 4-25, 2000
IN THE WALKER ART CENTER SHOPS
In this full-color 384-page publication, critical essays by Peggy Gale, Nicole Gingras, Bruce Jenkins, Victor Masayesva, and Chris Straayer, among others, create a rich context for the work, while artists and filmmakers such as George Lipsitz, Yvonne Rainer, Catherine Opie, George Kuchar, Sara Diamond, and Carrie Mae Weems provide personal responses to works in the series. Edited by Jenny Lion, jointly published by Video Pool, the Walker Art Center, and the University of Minnesota Press. $25.95 ($23.36 Walker members).
MAGNETIC NORTH IS A TOURING PROGRAM PRODUCED BY THE WALKER ART CENTER AND VIDEO POOL AND PLUG IN, WINNIPEG. SCREENING TAPES COURTESY OF V TAPE, TONI-LYNN FREDERICK, GROUP INTERVENTION VIDEO, VIDEO OUT, VIDÉOGRAPHE, STAN DOUGLAS, VIDEO POOL, DAVID HOFFOS, JANA STERBAK, VIDÉO FEMMES, AND CINÉMA LIBRE. MAGNETIC NORTH IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL.