The 29th Images Festival is right around the corner, with 10 days of groundbreaking screenings, gallery exhibitions, and live presentations taking place throughout Toronto April 14 – 23, 2016.  With over 80 national and international artists featured in this year’s festival, Images showcases the innovative edge of international contemporary moving image culture.

There’s some incredible queer content in this years festival, like Carlos Motta’s first Canadian exhibition at Mercer Union that poetically explores the case of Martina Parra, who in 1803 was prosecuted for being a “hermaphrodite”. Also opening at A Space, Beirut-based artist and art critic, Roy Dib, brings the North American premiere of A Spectacle of Privacy and  Mondial 2010 centering on a Lebanese gay couple as they take a road trip to Ramallah, addressing institutional borders in a setting where homosexuality is a punishable felony. Both of these exhibits along with Oliver Husains fabulous 3D video installation at Gallery TPW open April 14 as part of our city wide ART CRAWL

Closing the festival on April 23rd at The Power Plant is an amazing party with the one and only artist, writer, trans-activist and nightlife impresario Juliana Huxtable.  Co-commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art and Performance, There Are Certain Facts That Cannot Be Disputed makes its international premiere in Toronto. Realized in collaboration with an ensemble of music, sound, video, Huxtable approaches the Web as a vital resource for discarded and marginalized histories, and moves across mediums and genres to deliver a powerhouse performance that explores the ephemeral nature of online existence.

Here’s a listing of all other screenings happening during the festival.

OPENING NIGHTFactory Complex, Heung-Soon IM (April 15 @ 7PM  – The Royal Cinema)

Winner of the Silver Lion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, Seoul-based artist and director Heung-Soon IM brings his compelling and unconventional documentary Factory Complex to The Images Festival for its Toronto premiere. Unfolding through a series of first-person testimonies, Factory Complex gives voice to the endured oppressions by female factory workers in South Korea during the 1960s.  Leading us through the workers’ degradation with a measured poise, Factory Complex brings us into the lives of working class women like no other documentary, shedding light on continued labor exploitations throughout Vietnam, Cambodia and Asia.

CLOSING NIGHTThere Are Certain Facts that Cannot be Disputed, Juliana Huxtable

(April 23 @ 7PM – The Power Plant)

Co-commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art and Performa, There Are Certain Facts that Cannot Be Disputed makes its international premiere in Toronto. Written and conceived by artist, writer and nightlife impresario Juliana Huxtable, this new work moves across mediums and genres to deliver a powerhouse performance that explores the ephemeral nature of online existence. Realized in collaboration with an ensemble of music, sound, video, Huxtable approaches the Web as a vital resource for discarded and marginalized histories, and considers how the Internet has become a medium propelled by the power of moving image symbols.

Isla Santa Maria 3D,  Oliver Husain  (Gallery TPW)

Shot on Toronto Island & inside the AGO’s ship room, Oliver Husain’s newest commission takes us to the myth of Santa Maria, an island said to have formed from the wreckage of a replica of Christopher Columbus’ ship, created for the World’s Columbian Expo in Chicago in 1893. Husain’s 3D stereoscopic video installation pushes the relationship between the world of the spectator and the world on screen, to create a world all it’s own.

Beloved Martina . . .  , Carlos Motta  (Mercer Union)

Carlos Motta’s mesmerizing film Deseos /رغبات (Desires) traces the intimate correspondence between two women at the turn of the nineteenth century, and forms the starting point of his first Canadian solo exhibition Beloved Martina… The exhibition exposes society’s shaping of discourses around gender and sexuality by exploring the case of Martina Parra, who in 1803 was prosecuted for being a “hermaphrodite”.  With a series of video portraits of intersex activists, and a series of small-scale 3D printed replicas of classical sculpture that depicting “hermaphrodites”, Motta engages with the social and political possibilities of desire.

Hospital Hallway (Division Gallery), The Kitchen (Gallery 44), Sarah Anne Johnson

A stark continuation of her award winning series, House on Fire (2009), Winnipeg-based Sarah Anne Johnson explores her grandmother’s unsuspecting participation in the CIA research program now known as Project MK Ultra.  Seeking treatment for post-partum depression, she was subjected to a series of mind control experiments at Montreal’s Allen Memorial Institute, which Johnson addresses in this 15-channel performance installation, Hospital Hallway (2015).  Addressing the generational trauma of these experiments within the institutional space, this ambitious new series moves next to the domestic realm with The Kitchen at Gallery 44.

Mondial 2010, Roy Dib (A Space)

Beirut-based artist and art critic, Roy Dib, brings the North American premiere of A Spectacle of Privacy and Mondial 2010.  Centering on a Lebanese gay couple as they take a road trip to Ramallah, Mondial 2010 is a discussion of institutional borders, starring two male lovers, in a setting where homosexuality is a punishable felony.  A Spectacle of Privacy takes place within the interior of a bedroom, as the outside world continues to bleed into conversations, and the need for intimacy, privacy and understanding comes to a head.

Clinique Conundrum, curated by Jon Davies (April 16 @9PM)

Named in homage to a 1981 video by artist Colin Campbell, Conundrum Clinique critically considers the city of Toronto as a mecca of consumption and self-creation. The program journeys from Honest Ed’s, to the seedy adult entertainment parlours along Yonge Street, to glass condominiums towers, to a memory foam mattress bought on Amazon.  Conundrum Clinique pictures a Toronto of lifestyle branding, social networking and self-actualization. The result is a disaffected city symphony of loft living and lost souls, cheap thrills and urban ennui.

Incident Report, Mike Hoolboom, (April 20 @9PM)

Incident Reports begins after a purported bike accident, where the nameless amnesiac undertakes audio-visual therapy by producing a series of one-minute shots through the streets of Toronto. The result is an episodic love letter set against the city’s intimacies and haunts, populated by old and new acquaintances, all the while as the disembodied voice-over weighs in on gender, animal, and the end of literary culture.

Canadian Artist Spotlight: Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby (April 16 @7PM)

Since their first public screening at The Images Festival in 2000, the powerhouse duo of Emily vey Duke and Cooper Battersby have been an incredible force as they move across film festival circuits, art world hierarchies, and transmedia studies. This cinematic retrospective starts from their latest work and moves backwards, looking at highlights and aesthetic shifts over the past 15 years, and includes a work that was influential to them, Alex Bag’s Untitled Fall ‘95 on view for FREE throughtout the festival on iFBLOG. 

The Black Radical Imagination (April 18 @9PM)

Beginning in 2013, Black Radical Imagination is an internationally touring program of visual shorts that pushes the boundaries and limitations that are historically given to people of colour on screen. The fourth program co-curated by Erin Christovale and Amir George makes its world premiere at Images, with a selection of films exploring the concept of posthumanism through themes of space travel, digital interfacing, and cyborg performativity, shifting the way in which Black Identity is defined on screen and how these stories affect ever-changing global culture.

News from Home, Chantal Akerman (April 23 @7PM)

As a special tribute screening to one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century, we present News from Home as a new DCP made from the last remaining film print housed by the Belgium Cinematek.  Akerman’s unforgettable time capsule of New York City in the 1970s is a gorgeous meditation on urban alienation and personal and familial disconnection. With cinematographer Babette Mangolte, the two women wander through Manhattan with an observant poignancy of the city pre-gentrification.

 Postings from Home, Kelly O’Brien, (April 20 @7PM)

Toronto-based Kelly O’Brien presents a new work that extends a family slide show into the format of a live performance. At once intimate and candid, the performance is a retelling of moments from her daily life, culled through years of Facebook posts, iPhone pictures, stories mostly about her kids, but also of news of the world, the kindness of strangers, and chance encounters that caused her to ponder the meaning of life, transforming the way we share and see our most intimate moments.

NEW Images Festival App! The Images Festival continues to embrace new modes of creativity for a radical and unforgettable extravaganza of contemporary moving image culture, including the Images Festival App for smart phones!  Access all the festival information you need from anywhere with maps, calendars, schedules and chances to win exclusive Images prizes. More than ever, the Images Festival engages audiences through expanded public programming with more talks, tours, our mediatheque and guest writers for our iFBLOG

Find out more at www.imagesfestival.com

 

 

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.