AGYU’s Images Festival exhibit looks at language of genre

The Art Gallery of York University will present a film exhibit with a difference this month: there won’t be any films.

In conjunction with this year’s Images Festival, Canada’s largest annual event devoted to independent and experimental film, video and media installation, the AGYU will hold an exhibit by Fiona Banner, Rosa Barba and Nathalie Melikian, entitled Horror, Science Fiction, Porn from April 13 to June 12. The three international artists look at film experienced through language by examining the conventions that establish a genre in the artists’ constructions, technical apparatus and reception.

About the Artists

Best known for her “wordscapes” or “still films” – blow-by blow accounts written in her own words of feature films or sequences of events – Fiona Banner has participated in exhibitions worldwide and is represented in various collections around the world. She recently turned her attention to the transcription of pornographic movies, which she describes as immensely boring but tremendously fascinating at the same time.

Rosa Barba‘s work moves between the material conditions of cinematography’s earliest years and the here and now of her imaginative power. Her 2003 exhibition Machine Vision Seekers, which has been shown in Amsterdam, Brussels and Melbourne, makes use of a moving projector, which literally throws the words onto the wall. It is a conversation between the projection apparatus, the setting in the room, the spectator, the film itself and the plot, a structure which is inherent in every aspect of the installation and which has to be deciphered by the viewer.

Machine Vision SeekersLeft: Machine Vision Seekers, Rosa Barba, Germany, Installation, 2003

Vancouver’s Nathalie Melikian takes the moving pictures out of the moving picture show in her videos. Her single-channel video, Horror (1998), describes the stereotypical construction of a horror film through a banal description of standardized camera movements, editing techniques and plot developments. Dissolving text and sound-effects deconstruct all aspects of the horror film genre.

HorrorRight: Horror, Nathalie Melikian, Canada, Installation, 1998, Art Gallery of York University

Horror, Science Fiction, Porn opens at the AGYU on Wednesday, April 13, with a reception from 6 to 9pm. The Art Gallery of York University is located in N145 Ross Bldg. Gallery hours are: Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm; Wednesday, 10am to 8pm; Sunday, noon to 5pm. The gallery is closed Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, contact the AGYU at ext. 55169 or visit its Web site.