Leila Sujir

Over the last thirty years, video artist Leila Sujir has been building a body of video and video installation artworks exploring immigration, migration, nation and culture with digs into archival documents, using a mix of fiction, fantasy and documentary with visual and audio collage techniques.

Over the last decade, she has been making 3D stereoscopic works, where she can bring the viewer into the frame, allowing them to walk into another world.

In her art practice, she has been working towards the construction of a felt space of displacement. 3D stereo video spaces are elastic and dream-like places, ephemeral, yet capable of extending a sensation of volume, physicality, and presence to the viewer.

Leila Sujir is an associate professor at Concordia University, in the Intermedia (Video, Performance, and Electronic Arts) area of the Studio Arts Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts. In 2005 through 2006, she was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Calgary, a one year research position as an artist in the Interactions Lab in the Department of Computer Science. She recently received a three year SSHRC grant,
Exploring Elastic 3D Spaces: Bodies and Belonging (2016-2019. Beginning 2011 through 2013, she started working with Montreal-based Janro’s Sandde 3D drawing tool as the lead researcher on two grants investigating its potential as a performance, drawing, and sculptural tool; the collaboration continues with present projects.

Sujir’s video works have been shown in group shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Gallery in Liverpool, U.K. as well as galleries and festivals all over the world.  New Republics, a group exhibition out of the U.K. toured Canada and Australia 1999-2000 (in Australia to Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts; University of South Australia Art Museum, Adelaide; Canberra School of Art, Canberra; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; in Canada to the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton; and beginning in the U.K. at Canada House, London). A solo exhibition that has toured galleries in Canada, Luminous Stories, initiated by the Art Gallery of Peterborough, covered ten years of her video production touring to A Space, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, and the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. Her works are in collections, including the National Gallery of Canada (four video works), the Glenbow (two video installations and one video work), the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery (one video installation).

Recent group exhibitions have shown her works including: 
Elastic City Spacey (made 2015) at Illuminate Festival, Bath, UK (2015), The Dreams of the Night Cleaners (made 1995) at the Art Gallery of Alberta (2014), Tulipomania: an Electronic Trade Fable (made 2006) at the Nickle Arts Museum (2014), the University of Wollongong (2013), and the Art Gallery of Windsor (2013).

Recent solo exhibitions include a
Chorus of Lungs (2013) at Centre A Gallery for Contemporary Asian Art in Vancouver (2013).

Artist Code: 496


The Dreams of the Night Cleaners

1995, 47:00 minutes, colour, English

India Hearts Beat

1988, 13:00 minutes, colour


1986, 24:30 minutes, colour, English

Vacation / Vacances

1986, 12:30 minutes, colour, English

Critical Writing

Outer Worlds
by Jesse Cumming. Canadian Art, May 23, 2019.
Abundant Harvest: The Recordings of Calgary Video Artists and...
by Karen Knights. Expanded Standard Timeline: Artists and Electronic Media in Calgary, EMMEDIA 1980 Through 2005, 2009. Calgary, Alberta: EMMEDIA, 2009.
An Interview With Director Leila Sujir
by Sarah Murphy. Canadian Theatre Review, Spring 2008, no. 94.
Video Inn and the CRTC
by N/A N/A. In Vision, 2001.
Digital Identity: Introduction
by Elizabeth Kidd and Liane Davison. Digital Identity, 2000. Surrey: Surrey Art Gallery, 2000.
Leila Sujir
by Nancy Tousley. Canadian Art, Fall 1995, v. 12, no. 3.
Artist gives television new look: Fable focuses on the experience...
by Nancy Tousley. Calgary Herald, May 26, 1995.
To the cleaners: Video artist Sujir explores immigrants' dreams
by Charles Mandel. The Edmonton Journal, Nov. 17, 1995.
Subjects on the Threshold: Problems with the Pronouns
by Renee Baert. Parachute, Winter 1993, no. 69.
Subjects on the Threshold: Problems with the Pronouns
Can-Asian Perspectives: A Film and Video Series Exploring Asian Experiences in Canada, 1992. London: The Canadian High Commission and Bazaar Magazine/South Asian Arts Forum, 1992.
À la découverte des Amériques
by Daniel Carrière. Le Devoir, Aug. 29, 1992.
Identity and Consciousness:: (Re)Presenting the Self
by Sheila Petty. Dunlop Art Gallery, 1991. Regina, SK: Dunlop Art Gallery, 1991.
Exhibition Program
by Sheila Petty. Identity and Consciousness: (Re)Presenting the Self, 1991. Regina: Dunlop Art Gallery, 1991.
Regeneration: 13 October - 25 November 1990
by Christine Conley. Regeneration, 1990. Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1990.
Within and Without: Reconstructing Regional Identity
by Sarah Murphy. Fuse, Spring 1990, v. 13, no. 4.
Glenbow exhibit a critical success for Sujir
by R H. MRC News, Oct. 26, 1989.
Independent Images
by Elizabeth Schroder et al. Fuse, Aug. 1989.
La Vidéo Dans le monde: De la vidéo-outil à la vidéo-icône
by Jean Tourangeau. Les yeux fertiles: Bilan cinématographique et vidéographique 1989, 1989. Montréal: Les herbes rouge, 1989.
Mapping the Film Culture: Calgary, 1985
by Leila Sujir. NeWest Review, Jan. 1986.
Town Without Pity
by Leila Sujir. Last Issue, Summer 1985.
The World Between Subject and Object
by Sarah Murphy. CSIF Film Video Journal, Summer 1983, v. 1, no. 1.
Leila Sujir and Douglas Berquist "Technologically Native"
by Don Mabie. Vanguard, Sept. 1983, v. 12, no. 7.
Postface: Video Music Film
by Brian Dyson et al. Centerfold, Sept. 1976, v. 1, no. 2.