Critical Writing Index

Norman Cohn: Banff Centre, July 19

by Kathleen Fleming

Parachute, Dec. 1988, no. 53, pp. 47-48

Kathleen Fleming's article reviews a video portrait of thirteen children living in a Nova Scotia school for deaf and blind children. Shot by videomaker Norman Cohn during his month in residence at the school, Quartet for Deafblind focusses particularly on Leslie, a nine year old boy. Using a non-documentary and non-narrative structure that hovers between clinical observation and art, the work also inhabits its subject more closely than in Cohn's previous work. While examining specific shots and Cohn's shooting techniques, Fleming also notes how the work addresses questions about what makes up our concept of vision through a person who can't see. She also remarks on the parallels that Cohn draws between a child who lives a strictly perceptual existence, relying on touch, smell and taste, and the "sense-phenomena" of the video process itself.

ITEM 1988.104 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Quartet for DeafblindNorman Cohn