Critical Writing Index

Mirror Machine: Video and Identity

by Janine Marchessault

YYZ Books, McGill University, 1995

This chapter chronicles and contextualizes significant Canadian video works from the 1970s until the 1990s. Discussed are works that use the video apparatus to problematize the narrative structures of cinema, but also counteract the codification and ideologies perpetuated by television itself, and critically assess Canada’s schizophrenic relationship to technological developments at large. Whereas a proclamation of the body’s presence largely dominated the 1970s video art scene, in the 1980s this shifted more so to an investigation of its traces as a cultural memory. Specific attention is also devoted to underrepresented voices and narratives, as the author claims video as “a place from which silenced voices speak, and video art as an index of resistance to dominant culture.”

ITEM 1995.159 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Family ViewingAtom Egoyan

Happy BirthdayGerry Gilbert

Happy BirthdayCarole Itter

JanusColin Campbell

My Recall of an Imprint from a Hypothetical JungleDavid Askevold

String Games: Improvisations for Inter-City VideoVera Frenkel

EnvisionerTom Sherman

Exclusive MemoryTom Sherman

Come on Touch ItIan Murray

HellArdele Lister

PilotGeneral Idea

Test tubeGeneral Idea

Shut the Fuck UpGeneral Idea

Fourth Corner of the WorldRandy

Fourth Corner of the WorldBerenicci



ART vs ARTThe Hummer Sisters

Delicate IssueKate Craig

No Small ChangeMarusia Bociurkiw

Struggle for ChoiceNancy Nicol

The Gloria TapesLisa Steele

Woman From MalibuColin Campbell

Modern LoveColin Campbell

Bad GirlsColin Campbell

No Voice OverColin Campbell

HygieneAndrew Patterson

HygieneJorge Lozano

Of Woman BornAdrienne Rich

Call RogerRodney Werden

Pauli SchellRodney Werden

Baby DollsRodney Werden

Story of RedRodney Werden

Blue MoonRodney Werden

Money TalksRodney Werden

Bullshit walksRodney Werden

The Last Screening RoomVera Frenkel

Canadian DiamondsGary Kibbins

Prime CutsPaul Wong

Body FluidPaul Wong

Confused viewsPaul Wong

Frankly ShirleyMargaret Moores

Ordinary Shadows, Chinese ShadePaul Wong

Kipling Meets the CowboysJohn Greyson

The Jungle BoyJohn Greyson

You Taste AmericanJohn Greyson

NunaqpaZacharias Kunuk

From Another Time Comes OneDonna James

And the Word Was GodRuby Truly

Maigre DogDonna James

Influences of my MotherSara Diamond

The Lament of the BushmanRhonda Abrams

Within DialogueSu Rynard

Oh NothingDennis Day