The Curatorial Incubator, v.18: Learning From the Local

This year, Vtape has invited the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) to join us for a joint Curatorial Incubator. We each sought applications to participate in a curatorial research project that would examine the idea of Toronto-ness (Vtape) and Niagara-ness (NAC), and come up with a program of titles to screen in response. Vtape selected two participants and NAC selected one.

VIEW ONSITE: Niagara Artists Centre
Screening in the Microcinema
Wed 1 Feb – Sat 25 Mar 2023

Gallery Hours are: Wed-Fri 12pm-5pm + Sat 12pm-4pm

Reception Sat 4 Mar 2pm-5pm

Join the curators for in person discussion about their research and film programs presented. The event will sample Program #1 and #3 with introductions, and feature the full screening of the Niagara focused Program #2 Across the Escarpment.

Audience Q+A and reception to follow.
Limited seating/ PLEASE RSVP HERE.

Please read our catalog for this year’s The Curatorial Incubator, v.18: Learning From the Local here: C.I. v.18 Learning From the Local (2022) Catalogue

C.I. v.18: Learning From the Local curated by Marvin Veloso, Connor Wilkes, and Delilah Rosier.



1. Kent Monkman, Future Nation, 2005, 16:27
Against the backdrop of a biological apocalypse, Brian, a Native teenager comes to terms with his identity, family, and futurity. His relationship with his lover Tonya/James evolves as the “megapox” epidemic quickly devastates urban populations across North America. Through a surreal journey in search of food, new relationships and acceptance emerge when the youth face down their fears.

2. soJin chun and alexandra gelis, Cooling Reactors, 2011, 2:01
Cooling Reactors is a site-specific performance at Cherry Beach, confronting social and ecological conditions surrounding Lake Ontario and the impeding potential of nuclear infrastructures. Mixing audio, visual, and embodied elements, the video lays claim to modes of reflection and resistance, offering viewers a site to consider the local and global implications of climate change.

3. Juana Awad, In DEEp Skin, 2004, 6:51
In DEEp Skin is an experimental video traveling through fractured scenes while presenting a lesbian encounter. The visual and musical entanglements explore desire, identity, and geography, inviting viewers along the edges of icy waters, tropical climates, and to the lonely body within an emerging urban centre.

4. Richard Fung and Tim McCaskell, School Fag, 1998, 16:35
Richard Fung and Tim McCaskell capture the trauma, joy, and flamboyance of Shawn Fowler. Offering a fresh account of homophobia and resistance through an up-close interview, the stories alternately hilarious, biting and poignant illustrate early yearnings to play Wonder Woman in preschool neighborhood games, to the efforts of community organizations in the city, and to losing the much publicized prom competition at his high school.





1. Richard Kerr, Hawkesville to Wallenstein, 1976, 6:00
Scenes from a winter day in Hawkesville and Wallenstein in Ontario, north of Kitchener. Kerr focuses on the horse-drawn carriages and sleighs; automobiles seem outnumbered here. The film then takes us to a farmers’ market and a shed where a man works on crafting components of carriages.

2. Phillip Hoffman, On the Pond, 1978, 9:40
Hoffman recreates scenes from his childhood, practicing hockey on a frozen pond at the family cottage. The soundtrack interweaves sounds of skates cutting through the ice and Hoffman’s family responding to family photos on a 35mm slide projector.

3. Richard Kerr, Canal, 1982, 22:00
In this film Richard Kerr takes the camera to his hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario. Kerr’s film was shot on the Welland Canal, featuring rusty ships as they traverse the waterway, dock workers, and the overgrown landscape around the canal.

4. Rick Hancox, Waterworx (A Clear Day No Memories), 1982, 5:35
This film was shot at the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto. The area was a frequent jaunt in childhood for Hancox. The text featured is from Wallace Stevens’s poem of the same name, evoking feelings of another time. The eerie audio mixed with images of this seemingly abandoned plant suggest apocalyptic feelings.

5. Richard Kerr, Plein Air Étude, 1991, 5:35
Featuring frenetic shots of a stone beach, a lake, trees and the sun. This film contains shots taken from his earlier film Plein Air, and features some of Kerr’s experimental camera techniques. The spinning camera and double exposures add an unsettling effect to the natural elements being filmed.




1. Michael Achtman, Cool, 1996, 9:39
A poetic monologue on longing, loneliness, vulnerability, desperation, old habits, and new ways. Through Toronto subway platforms and back alleys, Cool takes turns following the solo adventures of a newly single drag queen and a young gay man.

2. Yudi Sewraj, Apartment Theory ,2001, 6:30
Pick up a culinary or home improvement hack while witnessing an anonymous duo prepare for a plunge into isolation, privacy, release, and absurdity on a grey winter day. Scored with white noise, Apartment Theory offers an entrance into a domestic landscape with a twist.

3. Blake Williams, Ladybug Video, 2009, 1:50
While at the beach in the summer of 2009, filmmaker Blake Williams encountered a ladybug. With an ambient soundtrack of crashing waves and calling gulls, Ladybug Video features care and curiosity and leads us in an intimate and gentle dance with a new friend.

4. Lesley Loksi Chan, Traveling To Tuesday, 2007, 23:13
Weaving through rituals, routines, and time, from the office to the lake and the shops in between, Traveling To Tuesday offers viewers a slice of the life of a dutiful, crafty young man with an ambitious plan.

5. Rachel Echenberg, Conversation with my Adult Daughter, 2020, 3:00
From the video series Conversations with my Family, Conversation with my Adult Daughter is a durational performance in which a daughter is held by her mother. Insects and birds inhabiting the lush forest immerse us in a soundscape of chirps and calls.


Image credit: soJin Chun & Alexandra Gelis, Cooling Reactors (2011)

Co-presented with Niagara Artists Centre