Vtape Presents

Vtape Presents

In/Future Screening Program
Curated by Sam Cotter and Fraser McCallum

A Festival of Art &  Music at Ontario Place
Sept 15 – 25 Ontario Place West Island, Toronto

Saturday Sept. 17: Program I (30 min) 2pm
Monday Sept 19: Program I (30 min) 7pm
Thursday Sept 22: Program II (60 min) 7pm
Friday Sept 23: Program II (60 min) 3pm

Program 1: Space Ages
The floating structures and artificial islands of Ontario Place serve as remnants of the past’s aspirations for the future. Built in the spirit of Expo 67 and founded on the same modernist principles, Ontario Place and the Cinesphere emerge from the belief in technology as an altruistic and revolutionary force improving quality of life for all of earth’s peoples. The films in this program revisit this era of rapid change and technologically-mediated humanism, complicating idealisms and examining the potentials and shortcomings of the past’s visions of the future. Merging science fiction and the recent past, the artists in this program re-contextualize these histories to explore their many blind spots, and to question their complicity in the expropriation of land, resources, bodies and power.

Susan Britton, Rent Due, 1983, 5:25
Two roommates caught in the emergence of the so-called “information age” are underwhelmed by its immateriality and intangibility.

Nina Levitt, Comrade Valentina, 2006, 1:30
Archival footage of Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, is unearthed to celebrate an underrepresented moment in space exploration, and to question the gendered narratives of the space age.

Gillian Dykeman,The Moon (Dispatches from the Future Feminist Utopia), 2016, 2:35
A polyphonous voice narrates a future-to-come, which calls for new harmonies between living things, vibrant matter, and land.

Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn,1967: A People Kind of Place, 2012, 20:00
A UFO landing pad erected as a gesture of welcome in rural Alberta obfuscates settler-colonial history, exposing double standards in Canadian ideals of hospitality and citizenship.

Program 2: Bodies of Water
The future-oriented visions espoused in late modern expositions, exhibitions, trade shows and fairs are not without considerable historical myopia. These techno-utopian events are made possible only by the destructive forces of global capitalism and colonialism. This screening serves to re-centre the historical blindness upon which modernism is built. The works herein are characterized by broad sensitivities to land and place, formed by past and present migrations of living things, ideas and commodities. Informed by de-colonial and postcolonial theory, anti-imperialist struggles and critiques of urbanism, water is the medium through which ideas are made to flow, erode, and surge forth.

Saskia Holmkvist, Blind Understanding, 2009
A riverboat journey is narrated with stories of migration and adaptation, highlighting the mutable nature of language.

Richard Fung, Islands, 2002, 8:45
A classic Hollywood film is deconstructed to reveal the geographic and cultural inaccuracies upon which its aspirations of exoticism and fantasy lie.

Shani Mootoo, A Paddle and a Compass, 1992, 9:10
A cross-cultural conversation between canoeists reveals vastly different expectations of outdoor activity, underscoring broader pressures of assimilation and Canadian identity performance.

Keesic Douglas, Trade Me, 2010, 22:00
Douglas paddles from Rama First Nation to the Humber River, in an epic journey that exhumes histories of trade and commerce amid the re-emergence of colonial-chic products.

Vera Frenkel, Once Near Water: Notes from the Scaffolding Archive, 2008, 15:24
The notes of an anonymous city-dweller speak of Toronto’s changing cityscape, and its dissolving relationship with Lake Ontario.


Image credit: Vera Frenkel, Once Near Water: Notes from the Scaffolding Archive, 2008


Sam Cotter is a Toronto-based artist and writer interested in intersections of research, text and image. Cotter regularly employs photography, film and installation to examine issues of visual representation and artifice. Recent exhibitions and projects include Reciprocity – a failure to communicate, a special commission for C Magazine’s participation at the L.A. Art Book Fair, Spit and Image at Ryerson Image Centre and An Exhibition (with Fraser McCallum) at Xpace Cultural Centre, he will have a solo exhibition at Zalucky Contemporary in the fall of 2016. His writing has appeared in publications including Canadian Art, CV, C Magazine and Flash Art.

Fraser McCallum is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto. He holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto (2016), was a recent participant in Demos: Life in Common at the Banff Centre (2015), and a research fellow for the Curatorial Incubator program at Vtape (2013).