The Gloria Tapes

Lisa Steele

1980, 55:06 minutes, colour , English


“Modelled on the soap opera format, this four-part series follows a young single mother who's on welfare. It has been said that Gloria depicts a crisis of language, as she lacks the ability to speak on her own behalf. Thus she must rely on the words of others - those in positions of authority within her life: her father, her social worker, doctors, judges, etc. - to construct her circumstances into a form of communication that is about her and not for her. I think this is only part of Gloria, however, because in spite of the escalating catastrophes that befall her, Gloria reveals her ability to literally get hold of the language that has been oppressing her. First through repetition and retelling and finally by "breaking the silence" of her own painful childhood, she shows herself to be capable of surviving and changing.” L.S.

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Critical Writing

Lisa Steele: The Conceptual Anthropology of Narrative Works, 1976-1982
by Joshua Thorson. Lisa Steele: The Conceptual Anthropology of Narrative Works, 1976-1982, 2010. Toronto: Vtape, 2010.
by Unknown. Wack!: art and the feminist revolution, 2007. Los Angeles: The Moca L.A., 2007.
Lisa's Long Haul: Artist Lisa Steele talks to Sarah Milroy about...
by Sarah Milroy. The Globe and Mail, Feb. 19, 2005.
Lisa Steele + Kim Tomczak
by Peggy Gale. The Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts 2005, 2005. Toronto: Canada Council for the Arts, 2005.
Lisa Steele: Video Artist
by Roger Matuz. Contemporary Canadian Artists, 1997. Toronto: Gale Canada, 1997.
Mirror Machine: Video and Identity
by Janine Marchessault. YYZ Books, McGill University, 1995.
Clock ticking on AGO video show
by Randi Spires. The Toronto Star, Jan. 12, 1990.
Videotape show the fruit of a happy marriage of talents
by John Bentley Mays. The Globe and Mail, Nov. 25, 1989.
Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak: The groundbreaking dynamic duo of...
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Nov. 9, 1989, v. 9, no. 10.
Collaborative Videotapes: Descriptions by the Artist
by Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak. 4 Hours and 38 Minutes, 1989. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989.
"We Interrupt You For This Message": Descriptions by the Artist
by Mary Ellen Lower. Video Guide, Sept. 1986, v. 8, no. 3.
The Lisa Steele Tapes: Investigation and Vision
by Catherine Russell. North of Everything: English Canadian Cinema Since 1980, 1980. University of Alberta Press, 1980.