Private Eyes

Steele & Tomczak, Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak

1987, 18:29 minutes, colour, English


We made this tape to ask: Could a large public art gallery be taken over by private interests and capital? And if this happened, how would the relationship be altered between the newly privatized gallery and its audience and the artists who exhibit there? This tape reworks the mystery/detective style of storytelling, seeking to reveal how the terms "public" and "private" are perceived. How do individuals define themselves in relation to mechanisms of control? Why is the government busy intervening into the personal lives of citizens while at the same time moving at a furious pace to divest itself of its own companies and crown corporations? While undeniably fictional, this tape speculates on the future of art under questionable conditions of patronage.

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Critical Writing

Kim Tomczak: Video Artist
by Roger Matuz. Contemporary Canadian Artists, 1997. Toronto: Gale Canada, 1997.
Lisa Steele: Video Artist
by Roger Matuz. Contemporary Canadian Artists, 1997. Toronto: Gale Canada, 1997.
Clock ticking on AGO video show
by Randi Spires. The Toronto Star, Jan. 12, 1990.
Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak: The groundbreaking dynamic duo of...
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Nov. 9, 1989, v. 9, no. 10.
4 hours and 38 minutes: Videotapes by Steele and Tomczak
by Philip Monk. AGO NEWS, Nov. 1989, v. 11, no. 10.
Utopias of Resistance: Strategies of Cultural Self-Determination
by Dot Tuer. catalogue, 1989. Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989.
Disclosure: Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak: The Collaborative Tapes
by Philip Monk. catalogue, 1989. Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989.
Collaborative Videotapes: Descriptions by the Artist
by Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak. 4 Hours and 38 Minutes, 1989. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989.
Canadian Artists to Present 3 Provocative Videos at IMAGE
by Reidy Robin. The Atlanta Journal, Feb. 15, 1989.
It Works: Labour and Video
by Karen Knights. Fuse, Sept. 1988, v. 12, no. 1 & 2.
Culture For Sale: Recent Toronto Works
by Kass Banning. Cinema Canada, Feb. 1988, no. 155.
Histories: New Video Art
by Bob Riley. ICA Currents, 1988. Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art, 1988.
To Live and Die in LA
by Christine Tamblyn. Afterimage, Jan. 1988, v. 15, no. 6.
Art Given Social Voice: Six artists probe experiences and images
by Nancy Tousley. Calgary Herald, Jan. 23 Winter, 1988.
Private Eyes: a review by Elizabeth Schroder
by Elizabeth Schroder. Fuse, Summer 1987, v. 10, no. 2.
The Lisa Steele Tapes: Investigation and Vision
by Catherine Russell. North of Everything: English Canadian Cinema Since 1980, 1980. University of Alberta Press, 1980.