Happy Birthday

Gerry Gilbert and Carole Itter

1972, 31:30 minutes, B&W, English


Happy Birthday is produced in three time frames: In a small floor tub in their kitchen, poets Carole Itter and Gerry Gilbert take turns bathing one another, then pose for a video portrait together; this action is repeated several months later when Carole Itter is in an advanced state of pregnancy; in the third portion of the tape, they bathe their newborn child and pose again before the camera as a family. The soundtrack is composed of readings from the notebooks and poems they wrote describing the unfolding in their lives of the events of love, pregnancy and birth.

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Critical Writing

Mirror Machine: Video and Identity
by Janine Marchessault. YYZ Books, McGill University, 1995.
First-generation Video
by Carole Corbeil. The Globe and Mail, June 14, 1988.
First-generation video
by Carole Corbeil. The Globe and Mail, June 14, 1986.
by Renee Baert. Vintage Video: Early Canadian Video Art to 1974, 1986. Toronto: Artculture Resource Centre, 1986.