Black Flag

Istvan Kantor

1998, 09:00 minutes, colour/B&W, English


BLACK FLAG explores the architecture of textuality through the language of confrontation, contest and revolt. It juxtaposes the noise of the body-machine and fragmented passages of words to reflect direct relations of actual political issues (cutbacks, eliminations), to social situations (poverty, daily survival) and individual existence (frustration, struggle). Its' message is summed up in a political slogan, "Down with the government that starves us!", that repeatedly appears throughout the video, in the form of 3D animation and as a refrain of a song, and seems to be the pillar of BLACK FLAG. While making a political statement Kantor is also committed to reexplore the texture and structure of video through non-linear editing, the integration of performance art, treatment of text, accumulation of words, images and sounds. The three parts of BLACK FLAG (The Ambience, The Song, The Concert) are closely linked together and are characterized by sudden changes, jump cuts, multilayered, vibrating texture, rhythmic noises and repetitious movements. Among the performers are Toronto's controversial art-rebel Jubal Brown, performance artists Julie-Andrée T., Louise Liliefeldt, transsexual actor Tanisha Robinson, a group of children and the author Istvan Kantor aka Monty Cantsin? Amen!.
Telefilm award winner 1998 Images Festival

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Critical Writing

The Art and Life of Istvan Kantor
by Daniel Baird. Canadian Art, Sept. Fall 2004, v. 21, no. 3.
Istvan Kantor Monty Cantsin? Amen!: An unseen selection from the...
Pleasure Dome, 2002. Toronto: Pleasure dome, 2002.
The Spectacle of Noise: Istvan Kantor's recent video work. a selection
by A.K Nort. ArgosFestival, 2001. Brussel: Argos, 2001.
Art terrorists mock the vote
by Nate Hendley. EYE WEEKLY, June 10, 1999.
Canadian Currents
Toronto: Absolute Choice Curatorial Collective, 1999.
High-concept filmmaking on a low budget
by Robert Everett-Green. The Globe and Mail, Apr. 24, 1998.
Our Collective Fears
by Sherri Telenko. id Magazine, Fall 1998.