The Bather

Cameron Esler and David Bateman

2000, 05:00 minutes, colour, English


The Bather is a video poem about sensuality, the gaze, and private emotions in public spaces. It was produced with the help of BravoFACT! and filmed in Peterborough, Ontario. Freezer bags were used as watercasings to defer costs and help lend a dreamlike quality to the underwater footage.
Originally, The Bather was a multi-modal performance poem called How I Learned To Swim to Cambodia. It was performed at the 2000 Rhubarb Theatre Festival in Toronto and the Truck Gallery in Calgary. In translation from a performance space to the screen the poem took on new meanings for the director and writer. Moods and energies were also transformed from the performativity of the piece. The humour in the theatrical performance is transformed to pathos in the video version.

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Critical Writing

The Technologies of Vision: A Survey of the Artist's Encounter...
by Richard Hill. Art Magazine, Fall 1974, v. 6, no. 19.