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SUBJECT: SWGC: Sir Wilfred Grenfell College presents Hear me, children-yet-to-be-born (2004)
DATE: Jan. 10, 2006

Installation and video series

January 10 to February 4, 2006

Continuous screening in the gallery

Sir Wilfred Grenfell College art Gallery is proud to present Hear me, children-yet-to-be-born, a new experimental video by Paris-based artist Sandy Amerio, whose work questions the formal characterization of the documentary, fiction and art practice.

Shot entirely in Death Valley, Hear me, children-yet-to-be-born splices a strange contemporary narrative with the majestic, timeless environment of the American desert. A journey through the valley, at once harsh and cinematic, lets the arid wilderness unfold slowly to the voice of a manager telling a fictitious assembly a story that occurred during his last business trip to the Dead Sea. Following an anecdotal start, the tale soon reveals the manager’s intent to lay off the employees who listen to him.

Hear me, children-yet-to-be-born bridges a notion of the American collective unconscious with a fascination for narrative, drawing from such seemingly diverse sources as the business world, the Bible and the events of September 11th 2001. Particularly, it investigates storytelling in the corporate environment, a practice used by managers in some large companies such as Nike, Adobe or Disney, who tell tales to employees with the aim of generating or influencing their behavior and feelings. Such storytelling, heavy in metaphors and analogies, has multiple applications, from personnel conflict management to finding some explanation for downsizing, lay-offs or increase of production.

Hear me, children-yet-to-be-born is 45 minutes in length, an experimental video co-produced by Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AFAA residency program, 18th Street Arts Complex, Los Angeles 2003, the French Ministry of Culture, CNAP, Research Grant in France and Abroad (video section 2002).

Sandy Amerio is a video artist, photographer and writer. She was born in 1973 in Paris where she lives and works. She studied fine arts in Nantes and Le Fresnoy (International Studio of Contemporary Arts) and has worked with curators such as Jean-Charles Massera, Catherine Francblin, and Michael Nurdidsany. She has participated in screenings at many international venues including the Kyoto Art Festival in Japan, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, the International Film Festival of La Rochelle and in cinemas like the Brotfabirk in Berlin and the MK2 Bibliotheque in Paris.

In 2002 and 2003 she was awarded two grants from the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the production of Hear me, children-yet-to-be-born. The video was entirely shot in the Death Valley and featuring Nancy Ferguson (who worked with filmmakers such as Paul Verhoeven and David Lynch) during her residency at 18th Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica. In 2004, both the Espace Paul Ricard and the underground Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers organized solo exhibitions of Amerio’s work. In the same year she also published her first bilingual book of storytelling (with contributors of American thinkers of management such as Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Diana Hartley and Doug Stevenson). Her latest film screening took place at the Festival de Cannes 2005 as part of a special screening of artist’s films.

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