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SUBJECT: SWGC: Paul Wong Presents Split Decisions: a video program curated from the Vtape distribution collection
DATE: Jan. 19, 2006

January 24, 2005 at 6 p.m. in FA224 (Fine Arts Lecture Theatre)

Split Decisions is a program of recent international, Canadian and Toronto shorts featuring the works of seasoned video artists and emerging artists curated by Paul Wong from the Vtape collection. “I have selected pieces created from the place 'of two minds' - tapes that examine conflict both exterior and from within the deep recesses of the human psyche. Relationships, collaborations, youth and fading beauty, aging, private hell, personal torment, religion, morality, art and science, nature and technology, alone and together -- challenging and entertaining, from out of the dark into the disco light." This program is a culmination of the Paul Wong curatorial residency at Vtape in January/April 2005.

Paul Wong is a Vancouver-based artist and curator whose works in video, performance and photography have been extensively exhibited in Canada and internationally. His most recent exhibition His work was in Beijing at the Millennium Art Museum June-July 2005, as part of "In the Line of Flight", an international curated exhibition. In 2005, he received the Governor General’s Visual and Media Arts Award for lifetime achievement.

Works by 12 artists including:

Nelson Henricks: Satellite, 2004, 6:00
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay: Forever Young, 2001, 5:00
Hilary Martin: Prescripted, 2001, 5:00
Deidre Logue: That Beauty, 2003, 1:28
Samuel Chow: Confessions, 2003, 4:20
Tricia Middleton and Joel Taylor: Lost In Space, 2003, 11:15
Ross Turnbull: The Letters From R, 2005, 20:00
John Beagles and Graham Ramsay: Trilogy, 1999, 3:00
Tom Sherman from The Off-Kilter Series: The Appearance of Voice, 2004, 4:57
Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby: The New Freedom Founders: A Cure For Being Ordinary, 2004, 10:00
Johanna Householder, Dec. 31, 2000, 2000, 7:20

Video synopses:

Nelson Henricks, Satellite, 2004, 6:00

The double-screen video installation Satellite previously was shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. Two tracks play in a similar sequence, one using English script and one French. Anatomical diagrams and footage from educational films of the fifties, sixties and seventies underscore the theme, “human sensorial interpretation”, with an emphasis on the structure of the ear. The split screens highlight the duality of perceptual processes — two ears, two eyes, two brain hemispheres — continuously merging and separating. The Satellite piece emanates confusion, multiplicity, juxtaposition and simultaneity — elements equally evocative of sensory bombardment and over-stimulation in the digital age.

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Forever Young, 2001, 5:00

An information overload of simultaneous translations, satellite weather reports and defragmenting computer screens, Forever Young is part love poem and part lament to our visions of the future. Do you really want to live forever?

Hilary Martin, Prescripted, 2001, 5:00

Prescripted describes one woman's experience with taking a drug to level out her brain chemistry. Visually, it traces and re-traces the constellation points of everyday pill popping: the label, pill-bottle, pills and the hand that takes them on a regular basis. Her voice describes what can happen when hand meets mouth, when a small pink pill intersects with body and brain. The result? A mind clear enough to notice that the cure itself contains a new set of complications. Laughter. Tricks. Confusion. Change.

Deidre Logue, That Beauty, 2003, 1:28

Existing somewhere between being lost and finding oneself, this short film was made under the influence of loneliness, liquor and disco.

Samuel Chow, Confessions, 2003, 4:20

A visual meditation on love, pain, fear, and forgiveness - interweaving super - 8 images of Chinatown and allusions to Catholic confessions and Buddhism - this experimental video explores the authenticity and authorship of love and self-love, identity, culture, gender, media, divinity and spirituality as we struggle to find peace and serenity in our day-to-day existence.

Tricia Middleton and Joel Taylor, Lost In Space, 2003, 11:15

Underscored by a sense of dread that never fully subsides,Lost in Space wryly ponders environmental and social decay, along with the generalized malaise that accompanies these phenomena, never losing sight of the possibility that death may be the only release from these conditions.

Ross Turnbull, The Letters From R, 2005, 20:00

A man convalescing in a sanatorium writes letters to a lover on the outside, an intelligent consideration of memory - and its fallibility - and a mature examination of one man's tenuous grip on reality.

John Beagles and Graham Ramsay, Trilogy, 1999, 3:00

Beagles and Ramsay appear as geriatric versions of themselves trapped in a series of domestic situations. John delivers three heartfelt monologues on the subject of love and loss.

Tom Sherman from “The Off-Kilter Series”, The Appearance of Voice, 2004, 4:57

A young raven is perpetually hungry, and says it's so. We too are anxious to make contact. We look to nature for companionship. We try to talk to nature in nature's own language, to form new relationships with the animals and the plants and the earth between our toes.

Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, The New Freedom Founders: A Cure For Being Ordinary, 2004, 10:00

In order to clear this new space, we must not default to familiar tropes. The work must seem mostly unfamiliar, even uncanny. It cannot, however, be so unfamiliar as to repel the viewer. Offering the viewer a place to sit between convention or cliché and confusion, boredom or repulsion is our project with “The New Freedom Founders”.

Johanna Householder, Dec. 31, 2000, 2000, 7:20

December 31, 2000 is a shot-for-shot recreation of the pivotal scene in Stanley Kubrick's classic2001: A Space Odyssey. The domestic scene supplants the space station and household appliances are the conduit through which Dave (Johanna Householder) emerges and enters the MAINFRAME in order to render HAL powerless. In an ironic reversal,December 31, 2000 underscores the failure of the future

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