A travelling video arts festival has been making a mark on Fredericton via shop windows and gallery spaces.
“I think it’s interesting how video, especially for a lot of younger people, is more compelling. People have trouble engaging with paintings and part of that is because the way we learn about art in public school is really intimidating,” said Connexion ARC’s Associate Director, Sophia Bartholomew.
The Cold Cuts Video Festival: Revel In It runs from Nov. 6 to 21 and consists of eight films including one feature length that was screened on Nov. 13. This year’s festival explores the world of pop culture and mass media.
The films can be viewed at Connexion ARC’s main space gallery in the Charlotte Street Arts Centre with the exception of two that are on display in business windows of downtown Fredericton. Bartholomew said the public response has been positive.
“Someone had commented to me that they are really different in the daytime than at nighttime. There’s nothing at nighttime happening, so when the screening’s going on it draws people in.”
Canadian artist Kent Monkmen’s piece Mary, which is played in the entrance of the Charlotte Street Art Centre, is receiving mixed feedback. The video depicts the topic of Aboriginal treaties in a shampoo commercial-like style.
“A few people have said to me that the whole thing kind of gives you chills. It’s really simple in it’s concept, it’s a pretty urgent political issue and sort of comes at it from this different angle that I think is pretty powerful.”
The films vary in content from bizarre blurry images of a woman to footage cut from Hollywood movies. Most have dark elements to them with the exception of Jeremy Bailey’s Transhuman Dance Recital #1, which takes a humorous approach to human dance.
“For a lot of people there is a relief in watching Jeremy Bailey’s video in the corner. Kelly Richardson’s work is really sort of strange but contemplative so it’s quiet and if you take the time to sit with it, it’s sort of calming. But Jeremy Bailey’s work is funny.”
Bartholomew understands video art is something to get used to, and something a little out of the ordinary, but feels the city has received it well.
“People get really upset looking at it and you’re feeling all this pressure that you’re supposed to get some deep meaning out of what you’re watching, whereas it’s an experimental thing and you look at it and whatever associations you make from watching it, is valid.”