My video for Issue 9 uses historical photographs of the Arts Courts site and video of the present day site. Using the same vantage point in both the video and the photographs, the images are morphed together, allowing a comparison of the past and the present day view of the site. They reveal architectural changes and the passage of time flowing over these buildings as the surrounding city rises up around them.
Several months ago I noticed a marketing slogan plastered across hoarding that is encasing some of the many development projects in Ottawa. It read ‘Culture Lives Here’. I understood it to imply that culture was within redevelopment; that the galleries or the light rail or the Rideau mall or the ByWard Market were physical homes for culture. Although this does make sense within the definition of culture I had an adverse reaction to the implication that culture is built around people as opposed to through people. For Issue 09 I decided to ask the public ‘What is Culture?’ and ‘Where does Culture live?’
Public bathrooms are a small but socially impactful architectural link in our relationship to water. Moving towards greater understanding and acceptance of trans*- experiences we are increasingly aware of how gender markers on bathrooms are exclusionary, actively erase trans, gender non-conforming and two-spirit identities and stymie the proliferation of gender diversity and consequently, the flow of water. As the Arts Court Redevelopment project unfolds and its organizations assert their place at the vanguard of cultural production, what plans are being made for the bathrooms? This video is a portrait of the future Arts Court bathrooms placed within the larger social, political and environmental context of the capital region.
Special thanks: Serena Rivard, Jennifer Gilliland, Beck Hood, Mikki Bradshaw, Kaitlyn Hewitt, Amanda Jetté Knox, Stephanie Nadeau, Alexandra Badzak, Mars Ramlogan, Kate Forman, Rebecca Marmane, Elaina Martin.
HD video, 4:30, sound
Performance by Lilly Koltun
Video by Meredith Snider
Hard to let go: I put my blindfold back on features a performance by Lilly Koltun in and throughout the Arts Court building. The performance embraces happenstance relationships with sound and space occurring within the site.
My video for Issue 8 serves as a documentation of the SAW Video space before the next phase of the Arts Court redevelopment begins. The images are accompanied by SAW Video members’ reflections on their experiences with and connections to the space; it is a tribute to this physical place, its role in the formation of community, and its contribution to the production of artistic work. After the renovations are complete, SAW Video will occupy a new space on the ground floor of the building and a new chapter in the physical life of this media centre will commence.