Non-profit, artist-run Videopool, a collective of video and sound artists, hosted a members screening February 19 in the Videopool Studio on the third floor of the Artspace Building in the Exchange district.
Videopool Distribution Co-ordinator Jennifer Smith selected eleven artists’ videos for the showcase. Thirty people attended the event to watch the 13 featured videos (two of the artists showed two pieces).
The evening started off with George Godwin’s ‘The Man Who Ran Away to Sea‘ which featured a woman telling a story, superimposed onto an 8mm film from 1966 of a boat on the sea.
Next up was ‘Eye Eye Captain‘ by Shawn Jordan. This was the first of Jordan’s two videos. His second video ‘Ghandi Gurls‘ was a voyeuristic look at two teenage girls taunting the statue of Mahatma Ghandi near The Forks.
Aaron Zeghers experimental piece ‘Everything Turns, Everything Revolves‘ played with slow shutter speeds and lighting.
‘Sheila’s Gold‘ by Tamara Gorski chronicled Gorski’s and friend Sheila Gostick’s midnight walk through the snow-filled streets of Toronto ending in TO’s Little Portugal area. She shot 9 minutes of footage that night and edited it down to 3:47 (long enough for the Petunia composition ‘Sheila’s Song‘).
Gorski grew up in Winnipeg and has been an actor “all my life,” as she acted in Rainbow Stage shows, and in shows in Toronto. She also lived in Hollywood for a while, commuting between Vancouver and New Zealand. She has since settled in Winnipeg with her two kids and partner. Gorski was taught to play piano by Burton Cummings’ piano teacher.
‘Ed’s Poem‘ by QUIDAM featured a spontaneous free-form stream of consciousness poetry reading by Vancouver resident Ed Hurrell set to the instrumental music of Winnipeg musician Brad Allison. The video was shot with in-camera effects and no further editing was done.
Past Videopool Director Val Klassen’s spooky ‘Le Secret du Bonheur‘ was filmed in a crypt with walls of human bones 800 stairs below Paris. ‘Toxic Prophecy‘ was Sarah Paradise’s entry in the program followed by Colette Balcaen’s french mini-documentary on farming and the introduction of the combine harvester.
The next video by Peter Baureiss (former prog-rock musician with Anti-Gravity Project) was actually a slideshow set to the music of The Great Lake Swimmer’s song ‘Let’s Trade Skins‘ which was also the name of the video. Some wonderful black and white close up images of the human body were used. Baureiss’ ‘Tirthayatra‘ was the last piece of the night with 400 of the 1900 photos he shot during his three month trip to India a few years ago; very beautiful, colourful and rich images.
Speaking of colourful, musician / artist Sister Dorothy’s music video ‘Fresh Air‘ was a funny look at how some people only get ‘fresh air’ when they go outside for a smoke. Sister Dorothy’s catalogue also includes some very entertaining cooking videos.
Carrying on in the humorous vein, Oklahoma Film School graduate (1980’s) Lansing Bruce Robertson produced ‘Another Statement About Society‘ wherein a sheep was told “resistance is futile” to which he meekly replied “OK.” It is ninety seconds of brilliance.
All in all, it was a diverse selection of videos from some very creative individuals. The last member screening was held four years ago at the Park Theatre on Osborne. When asked why Videopool doesn’t do an annual member screening, Technical Director Rick Fisher remarked, “Why not bi-annually.” The Videopool archives certainly has enough material and enough talented artists to pull it off.
Videopool offers many video and audio workshops, as well as training taught by experienced staff and guests. They also have a state of the art 5.1 audio studio, video editing suites and rent out audio and video gear. Their rates are very affordable. For more information go to http://www.videopool.org/
All photos by Doug Kretchmer.