Experiments in Education

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 7:30 pm
Programmed by Melanie O’Brian and Michèle Smith
The second program in relation to Andreas Bunte's Erosion considers architecture  as an experimental laboratory. Beginning as a campus tour and ending with a reenactment of Michael Asher’s influential “Post-Studio” class, Redmond Entwistle’s Walk-Through explores the site, design, and philosophy of the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles as a starting point for wider questions about pedagogical models and their relationship to emergent forms of social, political, and economic exchange since the 1970s. Raphael Bendahan’s Rochdale College, shot inside an 18-storey tower in downtown Toronto, is a contemporary document of a failed experiment in free education and communal living. The University of Scarborough’s Brutalist campus doubles as the “Canadian Academy of Erotic Inquiry” in David Cronenberg’s slim first feature, Stereo. Filmed without synchronized sound, it follows seven volunteers in a parapsychology experiment whose telepathic abilities allow them to slip out of the control of their overseers.
PROGRAM II: Experiments in Education
Introduced by Aiofe MacNamara, Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology at SFU
Walk-Through | Redmond Entwistle/Great Britain 2012. 18 min. DCP 
Rochdale College | Raphael Bendahan/Canada 1970. 21 min. 16mm 
Stereo | David Cronenberg/Canada 1969. 65 min. 35mm
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All That is Solid

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Melanie O’Brian and Michèle Smith

DIM CInema and SFU Galleries co-present a double program inspired by ideas raised in Erosion, a new film by German artist Andreas Bunte that was shot on SFU’s Burnaby campus this past January. Commissioned in partnership with Cineworks, Bunte’s film will be shown at SFU Gallery from September 13 to November 18, 2016.
The first selection of films considers architecture, its buildings and cities, as a geological formation, beginning with the birth of the quintessentially modernist city of Brasilia as reimagined by filmmaker Ana Vaz. Her A Idade da Pedra leads us into the Central Brazilian Plateau to witness the raising of a monumental structure from its geological foundations. Caspar Stracke’s No Damage, assembled from fragments of scenes of New York City from 80 films made over as many years, reveals that architecture is not eternal but finite. Gordon Matta-Clark’s Substrait (Underground Dailies) explores the city’s hidden passages and spaces. The final film, by Canadian filmmaker Eva Kolcze, exploits the material and aesthetic connections between celluloid and concrete to interrogate the utopian visions that inspired Brutalism. Featuring iconic examples of institutional architecture in and around Toronto, including the University of Scarborough campus, where David Cronenberg shot Stereo, All That is Solid serves also as a bridge to next month’s screening on October 26.
A Idade da Pedra (The Age of Stone) | Ana Vaz/France-Brazil 2013. 29 min. HD Video
No Damage | Caspar Stracke/USA 2002. 13 min. HD Video
Substrait (Underground Dailies) | Gordon Matta-Clark/USA 1976. 30 min. 16mm transfer
All That is Solid | Eva Kolcze/Canada 2014. 16 min. 16mm transfer

Gabriel Abrantes and Benjamin Crotty

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk and Arvo Leo

A double-bill program of solo and collaborative films by American-born filmmakers Gabriel Abrantes and Benjamin Crotty, who have worked together since 2008, expresses their interest in satirical and philosophical love stories reflecting the effects of colonialism, military occupation, and globalization, set in a breadth of political, social, and material contexts. Liberdade, shot in Angola, chronicles the relationship between an Angolan boy and a Chinese girl. ‘Oρνιθες (Ornithes - Birds) documents a foreign theatre director’s attempt to stage Aristophanes in Haiti. Visionary Iraq has the filmmakers playing all the roles within a Portuguese family whose children are about to ship out to Iraq. Receiving its Canadian premiere, Fort Buchanan, Crotty’s debut feature, is a queer soap-opera chronicling the tragicomic plight of an army-husband stranded at a remote post while his husband is on mission in Djibouti.
PROGRAM I: 7:30 pm
Liberdade | G. Abrantes, B Crotty/Portugal-Angola 2011. 16 min. 
Oρνιθες (Ornithes - Birds) | G. Abrantes/Portugal 2012. 17 min. 
Visionary Iraq | G. Abrantes, B. Crotty/Portugal 2008. 17 min.
PROGRAM II: 9:00 pm
Fort Buchanan | B. Crotty/France-Tunisia 2014. 65 min.
Image: Visionary Iraq, 2008. Courtesy of the artists.
Screening formats: DCP (from 16mm originals)


,000, and A Public Lecture & Exhumation

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 7:30 pm
Programmed by Michèle Smith
Setting triumphalist narratives of City Hall and the film industry against the “low” or dirty economy of day-to-day survival embodied by an actress-dominatrix and her clients, Isabelle Pauwels’ ,000, explores how the relentless sprawl of commerce dissolves human agency. With its rapid-fire graphics, fleeting attractions, and multiple points of view, this new 2D adaptation retains the visceral impact of the live multimedia performance commissioned by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in 2014. Elizabeth Price’s A Public Lecture & Exhumation, the outcome of a six-year project in which the artist enacted every clause of an art collector’s forgotten bequest to a London borough, uses the didactic vernacular of PowerPoint “to establish a context of Institutional Authority and Government” and the notion of exhumation to invoke “the undead of supernatural fictions and zombie films; [as] the Lecture itself gives way to a Romance.”
Adult content: 18+
A Public Lecture & Exhumation | Elizabeth Price/Great Britain 2006. 25 min. SD Video
,000, | Isabelle Pauwels/Canada 2016. 60 min. DCP
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Isabelle Pauwels is a New Westminster, B.C.-based artist who uses a blend of performance and documentary realism in multimedia installations and video to explore the relationship between narrative conventions and everyday life. She won the 2009 Brink Award and was shortlisted for the 2013 Sobey Award.
British artist Elizabeth Price is interested in digital video as a medium for navigation, advertising, and knowledge organization, as well as for its cinematic special effects. Based in London, she won the Turner Prize in 2012.
Image: ,000, (2014). Courtesy of Isabelle Pauwels and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC); Photo by Eileen Krywinski.  

Brûle la mer (Burn the Sea)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 7:30 pm
Programmed by Michèle Smith
Made at L'Abominable, the artist-run film lab in La Courneuve, France, Brûle la mer uses co-director Maki Berchache’s own experience of leaving Tunisia after the 2011 Jasmine Revolution as an entry point for a collective narrative about the harragas, North African migrants seeking refuge and a new, “better” life in Europe. “The film is a poetic quest which combines materiality (in the strictest sense of that which is material life) and abstraction: the experience of rupture, of reversal. The images should render perceptible the connection between a country left behind and the country of dreams, and then, the reversal which slowly takes hold, of how the country of dreams becomes the country left behind” (Nathalie Nambot). 
Brûle la mer, Tunisia/France 2014. Dirs: Nathalie Nambot, Maki Berchache. 75 min. 35mm
Image: "Olives", courtesy of the artists.


Preuzmimo Benčić (Take Back Benčić)

Monday, May 16, 2016 - 7:30 pm
Canada 2014. Dir: Althea Thauberger. 57 min. DCP
Shot in Rijeka, Croatia, with a cast of local children, this experimental documentary by Vancouver-based artist Althea Thauberger draws upon collective labour and the perspective of youth to tell the story of a defunct worker-managed factory at a time when the future of the building, and the city itself, is in question. By weaving together improvisation with material collected during a six-week occupation of the factory by performers and crew, the film re-imagines the site’s politics, history, and future while simultaneously exploring the relationship between work, art, and play. Followed by a panel and Q & A.
Please join us afterwards for a reception in the lobby to celebrate the launch of the monograph of the film, published by Musagetes.
Althea Thauberger's internationally produced and exhibited work typically involves research and critical reflections of the social histories of her production sites and an extended collaborative process with the communities and individuals represented. The resulting photography, video and performance projects often invoke provocative reflections of social, political, institutional, and aesthetic power relations of the local contexts of their production. Her work has recently been presented at the Audain Gallery, SFU, Vancouver; The Power Plant, Toronto; and the 7th Liverpool Biennial.
Nermin Gogalic is a Vancouver-based writer with a special interest in the political and architectural history of Rijeka, Croatia.
Amy Kazymerchyk initiated DIM Cinema in 2008 and is now curator of Audain Gallery, SFU.
Bojana Videkanic teaches in the Visual Culture program at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Her research explores connections between art, various modes of visual representation, and politics. She is currently writing a book examining Yugoslav non-aligned socialist modernism.
"Both compelling in its visual draw and intellectually challenging in its multi-layered contexts."
ArtSlant | full review
Co-presented with  

Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 7:30 pm


Programmed by Michèle Smith
Thom Andersen’s extraordinary meditation on the nature of vision, a project that began as a UCLA film thesis for which the aspiring filmmaker re-photographed thousands of Muybridge images, is “at once a biography of Muybridge, a re-animation of his historic sequential photographs, and an inspired examination of their philosophical implications…The ‘zoopraxography’ of the title speaks to both Muybridge’s practice of motion study — as distinct from photography — and his 1879 device, which enabled the images’ projection. As such, it foregrounds Muybridge’s role in the invention of cinema, and cinema itself as an illusion arising from stillness” (Ross Lipman, UCLA). Preceded by a re-animation of some of Muybridge's protofilms, and by Horse (2012), a short film by British artist John Stezaker, one of the leading practitioners of contemporary photographic collage and appropriation.
John Stezaker, Horse. Great Britain 2012. 2:13 min loop. DCP
Thom Andersen, Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer. USA 1975. 59 min. DCP
A co-production with Capture Photography Festival
Courtesy of Thom Andersen and LUX, London; and John Stezaker and The Approach, London.



Sessions: Kelley & Trecartin

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Tobin Gibson

Two rarely seen videos highlight the impact of language, translation, and silence in the work of American artists Mike Kelley and Ryan Trecartin. Kelley’s silent, two-fold video Test Room… and A Dance… jumps between protocols of scientific animal study and modernist choreography in a surreal laboratory environment. A unique version of Trecartin’s The Re'Search (Re'Search Wait’S) made for a 2014 exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing premieres here for the first time outside China. The “movie” — a term deliberately used by the artist to describe his films — adopted Mandarin subtitles for that exhibition, further complicating Trecartin’s repurposing and layering of language.
Test Room Containing Multiple Stimuli Known to Elicit Curiosity and Manipulatory Responses and A Dance Incorporating Movements Derived from Experiments by Harry F. Harlow and Choreographed in the Manner of Martha Graham | Mike Kelley/USA 1999. SD video; 60 min.
The Re'Search (Re'Search Wait’S) | Ryan Trecartin/USA 2009-10. HD video; 40 min. Translation by 尤伦斯当代艺术中心 Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.
Please note: this screening falls -- unusually --  on a Tuesday.
Mike Kelley (1954, Wayne, Michigan – 2012, South Pasadena, California) is considered one of the most influential artists of our time. He worked in an array of genres and styles, including performance, installation, drawing, painting, video, photography, sound works, text and sculpture. Recent solo exhibitions include Mike Kelley, Hauser & Wirth, New York (2015); Gagosian Gallery, London and New York (2011, 2005); WIELS Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels (2008); and Musée du Louvre, Paris (2006); and the touring retrospective Mike Kelley, which traveled to the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA P.S.1, Long Island City, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and MOCA, Los Angeles (2012–14).
Ryan Trecartin (1981, Webster, Texas) came to prominence nearly a decade ago, and is known for his video and sculptural work. Posing radical challenges both aesthetically and linguistically, his prescient work has become synonymous with the seismic shifts in culture that have defined our post-millennial moment. His solo and collaborative projects with Lizzie Fitch have been the subject of numerous exhibitions including Ryan Trecartin/Lizzie Fitch, Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2011–12); Ryan Trecartin: Any Ever, which in various iterations traveled to MoMA P.S. 1, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Istanbul Modern; the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and The Power Plant, Toronto (2009–11).
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Presented in conjunction with the exhibition My House: Mike Kelley and Ryan Trecartin at Presentation House Gallery, December 19, 2015 - March 3, 2016, curated by Tobin Gibson. presentationhousegallery.org
Image: © Ryan Trecartin. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles, and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.

Day Is Done

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 7:00 pm

My House curator, Tobin Gibson, introduces this special event — only the third time Mike Kelley's "fractured feature-length musical" has been screened in a cinema. Extending the artist's subversive, multifaceted examination of trauma, abuse and repressed memories, refracted through the prism of personal and mass-cultural experience, Day Is Done is composed of live-action recreations of high-school yearbook photographs of extracurricular activities, or, as the late artist himself termed them, "socially accepted rituals of deviance." These carnivalesque disruptions of the normal school schedule, in the form of pageants, recitals, variety shows, hazings, slave auctions and dress-up days, mirror events in the broader cultural arena.

Day Is Done, 2005. Dir: Mike Kelley. 169 min. Video.
Tobin Gibson lives in London, UK, and has previously worked with Presentation House Gallery, The Apartment, and, more recently, with Maureen Paley in London. He is currently working towards two thematic exhibitions for 2017: the first linking somatic, temporal and material gestures within abstraction and minimalism; the second focused around humanity's sixth mass extinction. 
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition My House: Mike Kelley & Ryan Trecartin at Presentation House Gallery, December 19, 2015 – March 6, 2016.
With special thanks to the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
Please note earlier than usual start time.

The Nine Muses

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 7:30 pm

  Programmed by Michèle Smith

DIM Cinema opens its 2016 season with Ghanaian-born British artist-filmmaker John Akomfrah’s epic film about the African diaspora to postwar Britain. Conceived as a gallery piece based on Homer’s Odyssey, this retelling of Telemachus’s search for his lost father, Odysseus, grew into a feature-length cinematic work structured as a song cycle, with each musical chapter named after one of the nine muses.  Intermixing archival footage with original scenes shot in Alaska, and scripted from sound clips of established works of the (mainly) Western canon, the film summons up “a mood, rather than a story, that reflects on the immigrant experience and the violence of displacement with a majestic grace" (Jason Solomons, The Observer). “Striking ... Extends, complicates, and enriches the definition of documentary. Though lofty, The Nine Muses is never grandiose, taking as its subject the primal notion of what constitutes home” (Melissa Anderson, Artforum).

The Nine Muses,, Great Britain 2011. Dir: John Akomfrah. 94 min. HDCAM 
"[A] beautiful and beguiling film."
Screen Daily | full review
"A handsome, restful, thought-provoking film."
The Guardian | full review
John Akomfrah, born to activist parents in Accra, Ghana, in 1957, has lived in London since the age of four. His films and installations focus on the African diaspora to Europe and North America, exploring themes of temporality, memory, history and identity. Akomfrah's multilayered visual style was forged as a founding member of the seminal Black Audio Film Collective, which he and long-term collaborators David Lawson and Lina Gopaul started in London in 1982 to address issues of race politics in Britain. Their second film, Handsworth Songs, about the 1985 riots in London and Birmingham, won the Grierson Prize for Best Documentary in 1987. His collaborative and solo works have been shown in museums and galleries including the Venice Biennale and the Liverpool Biennial; Documenta 11, Kassel; the De Balie, Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Serpentine Gallery, Tate Britain/Modern and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; and MoMA, New York. His films have been screened in international film festivals such as Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, amongst others.
Image: Courtesy of Icarus Films