Vater und Sohn/Father and Son/父与子

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 8:30 pm
Programmed by Sarah Todd
Using E. O. Plauen's comic strip of the same name as an entry point, Vater und Sohn/Father and Son/父与子 is a video essay in which Vancouver-based artist Casey Wei combines documentary and travelogue footage with appropriated images to trace the migration of this comic strip from Nazi Germany through Maoist China to the present day. As a child growing up in Shanghai, Wei read collections of the comic and assumed it was Chinese. In 2012, she stumbled across an image of it online in German, and was shocked to discover its true origins. Wei traveled to Germany and China to conduct interviews with people who have encountered the comic strip in various contexts. The film presents the failed utopian strategies of the 20th century through the lens of this comic and provokes thoughts about memory, influence, time, and history.
Please see a trailer for Vater und Sohn/Father and Son/父与子 here.
Casey Wei (b. 1985, Shanghai) is a Vancouver-based artist working in film/video and text. In 2012, she graduated with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Simon Fraser University, where her thesis work was the video Murky Colors. Vater und Sohn/Father and Son/父与子 is her second video and her first feature-length work.

Social Surrealism: Three Films by Jeremy Deller

Monday, March 17, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Michèle Smith

“I thought I would try to get by on my wits creatively, whatever that meant.”  - JEREMY DELLER
In 1986, while hanging out in Andy Warhol’s Factory for a couple of weeks, a 20-year-old art history student from London had a life-changing epiphany: art could be made out of whatever you were interested in. Nearly three decades later, Jeremy Deller is arguably one of the most influential artists of his generation, celebrated as “an enabler, intermediary, collaborator and all-round enlightenment artist … whose material is drawn straight from the life around him, from people’s experiences, from writing and history almost as it happens” (The Guardian). Tonight’s program includes two feature-length documentaries the artist made with the filmmaker Nick Abrahams, one about a pop-culture Renaissance man, the other about Depeche Mode fans, and a short biopic of Adrian Street, a coal miner’s son whose wrestling persona inspired Glam Rock and early performance art, a man Deller thinks “needs to be seen as the hero of his own life.”
The Bruce Lacey Experience | Great Britain 2012. Dirs: Jeremy Deller, Nick Abrahams. 67 min.
So Many Ways to Hurt You (The Life and Times of Adrian Street) | Great Britain 2010. Dir: Jeremy Deller. 28 min.
Our Hobby is Depeche Mode | Great Britain 2008. Dirs: Jeremy Deller, Nick Abrahams. 73 min.
Jeremy Deller (b. 1966, London) studied art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art and University of Sussex. He had his first solo exhibition in his parents’ house while they were away on vacation and subsequent ones in Paris, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In 2012, the Hayward Gallery, London, organized a touring mid-career retrospective, Joy in People. Deller received the Turner Prize in 2004 and represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
Nick Abrahams studied art and English literature at Exeter University and Art School. He came to filmmaking as a director of pop videos for Stereolab, Manic Street Preachers, Sigur Ros, and many others. He is currently working on his first feature.
Image: Adrian Street, vintage photograph, 1973, from So Many Ways to Hurt You, 2010.

Synthetic Properties: Helen Marten and Zoe Tissandier

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 7:30 pm
Programmed by Sarah Todd.
"Synthetic Properties" brings together two recent films that illustrate the simultaneous banality and wonder of contemporary image and object making technology. Helen Marten’s Evian Disease exploits the medium of digital animation. Structured by six narrators floating through a modern apartment, the spectacularly artificial composition investigates the absurd materiality of digital artifice and the sanitized but seductive formal vocabulary of CGI animation. Zoe Tissandier’s new work In Praise of Scribes focuses a similarly meditative gaze upon an advanced 3D printing machine. An in-depth visual analysis of the 3D printing process produces an allegory around the potentiality and complexity of the endlessly reproducible object, drawing the printing process’s resultant object as both banal artifact and fetishistic talisman.
Helen Marten, Evian Disease. 2012,  29mins. Animation by Adam Sinclair. Digital animation. Courtesy of the artist and T293 Gallery. 
Zoe Tissandier, In Praise of Scribes. 2013, HD Video, 26mins. Courtesy of the artist.
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Helen Marten lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions includeEvian Disease, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); Park Nights: Dust and Piranhas, Serpentine Gallery (2011); Take a stick and make it sharp, Johann König, Berlin (2011) and Wicked Patterns, T293, Naples (2010). Marten participated in the 2013 Venice Biennale. Recent group exhibitions include New pictures of common objects, MoMA PS1, New York (2012).
Zoe Tissandier is a visual artist from the UK, currently based in Vancouver. Her practice employs a variety of mediums including video, letterpress, projection, sound and installation. Zoe Tissandier received a BA Photography degree from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, UK in 2002 and an MFA degree from the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia in 2010.

Aurélien Froment: Interludes

Monday, January 20, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Michèle Smith,
Aurelian Froment in attendance

To launch its 2014 season, DIM Cinema is hosting an evening of videos by the acclaimed French artist Aurélien Froment, in advance of his first Canadian solo exhibition. Froment often uses theatrical devices and the format of instructional films to draw the audience in as participants in these cleverly-crafted investigations into the transmission of ideas. Some of the videos take a specific object or practice as subject matter — a jellyfish, a boating knot, a yoga pose — and examine it through language, revealing the elusive relationship between images and words. Others follow the shifts in perspective witnessed by forgotten historical objects as their uses and meanings change over time from those envisioned by their designers. And still others are concerned with the mental processes involved in the construction of narrative and memory.

Opening Speech | 2011. HD video, colour, sound. 5 mins. 
Fondation | 2002. HD video, colour, sound. 2 mins. 
The Apse, the Bell and the Antelope | 2005. HD video, colour, sound. 27 mins.
Pulmo Marina | 2010. HD video, colour, sound. 5 mins. 
Fourdrinier Machine Interlude | 2010. HD video, colour, sound. 7 mins.
Théâtre de poche | 2007. HD video, colour, sound. 12 mins.
Camillo's Idea | 2012. HD video, colour, sound. 25 mins.
Aurélien Froment (b. 1976 in Angers, France) is a visual artist based in Dublin. After graduating from École Régionale des Beaux Arts, Nantes, he worked as a part-time projectionist at MK2 Parnasse in Paris. The cinema continues to be an important space for his practice. His work has been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions and screenings, most recently at the ICA in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and at the 55th Venice Biennale.
Programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Fröbel Fröbeled at Contemporary Art Gallery (January 24 - March 15) and with PuSh International Festival of Performing Arts (January 14 - February 2)
Image: Pulmo Marina (still), 2007.

Dan Starling's The Kidnapper's Opera

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 7:30 pm
The Kidnapper's Opera
Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk

The Kidnapper’s Opera is a video-artwork based on a true story: On December 21, 1990, several young men, some of them teenagers, kidnapped the daughter of Canadian billionaire Jimmy Pattison in Vancouver. After receiving a $200,000 first payment on their ransom demands, the kidnappers decided to go on a shopping spree in a rented limousine; they were caught later that day conspicuously spending large amounts of cash at local shopping malls. Inspired by a quotation from Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera – “What is the robbery of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?” – the film considers how inequality is psychologically experienced in our society. The explanation for the behaviour of the teenagers focuses on the false desires of fortune and personal grandeur created by advertising, the media, and a sense of lack perpetuated by globalization. Structured like a play, each scene of The Kidnapper’s Opera is set and shot uniquely. Dan Starling, 2013, Colour, HDCAM, 90mins, Canada.

Dan Starling is a visual artist from Vancouver who works in a variety of mediums (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance). Starling studied at Emily Carr University in Vancouver and Städelschule in Frankfurt and teaches at Emily Carr University.

My Language Is An Unpaved Road (Crystal Bridges)

Monday, November 18, 2013 - 7:30 pm
Programmed by Aaron Peck
In My Language is an Unpaved Road (Crystal Bridges), the collaborative duo of Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr documents the eponymous art museum – the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – opened in 2005 in Bentonville, Arkansas, by Alice Walton, heiress of the Walmart fortune. Funded by the world’s largest department-store chain, Crystal Bridges exemplifies a shift in the function of museums from educational to entertainment models. The film explores not only the museum’s collection, which ranges from early American colonial to contemporary art, but also the individuals around it. Co-director Fehr acts the part of the museum’s director, Don Bacigalupi, while the rest of the cast are actual interviewees, including local donors and high-school teachers. As German critic Noemi Smolik writes in Frieze d/e, “The film comes across as both touchingly naïve and cunning – naïve in its direct voicing of the protagonists’ stories; cunning, because of the parodic effect given to these stories by the film’s imagery.” Henning Fehr, andPhilipp Rühr. 2013, Colour, HDCAM, 92mins, Germany.
Henning Fehr was born in Erlangen, Germany, in 1985. Philipp Rühr was born in Brühl, Germany, in 1986. Both currently live and work in Düsseldorf, Germany. They are represented by Galerie Max Mayer.

Programmed by Michèle Smith

A falcon equipped with a tiny camera hovers over the desert like a living drone. Auguries are taken from the flight of starlings above the roofs of the Vatican. At ground level, a magician-mime uses conjuring tricks to interpret abstract art, shepherds watch over Glenn Gould practising a Chopin étude, and a prisoner secretly records his daily life on a smuggled phone in exchange for short video clips of the world outside. This month we’re mapping the conceptual terrain crossed by French artists in the past decade, from art and aesthetics to politics, philosophy, race, and citizenship. An irresistible cinematic amuse-bouche and digéstif will be served by Laure Prouvost, whose recent video installation Wantee, about the artistic friendship between her late (entirely fictional) grandfather and the Dadaist Kurt Schwitters, earned her a nomination for this year’s Turner Prize — winner to be announced in early December (Go Laure!).


Owt | Laure Prouvost/Great Britain 2007. 3 mins. 
Abstract Telling | Olivier Dollinger/France 2010. 16 mins. 
Le Berger | Benoît Maire/France 2011. 15 mins. 
Temps Mort | Mohamed Bourouissa/ France 2009. 18 mins. 
Pruitt Igoe Falls | Cyprien Gaillard/France 2009. 7 mins.
Les Oiseaux | Laurent Grasso/ France 2008. 9 mins. 
A Study of the Nature of Things | Laurent Montaron/France 2011. 12 mins. 
On Air | Laurent Grasso/ France 2009. 9 mins. 
Wantee | Laure Prouvost/Great Britain 2013. 15 mins. 

Image: On Air (still), 2009. Courtesy Galerie Valentin, Paris, and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York © Laurent Grasso / ADAGP, Paris, 2013.


Calculated Movements

Monday, September 23, 2013 - 8:30 pm
Programmed by Sylvain Sailly and Sarah Todd 
“Calculated Movements” presents a broad range of short films and videos that trace the development of computer graphics within moving images. Presented parallel to “Continuum Model,” Sylvain Sailly’s solo exhibition at the Western Front, this program brings together advertising, historical film, internet art, and single channel video, offering an intuitive account of digital sensibilities and cinema. “Calculated Movements” takes Larry Cuba’s 1985 abstract animated video of the same name as a point of departure, positioning the of act calculation as an essential and elemental process inherent to the production of computer graphics. Here artists, filmmakers, and designers are implicated in the unrelenting needs of technology as innovators, technicians, and often reluctant and sceptical participants in the processes of industrial research and development. From Tony Conrad’sCycles of 3s and 7s (1976), which he describes as “a story: about numbers, the kind machines should like to hear and tell, if they liked,” to Sara Ludy’s laptop-based online dérives in Rooms (2012), “Calculated Movements” is concerned with investigating the craft of digital image-making across industrial and independent modes of production in an effort to better understand the conditions of our contemporary digital environment.
Loie Fuller - Danse serpentine | Lumiere Brothers/France 1896. 3 mins. (excerpt) 

Cycles of 3s and 7s | Tony Conrad/USA 1976. 12 mins.

Vinyl Silk | Abel & Associates/USA 1976. 1 min.

Symphonie Diagonale | Viking Eggeling/Sweden 1924. 7 mins. 

Form Phases II | Robert Breer/USA 1953. 4 mins. 

Not Fiction | Elizabeth Vander Zaag/Canada 1975. 4 mins.

Calculated Movements | Larry Cuba/USA 1985. 6 mins.

1-2-3-4 | Steina Vasulka/USA 1974. 8 mins. 

Rooms | Sara Ludy/Canada 2012. 4 mins.

Le chant du styrène | Alain Resnais/France 1958. 13 mins. 

Mechanical Principles | Ralph Steiner/USA 1930. 5 mins. (excerpt) 

Digit Porn | Elizabeth Vander Zaag/Canada 1977. 2 mins. 

Green Giant | Abel & Associates/USA 1979. 1 mins. 

Spheres | Norman McLaren, René Jodoin/Canada 1969. 3 mins. 

MATRIX III | John Whitney/USA 1972. 11 mins.
Sylvain Sailly is a French artist currently residing in Vancouver. He has been exhibiting his animations, drawings, and installations recently at Mains d'Œuvres, Paris; Today Art Museum, Beijing; the Jakarta Biennale XIII; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; and the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver. Sailly's practice poetically explores contemporary information systems through the intersection of technology and sculpture. His work investigates industrial modes of production, bringing form to otherwise intangible socio-economic realities.
Presented in collaboration with the Western Front.

Erth and Other Landscapes

Monday, June 17, 2013 - 8:30 pm
Programmed by Michèle Smith

“Erth and Other Landscapes” presents a series of musings on nature, technology, perception, and time by two generations of renowned artists and filmmakers. The program commences with a journey from the origin of the cosmos to the appearance of a “brilliant streptococcus organism for which no antidote exists”; and concludes with a year-long study of a forest, enacted by following the continually shifting movement of colour, light, and shadow across natural forms, articulating then obliterating them into pure abstraction. Between these parentheses, Peter Hutton discovers the sublime landscapes of the Hudson River School in a mound of burning tires; Patrick Keiller recapitulates the natural history of the universe in the capricious ontogeny of his narrator; and, like postmodern Brueghels, Rachel Reupke’s tiny human dramas get lost in the flow of traffic through a panoramic landscape. These closely observed encounters pose questions about our relationship with non-human matter and forces, and draw out some of the complex links between the objective visible world and our inner hidden worlds.


John Latham, Erth. 1971, Colour, 16mm, sound, 25mins, Great Britain.
Peter Hutton, In Titan's Goblet. 1991, B&W, 16mm, silent, 10mins, USA. 
Patrick Keiller, The Clouds. 1989, B&W, 16mm, sound, 19mins, Great Britain.
Rachel Reupke, Infrastructure. 2002, B&W, video, sound, 14mins, Great Britain.
Nathaniel Dorsky, Compline.2009, Colour, 16mm, silent, 18mins, USA.
Emily Richardson, Aspect. 2004, Colour, 16mm sound, 9mins, Great Britain.

image: The Clouds, Patrick Keiller (1989)


Luke Fowler: All Divided Selves

Monday, May 27, 2013 - 7:30 pm

“His work is unashamedly polemical, but the polemic is in favour of the proposition that the same discontinuities, paradoxes and breakdowns in communication that are at issue in cinema are also at work in our mediated lives" - Will Bradley

Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk

Luke Fowler was introduced to Scottish psychiatrist, R.D. Laing’s Kingsley Hall experiment (1965-1970) while he was working on his own series of social and psychological experiments called The Social Engineer (1999). Fowler’s interest in Laing’s practice, and the documentation of Kingsley Hall, evolved into the film What You See Is Where You’re At (2001). Laing’s hypotheses on the “double bind”, the family nexus, and ontological security in books such as The Divided Self (1960) and The Politics of Experience (1967) shaped Fowler’s own concerns with family, community, and collaborative formation; self and social representation and perception; and truth and authority. Fowler takes formal influence on these matters from structuralist film, the Situationists, the Free Cinema Movement, and free improvisation. All of these elements fold into Fowler’s poly-rhythmic compositions of sound and images — formal experiments, in tune with divided selves.

The Way Out profiles Xentos “Fray Bentos” Jones, one of the founding members of the post-punk band The Homosexuals. Pilgrimage from Scattered Points reflects on the English composer Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) and The Scratch Orchestra (1968-73). Bogman Palmjaguar is a portrait of man who takes refuge in Scotland’s remote bog lands, as his only asylum against medical incarceration. All Divided Selves is an expanded collage of R.D. Laing’s life and practice.


The Way Out. 2003, Colour, video, 33 mins.  Co-director: Kosten Koper.
Pilgrimage from Scattered Points. 2006, Colour, video, 45mins.
Bogman Palmjaguar. 2007, Colour, video, 30mins.

All Divided Selves. 2011, Colour, video, 90mins.

Luke Fowler (b. 1978) is an artist, filmmaker, and musician based in Glasgow. He has performed with experimental groups Lied Music and Rude Pravo, and runs the independent label SHADAZZ. Fowler was awarded the inaugural Derek Jarman Award in 2008.. In 2012, he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize for his solo exhibition at Inverleith House in Edinburgh, which showcased All Divided Selves (2011).