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"Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video"
2001-01-18 until 2001-03-04
Art Gallery of Hamilton
Hamilton, ON, CA Canada

A timely exhibition ironically curated by an American and co-organized by a U.S. museum, Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video showcases the recent explosion of compelling Canadian independent video in a six-part series spanning the last 30 years. Curated by film/videomaker Jenny Lion and co-organized by the Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, and Video Pool Inc., Winnipeg, Magnetic North is made up of 40 tapes by 46 artists. Organized thematically, the exhibition explores what Lion calls the earlier impulses of video. Themes include issues surrounding the body, self-identity, voyeurism, and other subjects such as the banality of everyday life.†

Many of the tapes are very challenging, says AGH curatorial intern and independent video producer Steve Loft. They tell stories: some are very funny, others are hard-hitting and compelling. All are in a format thatís very accessible.

According to Lion, experimental video has at its core, the process of trying something out, and a willingness to gamble. Some of the videos in this exhibition deal with subject matter such as sexuality, the body, rebellion, marginality and decay.

Loft will be available at scheduled screenings on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 pm to answer questions and engage discussion. Screenings will be offered on:

January 25 - Seen on the Body (begins at 7:30 pm as part of Cafť Culture programme, admission fee applies)
February 1 - Performing a Self
February 8 - In the Flesh
February 15 - Subject/Object
February 22 - Making Strange, Making Familiar
March 1 - The Medium is...

Canadians are often accused of excessive navel-gazing, adds Loft. But itís exactly this introspection that produces wonderful work. The most powerful videos are often the most personal ones.

Recently awarded a Lieutenant Governorís Award for the Arts, the Art Gallery of Hamilton is the third largest public gallery in Ontario. It owns one of the finest art collections in Canada. Admission to the Gallery is free, courtesy of Orlick Industries Limited.


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