On the screenings front, viewers won’t want to miss Chamber of Public Secrets, an April 8 survey of video from northern Africa and the Middle East selected by Khaled Ramadan, co-curator of Manifesta 8. Also drawing attention is a special April 2 spotlight on New York–based Canadian artist Ross McLaren, who in the 1970s founded Funnel, an important space for film and punk in Toronto. (McLaren, who later went on to wide international recognition, will also be doing an artist talk April 3.) Erie, American filmmaker and Whitney Biennial alum Kevin Jermoe Everson’s latest work, focuses on auto-industry workers in Detroit and screens April 8. Finally, Cologne’s Kamal Aljafari, who won an Images Festival award with his film The Roof in 2008, brings his newest feature, Port of Memory, to open the festival April 1.
Images’ live events will also be high on many people’s must-see lists. Topping the offerings is The Monkey and the Mermaid, a collaborative performance by artist Shary Boyle and musician Christine Fellows on the festival’s closing night, April 10. Coming a close second is Sonya and Layla Go Camping, an April 9 dance and video event by the New York duo robbinschilds, who has worked with pop stars like David Byrne, Chicks on Speed and Japanther as well as with institutions like PS1, Museo Reina Sofia and Zendai MoMA Shanghai. Turning around the usual performance dynamic is No Images, an April 6 evening of performance that takes place in total darkness, featuring work by John Oswald, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Alex Snukal and others. Also running counter to typical expectations is Revenge of the Theory Persons, an April 7 screening curated by artist Oliver Husain and dance filmmaker Kathleen Smith that focuses on movement and objects. And those who prefer their performance DIY style will want to check out Images’ online project with VVORK—inspired by their successful variety shows at New York’s New Museum, the collective will be posting new performance instructions each day on the festival’s website.
Local galleries offer other rich options. Jayce Salloum and Khadim Ali’s much-anticipated Bamiyan (the heart that has no love/pain/generosity is not a heart), which is based on travels in Pakistan and Afghanistan, opens at the Royal Ontario Museum April 3, running to April 24. Daniel Barrow’s solo show at the Art Gallery of York University, titled “Emotional Feelings,” is bound to deliver more of the Winnipeg artist’s trademark mix of melancholy and levity, and runs to June 6. Gallery TPW pulls in the big names with Craneway Event, the second collaboration between British artist Tacita Dean and late American choreographer Merce Cunningham, which runs April 3 to 24. More marquee artists appear at the Power Plant, where shows by Sharon Lockhart, Ryan Trecartin, Peter Campus and Joachim Koester continue to May 24. Last but certainly not least is 34 Films, a work by Toronto’s own international maverick, Michael Snow, which shows at Jessica Bradley Art + Projects from April 1 to 10.
Finally, the more academically oriented won’t want to miss the International Experimental Media Congress, which runs in parallel with Images from April 7 to 11. It includes a keynote by Yvonne Rainer on April 7, a panel on digital images moderated by David Rokeby on April 9 and a conversation with Tom Sherman on media institutions on April 10.
HIGHLIGHTS DAY BY DAY
APRIL 1 Port of Memory opening gala screening at Bloor Cinema; first day for Michael Snow at Jessica Bradley Art + Projects and VVORK at www.imagesfestival.com
APRIL 2 Ross McLaren spotlight at Workman Arts
APRIL 3 Jayce Salloum and Khadim Ali’s installation opens at the Royal Ontario Museum, as does Craneway Event at Gallery TPW
APRIL 4–5 Ongoing installations include Daniel Barrow at the AGYU and Sharon Lockhart, Ryan Trecartin, Peter Campus and Joachim Koester at the Power Plant
APRIL 6 No Images performance evening with John Oswald, Mary Margaret O’Hara and others at Innis Town Hall
APRIL 7 Yvonne Rainer keynote at OCAD and Revenge of the Theory Persons movement-related screening at Polish Combatants’ Hall
APRIL 8 Chamber of Public Secrets screening and Erie screening, both at Innis Town Hall
APRIL 9 Dance and video event Sonya and Layla Go Camping by robbinschilds at Dancemakers and panel on digital images moderated by David Rokeby at OCAD
APRIL 10 Closing gala performance of The Monkey and the Mermaid by Shary Boyle and Christine Fellows at St. Anne’s Church and conversation with Tom Sherman on media institutions at OCAD