BETWEEN/US: MEDITATIONS ON DISTORTION, DESIRE AND DISTANCE

This programme of experimental short works from the Winnipeg Film Group catalogue explores isolation, glitches and communication as central themes, responding to a time where many of us are struggling to connect in a newly socially distanced world.


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Between/Us: Meditations on Distortion, Desire and Distance

 
Curated by: Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler
Curatorial response by: Dunja Kovačević

Hello!

I am thrilled to share "Between/Us: Meditations on Distortion, Desire and Distance" with you. This programme of experimental short works from the Winnipeg Film Group catalogue explores isolation, glitches and communication as central themes, responding to a time where many of us are struggling to connect in a newly socially distanced world. My hope is this program provides you with comfort, pleasure and solace during these strange times. Happy viewing!

- Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler

 


About Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler

Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler is a queer femme writer, artist and workshop facilitator from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is the creator of several independently published zines, as well as a co-founding member of feminist arts collective, Sappho Zine (2012-2016). After joining the Winnipeg Film Group’s Distribution Department to assist with Archive/Counter Archive, a special project in conjunction with York University, she was promoted to Distribution Coordinator in 2019.

Find out more about Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler here.
 

My hope is this program provides you with comfort, pleasure and solace during these strange times.
The Peak Experience (2018), Leslie Supnet

"Between/Us: Meditations on Distortion, Desire and Distance"

CURATORIAL RESPONSE BY: Dunja Kovačević

 

“Trances sometimes lead to being uncomfortable,” warns the visualization guide in Leslie Supnet’s The Peak Experience. Three screens simultaneously flash lush and saturated landscapes, while the narration soothingly, monotonously, explains the importance of going inward, of tumbling into the subconscious. Here, we might find our “essence.” Sometimes hands appear, extend towards one another, grasp, and disappear before surfacing again. They reach without touching, fixed in a frustrated attempt at connection.

“Different parts of you can come through as needed,” the guide gently encourages.

At about 3:40, one screen changes. The subconscious, presumably, unlocked. Soon, all three screens are replaced with ordinary, intimate, fragments that make up a life. A dog digging on the beach. A handsome youth rolling a cigarette. A family walking on the dunes, waving from the past. Each scene frozen in amber, timestamped and gritty with time.

“Everyone has their own style of going inward” the guide continues to coax.

 

Three screens simultaneously flash lush and saturated landscapes, while the narration soothingly, monotonously, explains the importance of going inward, of tumbling into the subconscious.
Caribou in the Archive (2019), Jennifer Dysart

In Caribou in the Archive, Jennifer Dysart reaches differently into the past. Here, there is an urgency: she must pin the memory of her lost grandmother, Violet, to the screen before the surviving footage deteriorates beyond repair. But she cannot make the image stay and, so, she must flesh out her family archive by stitching it into a larger archive of Canadian cultural memory via National Film Board (NFB) documentary footage. The result is restorative and challenging: Violet is retrieved, her memory preserved, but her aliveness also speaks back to colonial memory and its flat, limited, understanding of Indigenous peoples. Visible glitches with overlaid text draw attention to its construction and artificiality. This is the hand of the present at work reconstructing the past--a reminder that memory is, and has always been, part fantasy and part recreation.

“Isn’t it a wonderful experience to explore, to discover, so many interesting facets to yourself? Some of these discoveries may be personal and belong only to you.”

 


About Dunja Kovačević

Dunja Kovačević is a writer, editor, and community worker situated in Winnipeg on Treaty 1 territory. A queer femme and immigrant settler born in the Former Yugoslavia, her work circles questions of belonging, disorientation, and archival bodies. She holds an MA in Cultural Studies from the University of Winnipeg and is currently working towards an MA in Family and Marriage Therapy. Her work appears sporadically in publications and exhibitions, such as jeunesse: young people, texts, cultures; Border Crossings and Martha Street Journal.

Find out more about Dunja Kovačević here and her writing here.

 

Visible glitches with overlaid text draw attention to its construction and artificiality.
VUCAVU EXPANDED

This curated program is part of the VUCAVU Expanded project.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.​