Mar 4, 2022 at 7:30 pm
With Amanda Gutiérrez, Hadley Austin, Adela Goldbard, Veronica Mockler & Javier Toscano
Come through for a night of cinema and conversation around powerful short works from Amanda Gutiérrez, Hadley Austin, Adela Goldbard, Veronica Mockler & Javier Toscano! Through an interplay of films that devise unique methods of positioning the camera as a bridge between the filmmaker and subject, we will explore how we can ethically bear witness to personal narratives, particularly those stemming from site-specific conflict and stories of migration.
We’re thrilled to have such a talented group of artists and filmmakers to guide us through this exploration! Gutiérrez’s auto-ethnographic work Walking in Lightness was described as “showing us the simple but profound ways in which photographic processes can alter the way people are represented” by Artnet News. Javier Toscano brings us a narrative of resistance from Sahrawi poet Jadijetu Alaÿat in Jadijetu’s Journey as his camera moves us through an unknown land. Hadley Austin will share her work Demon Mineral, bringing forth a family’s testimony about the human cost of a landscape perforated by uranium mines in the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. In Rinxui, Adela Goldbard documents the members of El Alberto, a small town of four thousand Hñähñu speakers in the great canyon of the Mezquital Valley, who have been reenacting their border-crossing experiences as a touristic attraction for over 15 years. Veronica Mockler will present her work Person In Common, a collaborative research-creation study on the interview experience of strangers.
The artists will be in conversation following the screening. Join us to dive deep into the formal strategies that underlie the complex terrain of ethical engagement with the communities and people who tell us their stories.
Please note: proof of vaccination is required for entry. Masks will be required for the duration of the program.
Walking in Lightness by Amanda Gutiérrez
14:16 min., 2018
The film essay Walking in Lightness takes into consideration the process of cultural adaptation of the immigrant, in the process of placemaking, as well as the soundscapes as an important element that guides the visual narrative.
Demon Mineral by Hadley Austin
12:24 min., 2021
Demon Mineral documents life in the radioactive desert on the Navajo Reservation. Spanning across a landscape perforated by orphaned uranium mines in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, the film follows a group of indigenous scientists, elders, and activists as they work to protect a vital living space on contaminated land.
Rinxui by Adela Goldbard
14:42 min., 2020
Members of El Alberto, a small town of four thousand Hñähñu speakers in the great canyon of the Mezquital Valley, in central Mexico, have been reenacting their border-crossing experiences as a touristic attraction for more than 15 years. This reenactment was conceived by older members of the community that had witnessed and suffered the increasing violence in the border, with the goal of preventing younger community members from fleeing.
During this reenactment, migrants are violently taken, at night and without lamplights, across the valley’s semi-desert scenery that, according to the ones who have crossed the border, very accurately resembles the Arizona landscape. Rinxui (‘Into the Night’, in Hñahñu) was shot in complete darkness with the help of night vision cameras and infrared lights, trying to be the least intrusive to the reenactment. Three-channel video installation in progress.
Person In Common by Veronica Mockler
15 min., 2021
A collaborative research-creation study on the interview experience of strangers. Together with community collaborators Azzouz, Joanna, Kevin and Sheida, we investigated the practice of life story interviewing between strangers. In this documentary three-channel, video installation viewers of the work become listeners of what this interview experience has meant to those involved rather than being given access to their actual interviews.
Jadijetu’s Journey by Javier Toscano
7:22 min., 2020
The narrative of resistance of Sahrawi poet Jadijetu Alaÿat flows against the background of ravelling images from an unknown land.
Trained and graduated initially as a stage designer from The National School of Theater, Amanda Gutiérrez uses a range of media such as film and performance art to investigate the everyday life acoustic culture. Approaching these questions from a feminist perspective continues to be of special interest to Gutiérrez, who completed her MFA in Media and Performance Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently elaborating the academic dimension of her work as a Ph.D. student at Concordia University. Accordingly, these techniques also constitute the core of the pedagogical practice Gutiérrez has developed over a decade of teaching in educational settings such as NYU Abu Dhabi, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Rutgers University. Gutierrez is actively advocating listening practices while being one of the board of directors of the World Listening Project, formerly working with The Midwest Society of Acoustic Ecology, and currently as the scientific committee of the Red Ecología Acústica México. Currently, she is a research assistant at Concordia’s lab’s PULSE and Acts of Listening Lab.
Hadley Austin’s work is rooted in historical research, social justice, and the natural world. She is one half of Formidable Entities, and the director of Demon Mineral, for which she is a Redford Center Fellow, and Bay Area Video Coalition grantee. A published poet, she is also a Pushcart Nominee.
Adela Goldbard is an interdisciplinary artist/educator/scholar from Mexico City. She holds an MFA as a Full Merit Fellow in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Language and Literature from the National University of México (UNAM). She is a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Humanities program at Concordia University and a member of the National System of Artistic Creators of México. Goldbard investigates how radical community performances can subvert the imposition of hegemonic narratives, and how performances of violence and destruction can become aesthetic tools of resistance against power. She is especially interested in how collectively building, staging, and destroying has the potential to generate critical thinking and social transformation. Goldbard’s practice draws on experimental/collaborative/sensory ethnographic research and brings together sculpture, video, photography, sound, text and traditional textiles, pottery, woodwork and pyrotechnics. Her recent projects include a pyrotechnic play with/for the Mexican community of La Villita in Chicago, commissioned by Gallery 400 (University of Illinois, Chicago, 2019-2020) and a socially engaged art project with/for the P’urhépecha community of Arantepacua, commissioned by the XIV FEMSA Biennial (Michoacán, México, 2020-21).
Veronica Mockler was born in 1991 on unceded Indigenous Land, today known as Quebec City, in a franco-anglo family of Irish refugee and French settler lineage. She graduated with Distinction from Concordia University (BFA Studio Arts, 2015) in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal after completing her final year of studies in the Republic of Ireland. Veronica has since returned to Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal where she lives, listens, learns and works as a professional socially engaged artist. Mockler is currently a student researcher at Concordia University in the Acts of Listening Lab at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. Marginalized and working-class knowledge is at the centre of her practice in social pedagogy, non-fiction media art, oral history, and performance art. Her work has taken shape in exhibitions, publications, festival screenings, conferences, workshops, and within community, public and governing institutions, most often in Canada, with specific events in Uruguay, Germany, Scotland, the North of Ireland, and the United States.
Javier Toscano is a documentary filmmaker and a philosopher. His work has involved a continuous search to generate and collaborate with minorities, communities and groups with disabilities towards the production of narratives of self-affirmation and vital exploration. He has been a post-doc researcher in media politics in Paris and Berlin. He was a founding member of Laboratorio 060 (lab060.org, 2003-2013), an interdisciplinary team that worked around contemporary art topics. Together they won the first prize of the Best Art Practices Award (Bolzano, Italy, 2008) for their project Frontera, A sketch for the creation of a future society. He is also a founding member of Nerivela (www.nerivela.org), with whom he developed a project on the subjective reconstruction of communities as a form of social architecture that was presented at the Venice Biennale for Architecture 2016, Reporting from the Front. His latest documentary, Potentiae (2017), won different prizes in several film festivals, including the Golden Frog for Best Cinematography at Camerimage 2017 (Poland). He has also received the Prince Claus Fund for new media projects (Holland), the First Accésit Essay Prize from the University of Navarra (Spain), Semiotica’s Mouton d’Or Essay Award (Germany) and the National System for the Arts (Mexico), among others.