Spanning Thursday, August 6 through Saturday, August 8, this week marks the start of the 14th annual Photophobia, a festival of short-format contemporary media, film, video, and moving image hosted in partnership between the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Hamilton Artists Inc. For this week’s Film Favourites, we collected some of our favourite works from past Photophobias for you to enjoy!
This year’s festival will be a virtual presentation chock full of incredible work by artists local, national, and international. To view the full program, click here. Much like this year’s program, all the films in this article are accessible to view online at the links provided.
Shelley Niro, “Tree”
As a multi-disciplinary artist and member of the Six Nations Reserve, Turtle Clan, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Shelley Niro puts significant personal force into her wide range of work. AGH visitors may recall her 2017 solo exhibition, Shelley Niro: 1779, which featured the ever-popular recent AGH acquisition, Resting with Warriors. AGH Film Festival fans may have seen her feature, The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw, at this past year’s festival as well. Here, the artist’s “Tree” presents a powerful image of Mother Earth personified, and was one of our favourites at Photophobia 2017.
Christine Negus, “i’ve been waiting to smile for a long time”
Like Niro, Ontario-based artist Christine Negus employs a wide range of artistic disciplines to express a far-reaching range of personal investigation and emotional experience, shifting from large physical work to intimate videos, from navigating loss to humour. Another favourite from Photophobia 2017, Negus’s “i’ve been waiting to smile for a long time” experiments simultaneously with constructions of Greco-Roman tradition and ceramic childhood homage projects, casting both under the “melancholy umbrella of Billy Corgan’s serenade.”
Natalie Hunter, “No More Than a Breath”
A Hamilton-born multidisciplinary artist, Natalie Hunter is adept at challenging viewers to consider both the physical space of her work, and the emotional response inspired by this exploration. A selection of the artist’s work can currently be purchased from our Art Sales + Service team. Hunter’s video work “No More Than a Breath” was also a favourite at Photophobia 2017, described by the artist as an exploration to define a breath as “a metaphor for being… investigating the psychology of space, consciousness, embodiment, the senses, and memory.”
Stephanie Deumer, “What is an Object?”
Born in Oakville and based in New York City, Stephanie Deumer has exhibited throughout Canada, The United States, The United Kingdom, and Ecuador. Much of Deumer’s work seeks to transform the space in which it’s installed, using pieces of its surroundings to interrogate the meaning of the art objects themselves. One of our favourites since its 2017 Photophobia appearance, Deumer’s “What is an Object?” combines original and found footage to “interrogate the objectification of women in film, art, and everyday life,” asking viewers its pointed titular question.
Dan Browne, “Palmerston Blvd.”
Toronto-based filmmaker and multimedia artist Dan Browne explores patterns and forms in his artist practice, successfully screening his work to audiences at over 100 film festivals around the world. Among his many collaborators is current featured exhibition artist Michael Snow. Browne’s “Palmerston Blvd.” was a favourite of ours at Photophobia 2018, described by Browne as his “most intimate and personal work to date,” as he documented the light in a bay window over the course of the year he and his partner became new parents.
Kristina Durka, “Lady Lagomorph”
A Hamilton-based interdisciplinary artist, Kristina Durka focuses her practice towards the parallels between women and animals throughout history, applied frequently through representations of the artist and her pet rabbit Lou. A favourite at Photophobia 2017, “Lady Lagomorph” is an intimate visualization of a shared moment of trust and sensuality, in which Durka’s persona, Mrs. Lady Lagomorph, publicly displays her tender affection for her rabbit.
Stay tuned to the Photophobia 2020 page for links to this week’s three daily Photophobia online programs! Our first day kicks off Thursday at 7:00 pm and will be available to view for 72 hours.