LOOKING AT CITIES, UNDER THE STARS: AN OUTDOOR SCREENING EVENT
On Thursday, August 14th, join us in WAHC’s backyard for a night of films and videos exploring the changing urban environment and it’s impact on the people who inhabit it.
This special night marks the last of our programming initiatives presented as part of Art as the New Steel: Changing and Challenging Perspectives on James St. North. The program is presented in partnership with and curated by Centre 3 for Print and Media Arts .
Private Views – Isabel Hayeur – 2010 – 8mins – Canada
Private Views creates a parallel between two starkly different worlds: the wretchedness of the destitute and the conspicuous consumer lifestyle of the nouveaux riches. The video explores the themes of social inequalities, real estate speculation, and dispossession. It documents the decline of some North American cities and casts a critical eye on the emergence of wealthy new suburbs. These private residential enclaves are often gated and under surveillance. Their luxury homes, with their dubious architectural style, are the reflection of a world dominated by appearances, consumption, and social conformity.
Gut Renovation – Su Friedrich – 2012 – 81mins – USA
A documentary of small changes evolves into an historical record of New York. The resulting film is a melancholy, essayistic requiem for a neighborhood and an entire way of life; it also provides a case study of the rapid gentrification of our cities.
In 1989, together with a group of female friends, Su Friedrich rented and renovated an old loft in Williamsburg, an unassuming working-class district of Brooklyn. In 2005 this former industrial zone was designated a residential area and the factories, manufacturers and artists’ lofts were priced out by property speculators lured by tax breaks. Friedrich spent five years documenting with her camera the changes in the area between East River and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. She shows the demolition of industrial buildings and the construction of trendy new apartments for wealthy clients, watching old tenants leave and new inhabitants arrive. As she keeps meticulous record of developments, the extent and speed of the upheaval becomes clear. Her own tenancy agreement expires too and so her documentary images and trenchant commentary become the tools of her growing anger.
Art As the New Steel? Changing and Challenging Perspectives on James St. North runs in our Main Gallery through August 30th, 2014
Funding for these programs is provided by The Ontario Arts Council