CEREV Curatorial Research Group Incubator Session

Friday, February 10, 2012

An informal workshop of three works-in-progress.

Between Two Selves (Ian Bradely-Perrin)

Through this project, I aim to deconstruct common media tropes of the HIV+ person through complicating and incorporating the ways in which they are experienced by the HIV+ subject. By putting these consumer-oriented images into difficult conversation with the diverse ways in which people experience their seropositivity, and the infinite diversity of people who experience it, I hope to complicate these tropes and interrogate what strengthens and reinforces them. This exploration has brought me to an awareness of the ways in which HIV+ subjects experience a multiplicity of selves through both dependence and resistance to the technologies which furnish their survival as active citizens rather than passive recipients of treatment. The final goal of this project is to explore how this complexity gets glossed over by the media and to interrogate the implications and consequences of the dominant tropes under investigation with regard to politics, economics and gender-norms. I am exploring the possibilities for visually presenting more complex subjectivities of HIV+ people that allow for open-ended interpretations by encouraging viewers to locate themselves in relation to these representations and to examine their own level of implication in processes which normalize these tropes.

Ian is currently finishing his undergraduate degree in the Public History Honors program at Concordia focusing on experiences of illness and medicine with a particular interest in queer history and the history of HIV/AIDS. In addition to his academics he is currently working with the VIHsibilité Project at UQAM investigating testimonial mediation practices in HIV/AIDS NGOs in Quebec. He is also an organizer of various queer summits in Montreal including the upcoming Radical Queer Semaine, where he will exhibit a piece of “Between Two Selves,” his current exploration of the dual nature of the relationship to medicine and the media experienced by the HIV+ subject.

Ruins (Zohar Kfir)

“Ruins” is an interactive documentary that is currently in preliminary development and production stages. This installation follows socio-political, cultural and ethnographic states that emerged from the Nakba– the destruction, expulsion and massacres of the Palestinian inhabitants of Palestine, nowadays Israel. This large-scale interactive video installation and web project uses the vast video databases of the B’Tselem’s camera distribution project, as well as Zochrot’s video archive of testimonies. Both NGOs utilize video to document the Palestinian current and historical conditions by using different approaches and perspectives, giving the Palestinian people a way of exposing abuses of authority.

With “Ruins,” I hope to increase the visibility of these organizations’ web-based citizen journalism projects.

Zohar Kfir is a Montréal-based video artist working with experimental video, interactive art, and installation. She holds a BFA in Digital Media from Camera Obscura School of Arts in Tel Aviv, a Master’s degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, and a MFA in Open Media from Concordia University in Montréal. Zohar has shown her work internationally in galleries and at video festivals.

At me or with me? (Caroline Künzle)

In a desire to explore the use of humor, and particularly comedy, to address racism and discrimination, and in search of an accessible and popular language to speak about this difficult subject, I am beginning work on an art project which will eventually take the form of an audio-visual exhibition, using excerpts from both moments of comedy and interviews about reactions to these by their spectators. My intention is to create a forum for dialogue about what we can and can’t say, should and shouldn’t say, and why that is. This presentation is actually my starting point for this research-creation, so I’m eager to receive feedback and questions which will help get me started.

Caroline Künzle currently works as a researcher and radio producer for the oral history project Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations. She has a M.A. in Media Studies from Concordia University and will start an MFA in Creative Practice at Transart Institute (Berlin) this coming July. You can find out more about Caroline’s past and current art projects here.

Center for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence