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Art Threat: Curating the North: Documentary Screening Ethics and Inuit Representation in (Festival) Cinema

Documentary festivals are certainly not immune to scandal and controversy, and this year’s RIDM, which took place in Montreal in November 2015, was no exception. Following on the heels of the festival’s public screenings of Dominic Gagnon’s film Of the North, Inuit artists like Tanya Tagaq and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril took to social media to express […] . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Curating the North: Documentary Screening Ethics and Inuit Representation in (Festival) Cinema

Art Threat: Venice Biennale: Artists Fiddled While Venice Drowned

It’s massive: 130 artists, over 50 national pavilions and more than 40 collateral events across the city. It’s also largely irrelevant to the fate of Venice in a world of irresistible climate change. Venice is in peril, its future grim; sea levels are rising, flood barriers are inadequate, giant cruise ships and billionaire super yachts […] . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Venice Biennale: Artists Fiddled While Venice Drowned

Art Threat: Our RIDM suggestions: urban development, rural Jesus, protest music, and more

RIDM always has way more films that look fantastic than any one person with other commitments can reasonably see in the space of ten days, which is a great problem to have. These are a few suggestions of things we’ve seen and loved.

The Chinese Mayor

The Chinese Mayor (2015, Hao Zhou) is a . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Our RIDM suggestions: urban development, rural Jesus, protest music, and more

Art Threat: Artist says Nope to Stephen Harper (again)

Four years ago, Bob Preston found himself in the same position as millions of Canadians: he desperately wanted to see prime minsiter Stephen Harper turfed from office.

Influenced by Shepard Fairey’s iconic . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Artist says Nope to Stephen Harper (again)

Art Threat: Peter Kennard: A very unofficial war artist

The Exhibiton — Peter Kennard: A Very Unofficial War Artist, Imperial War Museum, London The Film — Zygosis: John Heartfield and the Political Image by Gavin Hodge & Tim Morrison (1991)

The images in this archival exhibition, Peter Kennard: A Very Unofficial War Artist, represent a radical perspective on the history of the last 70 . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Peter Kennard: A very unofficial war artist

Art Threat: Condé and Beveridge depict two visions of our future

The following text was written to accompany the show “Scene Otherwise: recent work by Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge,” which ran from April 17 to May 12 at the Khyber Centre for the Arts, curated by the Anna Leonowens Gallery as part of the Halifax Mayworks Festival.

We live in an age of the foreclosure . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Condé and Beveridge depict two visions of our future

Art Threat: From Exposé to Opacity: With The Migrant Image, T.J Demos Rethinks Documentary Aesthetics

Though often situated at the centre of grandiose political and activist projects, tasked time and again with capturing visible evidence of exploitation, violence, deprivation, and inequality, documentary, as both a genre and a practice, rests on a fundamental paradox: that of being perpetually too early and too late. If, as T.J. Demos writes near the . . . → Read More: Art Threat: From Exposé to Opacity: With The Migrant Image, T.J Demos Rethinks Documentary Aesthetics

Art Threat: Filmmakers pull out of Istanbul festival in government censorship protest

Nearly two dozen filmmakers have yanked their films from the 34th Istanbul Film Festival in response to the last-minute cancellation of documentary screening about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The growing censorship protest, which now involves a majority of the filmmakers participating in the event, has led organizers to cancel competitions and the closing . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Filmmakers pull out of Istanbul festival in government censorship protest

Art Threat: Performing Aloha in Queer Times

In 2001, filmmakers Kathryn Xian and Brent Anbe broke new ground with their documentary Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place. The film, which documents the lives, struggles, and aspirations of several queer and trans Kanaka Maoli (Indigenous Hawaiians), also made an important and, at the time, novel effort to explore how the . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Performing Aloha in Queer Times

Art Threat: Art and photography tackle the conscience and chronology of war

A review of: Conflict – Time – Photography @ Tate Modern, London Conscience and Conflict: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War @ Pallant Gallery, Chichester Brute @ arthouse1, London

We have just returned from Tate Modern and the exhibition Conflict-Time-Photography. On the cover of the exhibition catalogue is the photo of a statue. It’s . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Art and photography tackle the conscience and chronology of war

Art Threat: Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism

“>Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism is a collection of essays and interviews related to the films and filmmakers of Cinema Politica (CP), and as such provides an excellent source of Canadian documentary work that pursues effecting positive social change.

This non-profit doc-screening organization, which started in Montreal’s Concordia University, has . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism

Art Threat: Maidan: one of the most honest depictions of popular protest ever filmed

Sergei Loznitsa’s latest film, Maidan, falls firmly in the tradition of documentaries that use the real to question the possibilities of cinema. Those expecting a more activist documentary like Jehane Noujaim’s The Square might come away dissatisfied with Maidan, but this shouldn’t stop filmgoers from experiencing what is ultimately one of the most honest depictions . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Maidan: one of the most honest depictions of popular protest ever filmed

Art Threat: Activist pasts, austere presents, queered futures: An interview with Emily Davidson

“Imagine a new relationship to every aspect of everything.”

“Capitalism has fallen; Art must be redefined.”

“You get to pick your gender when you come of age, but feel free to change your mind.”

“Living together is still hard; Art makes it better.”

These missives from the Inner City Artists’ Commune arrive to us from . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Activist pasts, austere presents, queered futures: An interview with Emily Davidson

Art Threat: What does the word Polytechnique mean to you? – a review of The Anorak

The Anorak, written and performed by Adam Kelly Morton, goes beyond the pat answers and media sensationalism around the Polytechnique massacre and examines what made Marc Lépine a killer.

Exceptionally well-researched, Morton’s text looks critically at the myriad factors that anti-feminists have attempted to derail the public discourse with, from an abusive childhood right through . . . → Read More: Art Threat: What does the word Polytechnique mean to you? – a review of The Anorak

Art Threat: Just For Laughs: Gregg Proops & Paul F. Tompkins

The Just For Laughs Festival is taking place in Montreal, and Art Threat’s Kristi Kouchakji is there to review the politically-tinged humour for us.

Greg Proops: “These are the bad old days.”

The word on the street is that this Whose Line Is It Anyway? veteran has a remarkably intelligent and perceptive take on Quebec . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Just For Laughs: Gregg Proops & Paul F. Tompkins

Art Threat: Just For Laughs: Jerrod Carmichael, Nikki Glaser & Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It

The Just For Laughs Festival is taking place in Montreal, and Art Threat’s Kristi Kouchakji is there to review the politically-tinged humour for us.

Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It: A One-lady Rape About Comedy Starring her Pussy and Little Else

With a title like “Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It” and a no-pants-performance gimmick, it is . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Just For Laughs: Jerrod Carmichael, Nikki Glaser & Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It

Art Threat: Just For Laughs: David O’Doherty & What Would Beyoncé Do?

The Just For Laughs Festival is taking place in Montreal, and Art Threat’s Kristi Kouchakji is there to review the politically-tinged humour for us.

Luisa Omielan’s What Would Beyoncé Do?

Despite some terrible promotional copy, Luisa Omielan’s What Would Beyoncé Do? seemed promising. A single 30-something woman moving back in with her mother holds a . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Just For Laughs: David O’Doherty & What Would Beyoncé Do?

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Hue Man & The Dysmorphia Diet

Hue Man: He Volution

An exploration of socially constructed male gender roles through puppetry and video art, Hue Man: He Volution is an interesting concept that doesn’t quite work.

The pre-show here includes a PowerPoint presentation about sexist terms that need to be retired, all of which pertain to concepts of masculinity. This is the . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Hue Man & The Dysmorphia Diet

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: God as Drag Queen, Big Gay Weddings, and Peeing on Stage for Poverty

God Is A Scottish Drag Queen II

Where this God is concerned, nothing is sacred.

Essentially an hour of stand-up performed by Mike Delamont in character as a Scottish incarnation of God in a floral power suit with a list of religion-related talking points, God Is A Scottish Drag Queen II changes focus from one . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: God as Drag Queen, Big Gay Weddings, and Peeing on Stage for Poverty

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque

“Butt sex should never be a surprise.”

So begins the very catchy tune that opens Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque. Alternating skits and burlesque numbers with vox pop video segements, this show aims to “educate through laughter”, and to some degree it succeeds.

The safe sex aspects of the show are largely limited to condom . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Ginger Slurs & Slut Shaming

Project Gingervitis

Project Gingervitis is a smart, funny take on discrimination, eugenics, geopolitics, and media manipulation. A one-man show written and brilliantly performed by Jordan Lloyd Watkins and set in a dystopian future, the show tells the story of a lone redhead born years after redheads were thought to have been eradicated.

A mix of . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Ginger Slurs & Slut Shaming

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Kitt & Jane guide us through the ecological apocalypse

Kitt & Jane: an interactive survival guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future is environmental activist theatre disguised as charming comedy and shadow play.

Created by the team behind the award-winning Little Orange Man, Kitt & Jane sees Kitt, still quietly mourning her grandfather’s death, teamed up with Jane (real name: Lucas) to inaugurate their school’s new . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Kitt & Jane guide us through the ecological apocalypse

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Our Creation, Existence, & Destruction in 55 Minutes

Our Creation, Existence, & Destruction in 55 Minutes is a one-man show from recent John Abbott Theatre grad Ian Geldart. Supported by stage manager Natasha Gabriella Trepanier in minor speaking roles and the work of animator Dylan Alberts, Geldart sets out to explore the big picture laid out in the show’s title.

The idea . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Our Creation, Existence, & Destruction in 55 Minutes

Art Threat: My Playwright Sister: a play about a play about a transgender sibling

My Playwright Sister, written and performed by James Diamond and Johanna Nutter, is a sequel of sorts to Nutter’s earlier work, My Pregnant Brother.

My Pregnant Brother sets Nutter’s struggle to assert herself against her instinct to help her pregnant, transgendered brother. While this autobiographical piece is exquisitely well-performed, it has also been the . . . → Read More: Art Threat: My Playwright Sister: a play about a play about a transgender sibling

Art Threat: Engaging and Enraging: A Review of The Secret Trial 5

The Secret Trial 5, director Amar Wala’s first feature, is an engaging and enraging look at five men labelled security risks by the Canadian government and detained without trial for a combined total of 30 years in prison, and another 20 years (and counting) under strict house arrest.

Shot over four years, the film follows . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Engaging and Enraging: A Review of The Secret Trial 5