Programmed by Michèle Smith
Using abstraction, animation, and re-enactments, Toronto-based artist Jean-Paul Kelly — the 2014 recipient of the Kazuko Trust Award for “artistic excellence in the moving image” at the New York Film Festival — has created a powerful series of short videos that examine the attractors and repulsors of various forms of media representation. Details from documentaries, press cuttings, publications, and online media streams are isolated, superimposed, composited, and otherwise reconfigured into new meanings — often in disturbing pairings of pleasure and pain, desire and trauma. The centrepiece of the program, Service of the goods, is a shot-by-shot reproduction of scenes from Frederick Wiseman documentaries, stripped of their naturalistic signifiers to bring underlying ideologies into sharper focus. “This film is not only a bang-on piece of filmic analysis; it also poses fundamental questions about the representation of social institutions, and those stuck inside of them” (Michael Sicinski, Keyframe Magazine).