Before the revolution there was no time for nostalgia… all stories were told face to face, and the smell of breath and the impressions of light that fell on smirking elderly oracles was the only projection we would pay attention to. Before the revolution stories meandered, fantastical and mysterious, their fragments emerged as calmly as a prairie thunderstorm – an anticipated arrival, but still wondrous and phenomenal. Experimental cinema is a throwback to these intimate times, it both an act of erasure and a discrete violation. We recognize and speak to the artist’s work, yet we lose ourselves in the drifting traces of story and half-truths. This year we embrace performed ethnography, light topographies and post-internet awkwardness/obsession. From Berlin come two sets of visiting artists; OJOBOCA‘s murky, hypnotic magical realist celluloid reportages will be performed and projected; and Isabell Spengler will present her Bergsonian memory sculpture Two Days at the Falls. We are also very proud to host and present the celluloid work of Canadian experiential film legend David Rimmer. His structural lyricism intertwines the poetic and metaphysical, and is unmatched in contemporary projection works. From Pennsylvania, Martha Colburn will be joining us and presenting two programs of works. These 16mm animations demonstrate Colburn’s enthralment with the performance of chaos. Her films inhabit an anxious gut, weary in its perception of image consumption. Her art is fiercely rebellious; digesting it’s way through her laboriously plated landscapes. This year we are also extremely proud to premier two new performances by Sobey Art award winner and hometown hero Daniel Barrow – The Thief of Mirrors and The Mystery of the Haunted Mansion (A Plea). Finally, we will be screening five programs from our open call. Selected from over a thousand submissions, these works ebb and flow from the spectral to the tangled storylines of trauma and dispossession. Works from across the globe will be projected along side emerging voices of artists from across the prairies – our steadfast dedication to chase these distant storms, hold out the lightning rod of experimental cinema and transport our fellow cinephiles to a time before the revolution, before the endless sky had cleared.
– The WNDX Curatorial Collective