Marusya Bociurkiw with Natalie Olanick: Residency

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VII, no. 5, p. 9, Summer 1996:

The genre of girls’ mystery writing has long been a powerful container for codes of repressed female desire: fear, intrigue, the longing for libidinal knowledge, the descent into a demi-monde of pleasure and danger. Using live action, computer animation and engaging comic book style, Marusya Bociurkiw’s media residency will complete the shooting of a video, “Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Haunted Body,” telling the story of famous girl-detective Nancy Drew as she takes on the forces of memory, history and the nuclear family.

For the month of May, the Lux will be transformed into a video studio. Working with Toronto painter/curator/art director Natalie Olanick, Marusya will create several sets based on designs by cartoonist and animator Susan Dyment. The set’s central feature will be an oversize doll-house symbolizing Nancy Drew’s journey into repressed childhood memory. Art direction will draw from the “look” of 50s media imagery, lighting and sound effects upon the melodramatic influence of film noir, an important source of transgressive female characters in 40s and 50s Hollywood.

As debates about “false” memory, childhood sexual abuse, and the lie of normal family rage on, this video will retell the story of Freud’s early discoveries about incest, Nancy Drew’s relation with her father Carson Drew, and the secret past of that other Nancy, Nancy Sinatra. Drawing on traditions of camp and melodrama, the project will operate from a decidedly feminist and queer perspective. Several local artists will be involved in the project, including Ken Anderlini, Hank Bull, Margaret Gallagher, Paul Lang, Bo Myers and Athena Wong.

Marusya Bociurkiw has been producing film and video in Canada for fifteen years. Her most recent works Playing With Fire, Night Visions, and Bodies in Trouble have shown in North America, Australia and Asia. She lectures frequently on issues of lesbian representation and popular culture, and most recently appeared with her work at the Queer Act Queer Conference in Edmonton and the Crossing Boundaries Symposium on Lesbian Art in Montclair, New Jersey. Her book, The Woman Who Loved Airports, was published in 1994 by Press Gang. Her most recent film, Unspoken Territory, will be out this year.

Marusya and Natalie welcome visitors and volunteers on the set, and are available to meet with artists, students, and Nancy Drew fans.