Funded by the Daniel Langlois Foundation in Montreal, the Western Front has undertaken a major project to preserve its video archives and make them more accessible to the public. Starting in November of 2000, the project began with remastering and restoring Western Front video productions and performance art documents that were made on early 1/2″ and 3/4″ video formats, from 1973 – 1987.
To make this collection more accessible to the public, the work was re-catalogued to include descriptions and artist statements from books, files and other paper records of the time. This catalogue will be made available on the Internet with the launch of the new Western Front web-site (September 14, 2001).
Over the summer and into September, a group of curators will visit the Front to write about the archive from different view points and select works for a series of four screenings. The selected video works with the writing will be compiled into a four disc DVD edition for a Western Front 30th anniversary publication and exhibition in March 2003.
The ongoing results of this project – including the curatorial writing and information on the archives and restoration process, will be posted on-line in October and November.
Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke have been working collaboratively since 1995. Their practice centres around the production of art video, but it also includes installation, printed matter, critical writing and curatorial work. Their videotapes have won prizes in Canada, Switzerland and Germany and have been exhibited all over the world.
Richard Fung is a Toronto-based video maker and writer whose tapes have been widely screened and collected internationally and whose essays have been published in many journals and anthologies. Among other awards, he is the recipient of the 2000 Bell Canada Award for outstanding achievement in video art. He currently coordinates the Centre for Media and Culture in Education at OISE/University of Toronto.
Nicole Gingrasis a writer and an independent curator living in Montreal. Since the mid-eighties, she has curated various film and video programs, solo and group exhibitions which have toured in Canada and Europe. As a publisher, she has been producing monographs and artist’s books since 1996. She is currently preparing a publication on Montreal video artist, Manon Labrecque, for the end of 2001.
Aiyyana Maracle is a multi-disciplinary artist who comes from the Mohawk people. In 1997 she was laureate of the John Hirsch Prize, a national award for the most artistically exciting new director in Canadian theatre. In 1998 she exhibited an installation and a performance piece at the Second International Transgendered Art Festival in London, England, both of which were shown in Vancouver the following month. Her first book, Chronicle of a Transformed Woman, was published by Press Gang Publishers in 2000.