Films & Schedules

  • Utopia Suite

  • Clive Holden

Blu-Ray disc
7 minutes
Web/Computer-based projection

2 Channel and audio looping and re-mixing
Oscar van Dillen

Curated by:
Alex Rogalski
Presented by Camera/Stephen Bulger Gallery In association with Future Projections

Camera, September 5 - 13
1028 Queen Street West

September 5, 5 - 9 PM
September 6 & 7, 1 - 6 PM
September 8 - 13, 5 - 7 PM
Opening September 6, 4 - 6 PM

Friday September 0505:00PM Camera Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

There are multiple ways of interacting with Clive Holden's Utopia Suite, but two methods stand out. The first is to see his project as offering a form of idealism; yet a second, different lens makes it seem ironic. In these approaches, we gain insight into Holden's ongoing interdisciplinary project, which gives the audience a prominent role in defining “Utopia.” The two installments featured provide differing approaches to the same goal.

Ken Dryden presents a randomly generated matrix of visuals drawn from archival material to create an “avant-garde biography” of an iconic hockey player turned author and now politician. We never view Ken Dryden the same way twice, and must come to a personal understanding of the identity we wish to create for this public figure and his association with violence. Dryden is familiar to Holden in the same way he is familiar to us all: through the media that created him. He is perhaps an interesting public figure for Holden to choose perhaps, but a wise choice in that “celebrity” in Canada is really just knowing your neighbour better than he knows you.

You Are Being Remembered continues the examination of identity and violence. Formally it addresses these issues through different cinematic devices. A familiar but ambiguous melodramatic score – stitched by Oscar van Dillen from musical sources that sound “cinematic” yet largely preceded cinema – leads us to expect the epic. What is delivered instead is an alternative ego for Holden, ironically named “Conn,” whose violent history is revisited through geography. The contrast between Holden's return to familiar terrain (seen through personal Super 8 film) and the high-definition satellite surveillance images that compose the material for two simultaneous cinemascope screens creates a micro-macro dichotomy. It is important to note the broad visual scope of You Are Being Remembered, as it gives the viewer an omnipotent view of the world. Focusing on both its inhumanity and its beauty, we question the possibility of Utopia and where or when it might exist.

Alex Rogalski

Clive Holden is an artist and writer from Victoria, British Columbia. His multi-year projects cross the boundaries between media and artistic terrains, including film, photography, web culture and new forms of literature. He is best known for the “film poem” series Trains of Winnipeg. Utopia Suite was launched in 2006 at the Images Festival in Toronto and the Holland Festival in Amsterdam as a co-presentation with the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Cadillac People's Choice Award