“We can always smuggle in the frivolous but under what conditions is frivolity possible? The form of this question lets itself be disintegrated simply by the very semblance of its object.”
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015, 7pm – 10pm, Scott House, Bagnani Hall, & Wallis Hall, Traill College, 310 London Street, Peterborough, ON
Reception and Q&A with Dylan Cree and Dimitrios Otis at The Trend at 8:30pm
Hosted by Traill College with support from the Cultural Studies Undergraduate Program & Trent Film Society
Generally thought, from the aftermath of conceptual art was born the concept of institutional critique, and with it, research-based artistic practice. The influence of this approach on contemporary art has in many turns reframed methodology and the terrain of artistic labour. The notion that artists should develop and distribute forms of “criticality” and knowledge to be justified within contemporary institution has become a central value to current artistic administration.
The two video works, To Conference: Faux Pas in Perpetuity and Of Pornology effectively perform and critique the underbelly of academic processes. Of Pornology, a 21-minute video, is organized around a members-only strategy meeting on the study of porn for the purposes of boosting the academic profile of The Institution for Abortive Techniques in MetaTheoretics. To Conference, a multi-part looped video, is a pranking of post-modernist tropes and analyses that takes its form as a series of fictionalized interviews with cultural theorist and founder of publishing house Semiotext(e) Sylvère Lotringer. Cree aims to make visible the complex rules and the construction of space for protocols of institutional practices. Further, be it in relationship to the intricacies of these theories or the politics of the abject, his work, in its form of multi-projected images, relentlessly confronts its viewer by stretching and destroying the boundaries/forms/good taste of the academic interview as a documentary genre. The viewer is also challenged with the fatiguing tasks of following complex dialogues about the status of knowledge-production found in scholarly interrogations. Scholarly investigations aside, Cree’s works are first and foremost satire.
Dylan Cree is a PhD candidate in the department of Communication Studies at Simon Fraser University. He did undergraduate work at Trent University in the mid 80’s prior to completing a BA in philosophy at the University of British Columbia followed by a MFA in Contemporary Arts at SFU. Alongside his academic pursuits he has produced films, videos, a conference and texts which self-reflexively explore the limits of these mediums as spaces of critical theoretical engagement.
Dimitrios Otis is an actor in To Conference. He graduated from Trent University in Cultural Studies. He is best known for his “porn archeology” activities in unearthing and releasing lost X-rated films such as Ed Wood’s last movie The Young Marrieds and Canada’s only hardcore feature Sexcula. He is currently seeking a publisher for his novel Recipe: The Season of Primal Food, a radical “refinement” of the Marquis De Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom.
Curated by Troy Bordun.