This Valentine’s Day, Frame Arts Warehouse is showing a collection of provocative film work from the collective Open City Cinema, entitled Smutty Winnipeg Shorts. The collective was started by Aaron Zeghers, Travis Cole, and Scott Fitzpatrick and includes many Winnipeg artists.
Alison Davies is presenting and curating the program, which features many University of Manitoba graduates. Davies is an animator herself, and moved to Winnipeg after graduating from the University of Concordia with a fine arts degree.
“Viewers can expect a really fun program that looks at ideas of lust, sex, and longing,” says Davies. “[The program includes a] striptease and frolicking naked people, but we also have work that explores desire in surprising ways.”
Film shorts from 14 artists will be shown.
Aaron Zeghers’ 40-second short to be played on Thursday is titled Blue Film1 ((missin you)). The film is part of a series focusing on the relationship between colours and human emotion. Zeghers describes a “blue film” as an early striptease film from around the 1930s.
“A certain longing and sadness is present in this short. Presenting another linguistic interpretation of blue: a sense of longing or sadness, hence the title ((missin you)),” says Zeghers.
Deco Dawson, a graduate of the University of Manitoba’s Black Hole Theatre Company, will also present a film at the event. Dawson created his first stage play at age 17, before he began to delve into the art of film. In 2012, Dawson won a $10,000 prize at the Toronto International Film Festival for Keep a Modest Head,which will be shown Thursday. The film short pays tribute to Jean Benoît.
“[Jean Benoît is] a man whose sexuality and sexual obsessions were integral to the work he made,” says Davies.
Winnipeg-based media artist Jaimz Asmundson has had his work featured in film festivals across the globe. The films he will be showing on Thursday are Carpet Cleaners and Liquid Lunch.
Asmundson’s films are not for the faint of heart. Carpet Cleaners, based on an ex-girlfriend of Asmundson’s, involves lesbian hitwomen and a story of revenge. Asmundson describes Liquid Lunch as the most disgusting film he’s ever made.
“[The porno features] probably the most epic cum-shot sequence in Winnipeg film history,” says Asmundson.
A dominatrix is the main character of this film, who, instead of being submissive to the desires of men, plays the role of a torturer.
“This was my response to what I felt it would be like if seen through a dirty, hand-processed Super 8 lens,” says Asmundson. “I’m both embarrassed and proud of this film and still have no idea what motivated me to make this.”
University of Manitoba graduate Clint Enns will also be showing a film titled Debbie Does Ascii. Enns describes himself as an experimental filmmaker, attempting to push the boundaries of traditional genres. The film is an ASCII animation of a scene from the pornographic movie, Debbie Does Dallas.
Freya Olafson is an artist who has developed through many disciplines, including six years of training with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She has received numerous awards and scholarships, and is involved in curating as well as performing. Her current video work uses online content and screen capturing, focusing on the themes of identity and the Internet.
The video shown on Thursday will be CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome), which is part of Olafson’s series that explores how people use technology to form their identities. Desktop strippers and amorphous dancers will be layered throughout the film, alluring viewers into the screen.
Noam Gonick is an artist from Winnipeg whose film, photography, television, and installation art explores issues and politics involved with a variety of topics, some of which include queer sexuality and prison architecture. Along with having his work presented at numerous film festivals internationally, Gonick was the recipient of the Manitoba Film Hothouse Award last year. The award recognizes Manitobans who have exhibited exceptional directing talent.
Barb Hunt, another graduate of the University of Manitoba, has been an established artist since 1982. Her work takes a feminist perspective, currently focusing on death and mourning rituals.
Hunt’s film to be shown is called Can-D-Man. In the film, a woman fantasizes about a fellow co-worker at the Nutty Club Factory.
“[Viewers] will find my little video to be fun and perhaps a bit surreal,” says Hunt. “They will see that making pink candy can be sexy!”
Smutty Winnipeg Shorts takes place on Feb.14. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. at the Frame Arts Warehouse (Gallery C), with the films beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $7.