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A Little Perspective: The Video Art of Brenna George

THU, JUL 15 / 7 pm
Curated by Val Klassen
FREE ADMISSION

“The lighter something tastes, the more of it you can eat.” – Brenna George

Winnipeg-based Brenna George’s delightful and disarming video art invites us to look at ourselves in relation to the big questions of life. Innocent, inventive, and engaging, George’s work seems to flow from the deepest layers of the subconscious.

She is unselfconsciously, unaffectedly creative. Charming and quirky, her work nevertheless can engage serious issues. In Red Riding Hood, fears about the environment and the perverse nature of fear itself are explored. The pain and grieving after the miscarriage of a baby were the starting point for Winter. Sometimes unabashedly decorative, as in All Sorts, and Dustpan, George simply and innocently finds beauty and inspiration in the quotidian.

Often explicitly autobiographical, as in L. Bird, Sleep, and Set Forth Hopeful, her work always references the personal. George leaves herself vulnerable, so that we are unafraid to enter her special reality. Once there, we find it to be somehow familiar, and not as straightforward as it first seemed. Using a variety of techniques, from simple pencil drawings to sophisticated rotoscoping and computer effects, she shares small gems from her internal world.

DEEP JUNIOR, ACT A LITTLE CRAZY (2:30 min, 2003) – Deep Junior is the name of a super computer that plays chess. The human chess player can beat it by “acting a little crazy”. In this low-tech response to technology, the human mark defiantly asserts itself.

WINNIPEG TO SASKATOON (2:20 min, 2009) – Pencil sketches of the prairie highway, accompanied by John K. Samson’s guitar.

L. BIRD (7 min, 1994) – A little brown bird is a small-town gossip, confronting Brenna with accusations of improper behaviour. Her (fictional?) personal story unfolds. Gossip as a tool of conformity, truth as a very delicate and disposable item.

WINTER (3:20 min, 2005) – The cold, flat, prairie winter landscape is framed in soft pink, expressing the vulnerable place that we inhabit within. Through formal structural exploration, this piece provides a framework for coming to terms with grief.

SLEEP (3 min, 1995) – A restrained palette of flesh/red/black/white establishes a formal structure within which the psychological state of depression is experienced. Drawings of a bat (our night-time self) and a tiny Brenna are healing and assimilative. Restorative sleep is good.

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS (9:30 min, 2009) – Sharon Bajer and Maggie Nagle are two flowers with very different approaches to life: the romantic and the prosaic, comically and endearingly in conflict. Music by Christine Fellows.

DUSTPAN (2:35 min, 2009) – The contents of the dustpan invoke a picture of daily life. Sweeping soundtrack by Christine Fellows.

RED RIDING HOOD (6 min, 1994) – The classic tale is explored through the internal narrative of Little Red Riding Hood. Consumed with overwhelming anxiety, she finds her way to Grandma’s house, only to confront, once again, her deepest fears.

ALLSORTS (4:30 min, 2009) – First scanning liquorice all-sorts candy, George then manipulated the images using Illustrator and After Effects, at times working with up to 700 layers. The animated images are accompanied by original music she wrote for the piece. The result is elegant and delicious eye candy. Yum!

SET FORTH HOPEFUL (7 min, 1997) – Brenna, the artist, creates a small companion Brenna. Best friends, they show one another how to face adversity with optimism.

This special program has been generously sponsored by MAWA: Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art.

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ABOUT US

The Winnipeg Film Group is an artist-run education, production, exhibition and distribution centre committed to promoting the art of cinema.
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We’re located in the heart of Winnipeg's historic Exchange District in the Artspace building. We are across the street from Old Market Square at the corner of Arthur Street and Bannatyne - one block west of Main.

The Winnipeg Film Group is located on Treaty 1 Territory and on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. We offer our respect and gratitude to the traditional caretakers of this land.

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