Promised Land

  • Recent Work by Latino Artists
  • Friday, June 13, 8 pm
  • @ Cinecycle, 129 Spadina Ave.

Part of Summer 2003

A co-presentation with aluCine, the Toronto Latino Film & Video Festival

Pleasure Dome moves into its summer season with a journey in time and space to Peru, Colombia and Brazil, bringing together a diverse collection of film and video work by Latin American artists, including the beautiful La Plaza 21 XII 01 by Lina Lasso, Francia Salgar, and Paola Vacca (Colombia, 2002), the powerful Through Your Eyes by Eva Urrutia and Guillermina Buzio (Canada, Peru, 2002) and the intriguing O Cega Estrangeiro (The Blind Foreigner) by Marcius Barbieri (Brazil, 2000). The programme also contains exciting recent works by local artists, such as Jorge Lozano and Marcos Arriaga. Arriaga’s Promised Land (2002) frames anecdotes within a narrative of his family’s history. Almost entirely composed of archival images, this experimental documentary skillfully interweaves personal and political histories and makes the past come to life. Lozano’s videos are captivating for their lush imagery, playful use of sound and text, and their politics. In The End of Thought (2002), Lozano recounts his experiences, as a Latino artist from Canada, of traveling around South America and returning to Toronto, subtly reversing the common representation in Western media of South America as a site of perpetual violence and North America as a place of peace and freedom. In these and other works in the program, stories of the past ultimately reflect on the present, while images of distant places address local realities. As the strange is made familiar, the familiar is made strange. Memory, perception, language, and the consequences of &lrquo;˜progress’ are some of the themes encountered in this collection of works by Latino artists from Canada and Latin America. The pieces in tonight’s programme are powerful investigations into the past and present, combining both formal and documentary interests. History, tradition, politics, and beauty emerge as fully grounded not only in the creation of art but also in the experience of daily life.


The End of Thought (El Final Del Pensamiento) Jorge Lozano, Canada, 2002, video, 8:00 min.

You can never be what you are not. But you are not what they think you are&lrquo;¦ Welcome back!

Incidence or Reflection, Jorge Lozano and Juana Awad, Colombia/Canada, 2003, dv, 2:30 min.

Projecting the real on the imaginary, this single channel video installation explores notions of perception and reflection when juxtaposing the self and its empty image

Juana’s Grammer (La Gramática de Juana), Jorge Lozano and Juana Awad, Colombia/Canada, 2003, dv, 8:30 min.

Through the use of fragmented visual metaphors and the magnification of daily life routines, this work creates a rhythmic and lyrical exploration of the multiple faces of a character shaped by language and cultural gaps.

Promised Land, Marcos Arriaga Canada, 2002, 16mm, 21:00 min.

Promised Land is an experimental documentary film that mixes the personal and political. It follows the story of my family in Peru, from the middle of the last century through to the present day. The story of my family is told from a personal point of view and also in relation to the political developments taking place throughout the Latin American continent. This film weaves together these various viewpoints, forming a unique perspective on memory, history, and identity.

Pinochet’s Trial, Jimena Ortuzar, Quebec, 2001, video, 7:00 min.

Using excerpts from Pinochet’s medical assessment this work juxtaposes archival footage with medical imagery exploring memory, amnesia, questioning the function and authority of science over individual and collective history.


Past History, Katherine Asals and Firnando Hurra Canada, 1993, 16mm, 13:00 min.

Adventure, romance, politics and exile are themes in this unique combination of live action, archival photographs, and animation. Stories of people long ago and far away are brought to life, tracing a history of the effects of progress and development in Latin America on past and present generations.

La Plaza 21 XII 01 (The Square 21 XII 01), Lina Lasso, Francia Salgar, and Paola Vacca, Colombia, 2002, dv, 2:00 min.

Portrayal of the central square of a city, characters framed by palm trees and a great dome.

De Plumas Y Pezunas (From Feathers and Hoofs), Jairo Caicedo, Colombia, 2002, dv, 4:00 min.

A commentary on the bill as an object that governs all other objects, using Colombia as the frame of reference.

Serie Inmoviles (Immobile Series), Angela Maria Osorio, Colombia, 2002, dv, 1:00 min.

Video performance in which anonymous assaulted bodies overlap and mix in with the live body. A diagnosis of urbanity and its violence.

Through Your Eyes, Eva Urrutia and Guillermina Buzio Canada/Peru, 2002, video, 9:00 min.

The story of Maria, a young Latin-American girl whose parents were taken away during a military dictatorship. Risking everything she tells her story through fragmented memories. A mystery which was destined to remain in silence.

Watching, Marcos Arriaga, Canada, 1994, 16mm, 7:30 min.

Watching is a short experimental documentary film shot in super 8 format in Peru. The images reveal everyday life-people cooking, dancing in the street, young kids hanging out interspersed with the images of striking miners. This mix of anger, despair and joy are blended together to say that all of these are the ingredients of life here- one is not more important than the other. Together they reveal the power of ordinary people and culture. The &lrquo;˜romantic’ music that accompanies the images and the use of &lrquo;˜watching’ eyes serve to critique mainstream culture and its view of the &lrquo;˜Third World’.

O Arco e a Lira (The Bow and the Lyre), Priscilla Barrak Ermel, Brazil, 2001, video 18:00 min.

The musical art of the Ikolem Gaviao peoples of Rondonia (Western Brazil) is explored from a female perspective, looking at the bow as a musical instrument played exclusively by women as an expression of love and affection. Placed within a line of research, communication realized through the speech of the women’s musical instruments. The video explores the imaginary in Gaviao culture, where music is the privileged sphere of the spoken word, a vibrant form of aesthetic expression indispensable to indigenous life.

Curated by Sylvie Wisniewski for Pleasure Dome

Thank you to Marcos Arriaga, Jorge Lozano, and aluCine for their help and cooperation in the development of tonight’s presentation.