Learning From the Local: Curatorial Incubator Program #2 at Niagara Artists Centre

Canal, Richard Kerr, 1981

Vtape and NAC Present:

The Curatorial Incubator, v.18: Learning From the Local
Program #2 – Across the Escarpment

JANUARY 25 – MARCH 25, 2023

This year, Vtape has invited the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) to join us for a joint Curatorial Incubator. We each sought applications to participate in a curatorial research project that will examine the idea of Toronto-ness (Vtape) and Niagara-ness (NAC) and come up with a program of titles to screen in response. Vtape selected two participants and NAC selected one.

On Vtape Saturday January 28, 2023, Vtape presented the three programs in an all-day marathon screening that was very well attended.

Learning From the Local continues at NAC with Connor Wilke’s program Across the Escarpment at NAC in person, February 15 – March 4, 2023, Wednesday – Friday, 12-5, Saturday 12-4pm.

On March 4, NAC will host a reception for all the curators and artists in the program. See the NAC website for details: www.nac.org

Across the Escarpment
Curated by Connor Wilkes

1. Richard Kerr
Hawkesville to Wallenstein, 1976, 6:00

Scenes from a winter day in Hawkesville and Wallenstein in Ontario, north of Kitchener. Kerr focuses on the horse drawn carriages and sleighs; automobiles seem outnumbered here. The film then takes us to a farmers’ market and a shed were a man works on crafting components of carriages.

2. Phillip Hoffman
On the Pond, 1978, 9:40

Hoffman recreates scenes from his childhood, practicing hockey on a frozen pond at the family cottage. The soundtrack interweaves sounds of skates cutting through the ice and Hoffman’s family responding to family photos on a 35mm slide projector.

3. Richard Kerr
Canal, 1982, 22:00

In this film Richard Kerr takes the camera to his hometown St. Catharines, Ontario. Kerr’s film was shot on the Welland Canal, featuring rusty ships as they traverse the waterway, dock workers and the overgrown landscape around the canal.

4. Rick Hancox
Waterworx (A Clear Day No Memories), 1982, 5:35

This film was shot at the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto. The area was a frequent jaunt in childhood for Hancox. The text featured is from Wallace Stevens’ poem of the same name, evoking feelings of another time. The eerie audio mixed with images of this seemingly abandoned plant suggest apocalyptic feelings.

5. Richard Kerr
Plein Air Étude, 1991, 5:35

Featuring frenetic shots of a stone beach, a lake, trees and the sun. This film contains shots taken from his earlier film Plein Air, and features some of Kerr’s experimental camera techniques. The spinning camera and double exposures add an unsettling effect to the natural elements being filmed.


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Vtape acknowledges the generous support of all of our funders including The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

NAC gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of St. Catherine’s, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Niagara Community Foundation and Delta Bingo Players.