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Alla Gadassik: Media Scholar + Animation Curator

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Alla

Exhibition: “Refractions: Mia Milardo + Weiwei Wu”

Refractions (January 2023) brings together new work by Mia Milardo and Weiwei Wu, both of whom are alumna of my Animate Materials Workshop. Both artists were trained in traditional animation production, and it has been immensely rewarding to see how the workshop format liberated them to experiment in different ways. The exhibition has drawn a lot of attention, with visitors stopping for an extended time every time that I’ve passed by it in the Michael O’Brian Exhibition Commons. My curatorial text can be found here.

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Public Talk: On Chantal Akerman’s “Jeanne Dielman…”

On January 22nd (2023) I participated in opening a new screening series at Vancity Theatre dedicated to the latest Sight & Sound poll of the “Greatest Movies of All Time.” The series programmer invited me to introduce Chantal Akerman’s 1975 film Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, which emerged as the top film in the latest iteration of the poll. This result delighted many cinephiles, while eliciting condescending dismissal from some. As a scholar and curator who remains dubious about the merits of the Sight & Sound poll, I took the opportunity to frame this remarkable film for audiences and celebrate its challenge to the established film canon.

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News: Curatorial Residency

My first visit to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Archive a decade ago (my post from that trip!) was meant to be a single research trip to cover one case study of my dissertation, but it grew into an enduring relationship with Len Lye’s work and with the gallery more broadly. I’m so grateful that the gallery is supporting my vision for a curatorial project that brings together experimental animation and textile arts!

Over the next two years I’ll be working with them (mostly remotely) to realize a project that expands my interest in curatorial forms of sharing research. I’m fortunate to have a supportive gallery director in Zara Stanhope and great on-site partner in Paul Brobbel. More information on the residency can be found here.

Event: “Art in the Flesh: A Public Class”

When do feminist artists put their body on the line? Is decolonial feminist art praxis possible in the art institution? 

“Art in the Flesh: A Public Class” was a two-part special event co-organized by Dr. Sue Shon and me for This Exhibition is not an Exhibition (curated by Valérie Walker and Patryk Tom) at the Libby Leshgold Gallery in Vancouver (Canada). Our two public classes within the gallery space were an experiment to imagine and practice an anticolonial pedagogy that bridges, among other contradictions, the arts university and the arts gallery.

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Curatorial text: “I am the same, I am always changing”

Last year I encouraged artist and curator Celina de Leon to adapt her moving-image work I am the same, I am always changing into a triptych installation. Celina first developed this project as a speculative response to the work of Ana Mendieta in my course on avant-cinema histories. On November-10-2022 it debuted as part of Celina’s first solo show, at the RBC Media Gallery. I am proud and grateful to have written a short curatorial text for this bold and vulnerable work.

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Guest Curator and Judge: GIRAF’18

I’ve been following the Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival (GIRAF) remotely for years, but it wasn’t until they went online during the pandemic that I got to experience their wonderful programming and community feel. This year, I’m giddy to share, I will be a guest curator and judge with the festival. I’ll be presenting a special programme devoted to animating graphite that connects to our work in the Animate Materials Workshop.

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Public Talk: Rites of Passage and Return

On October-1-2022 I gave a public talk on artistic production and/as cultural memory at the ACT Arts Centre (Maple Ridge), in connection with their exhibition Labour and Memory: Ukrainian-Canadian Contexts.

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Event: Nomadic Cosmologies: Conversation with Alisi Telengut

How can animation explore nomadic and indigenous cosmologies?

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News: SCMS Award for Best Essay

I’m stunned and grateful to receive the 2022 SCMS award for best essay in an edited collection. My colleague Perrin Grauer published a lovely profile of the essay and the award here. The published essay, devoted to a feminist history of film editing, owes much to my editors James Leo Cahill and Joshua Malitsky, as well as the staff of RGALI and Muzei Kino archives in Moscow.

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