‘Gunilla Josephson: Houses and Whispers’ review in Long Exposure Magazine

December 1, 2016

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Review of Gunilla Josephson: Houses & Whispers at Rodman Hall in Long Exposure Magazine Issue 4.

Read the full article below

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‘Gunilla Josephson: Houses and Whispers’ review in The Sound of St Catharines

November 26, 2016

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Review of Gunilla Josephson: Houses & Whispers at Rodman Hall in The Sound of St Catharines.

Read the full article here.

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Canadian Art Must-Sees This Week: Houses and Whispers

September 15, 2016

Gunilla Jospehson: Houses and Whispers at Rodman Hall Art Centre in St Catharines is included in the ‘CANADIAN ART Must-Sees This Week Sep 15-21’ listing.

canadianart.ca/must-sees/must-sees-week-september-15-21-2016

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Anti-film: Interview with Video Artist Gunilla Josephson — Ann Ireland » Numéro Cinq

May 18, 2015

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Anti-film: Interview with Video Artist Gunilla Josephson — Ann Ireland » Numéro Cinq.

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Henri Fabergé in conversation with Gunilla Jospehson

April 28, 2013

Link to article

The Wardens Today

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RESISTANCE Exhibition Catalogue: 2005 Southern Alberta Art Gallery [SAAG], Lethbridge, Canada

November 1, 2012

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Exhibition Catalogue
Exhibition catalogue published to accompany the exhibition RESISTANCE by Gunilla Josephson, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, September 24 – November 13, 2005

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Retrospektiv – Factory Media Centre, Hamilton

September 24, 2012

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TRIENNALE 29 et 30 mai 2010 à Montmartin Sur Mer « daZibaOO

April 6, 2012

TRIENNALE 29 et 30 mai 2010 à Montmartin Sur Mer « daZibaOO.

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Gunilla Josephson at The Box Salon

October 8, 2011

Still from Mommy's Crystal Tears by Gunilla Josepson

The Box is a quarterly salon night of readings, performances, screenings, interventions and networking that aims to bring diverse communities and audiences into an environment of artistic and social intermingling.

October 26th, 8pm at the Rivoli (backroom)
The Box invites you to an evening of short words, film, performance and music by:

Laura Barrett
Henri Fabergé
Simla Civelek
Andrea Cooper
Dani Couture
John Doyle
Dyan Marie
Gunilla Josephson

+ door treats
from Alfred A. Knopf, Anchor Canada, Arc Poetry Magazine, Art Gallery of York University, Attack Records, Carousel, Coach House Books, Dandyhorse, Geist, Duncannon Press, Good for Her, The Malahat Review, Mercer Union, Pedlar Press, Pierre Poire, Random House, Shameless, Tsar Book, Worn Magazine and otherse

Where & when:
Rivoli (backroom)
8:00pm
332 Queen St W
Toronto, ON
MAP

Full Listing on The Box Website

Read The Box Salon Article  on Gunilla Josephson

 

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Screening of EVE Absolute Matrix

January 3, 2010

Read the article from Ed Video Website

 

 

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Review – Gary Michael Dault on E.V.E.

April 25, 2009

The Globe and Mail

A pianist and a camera make music of the id

Gunilla Josephson at Trinity Square Video

E.V.E. Absolute Matrix runs continuously at Trinity Square Video, 401 Richmond St., Suite 376, Toronto, until May 2; 416-593-1332

Swedish-born, Toronto-based video artist Gunilla Josephson has worked with pianist Eve Egoyan before, notably in the generation of soundtracks for Josephson’s Venus Hedda: A Video and Audio Installation (2001), Happy House: The Id, the Kid and the Little Red Fireman (2001) and The Blood-Red Heart of Johanna Darke (2005). But never until this new work, E.V.E. Absolute Matrix, has the fusing of their sensibilities, their presences as artists, been so fully and so startlingly realized.

E.V.E. is a 60-minute looping video installation. It is now showing at Toronto’s Trinity Square Video, as part of the city’s Images Festival. During the first half of it, more or less, you see Egoyan in extreme close-up, balletically bobbing and weaving before something or other – presumably her piano – as she brings her characteristic intensity to the performance of what Josephson says was actually a five-hour work for piano called Inner Cities by composer Alvin Curran, mounted in the autumn of 2007 at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Theatre.

Positioned before a fall of filmy white curtains – which, given Josephson’s virtuoso wielding of High Definition video technology, seem as sweetly diaphanous as clouds and as touchable as sugar – Egoyan’s face, with her darkling complexion and her mahogany-dark hair, becomes a kind of conduit to the idea of pure, absolute expressiveness. The music that accompanies Egoyan’s sublime agon is not any longer Curran’s, of course, but, rather, a strange, protracted, multilayered extrapolation from that music, a sort of bee-like rushing that flows throughout the video-hour like the progress of time itself. And all through this otherworldly screen-time, Egoyan’s fabulous face seems to register a whole encyclopedia of emotional states – as if she were the solitary exemplar of everything human emotion can be.

Josephson says she came to the idea of E.V.E. by watching Egoyan in the five-hour performance in 2007, noting that from her position in the hall, she could see only Egoyan’s face, floating above the piano. It led her to the idea of somehow capturing all of the modulations of what she calls “the extremes of de-contextualized emotional states.” Josephson points out that the film is all close-up, and is emphatically without “the usual tropes of cinema” (zooms, cuts, pans, etc.). There is, in other words, no escaping (as in escapism) the focused intensities of E.V.E. (how fortunate Josephson was that Egoyan’s name wasn’t something like Susan or Wendy – something that lacked archetypal resonance).

It is important to add, at this point, that E.V.E. is not simply a protracted close-up portrait of an artist in the throes of and in thrall to her work. Rather, Josephson has employed the already compelling Egoyan as the sort of raw stuff of endless transformation.

It’s not always easy to tell, but Josephson has continually modified Egoyan’s face and body (of which only her bare shoulders are visible) in the course of the work. If you pay a little peripheral attention to the entire Eve image – wrenching yourself away momentarily from Egoyan’s face – you will notice that subtly odd things happen: Her shoulders sometimes grow a little smaller, her face darkens, her movements slow imperceptibly (“the entire video is slowed by about 35 per cent,” Josephson tells me, as we sit watching the piece together).

But in the course of the work, E.V.E. becomes considerably more disturbing than the oddness these delicate distortions cause. Gradually, and then all during the second half, Josephson transports Egoyan from performer to a soft series of emblematic shapes that gnaw at the very essence of the birth of expression, at the wellsprings of art. By changing Egoyan into a kind of Rorschach-like series of terrible, severe symmetries, the pianist becomes a feral creature – a spidery miasma of expressive urgencies so extreme she seems to modulate into a dark, vulvic organ – throbbing with the agonies of generation. Astounding.

mail@garymichaeldault.com

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Things of desire – E.V.E. Interview

April 12, 2009

THINGS OF DESIRE
Canada’s Alternative Art Weekly
Volume 1, nr 30, April 9-15, 2009

Read original article

See excerpts

Interview:

As part of the Toronto’s Images Festival, video artist Gunilla Josephson is presenting her new work E.V.E Absolute Matrix. The 48-minute looping video installation is Josephson’s latest collaboration with musician/pianist Eve Egoyan.

Josephson kindly answered some questions for us here at ToD, and we now present them to you blogling.

E.V.E Absolute Matrix will be on display until Sat May 2 at Trinity Square Video in Toronto.—How was the residency at TSV? Did anything interesting come out of it, or was it just work on E.V.E?

GJ: A month’s residency at TSV was much more than working on E.V.E. Absolute Matrix. Working in a place that has art as its raison d’etre was a very affirming experience and reminded me that I wasn’t alone in my hopes and dreams.

—How did you first get involved with Eve Egoyan?

GJ: She was my piano teacher briefly. Then we moved on to making sound together.

—What was Eve’s response to the video?

GJ: Eve generously gave me full license to create the work after we had shot the performance, a year ago now. She is interested in the video solely as one of my art works and we have not seen it together or talked about it.

—Was there any reason to capture the performance of “Inner Cities”?

GJ: No more reason than any other sense of ‘urgency’ which triggers my interest in pursuing the idea for an art work. I attended five extraordinary hours of Eve performing “Inner Cities” at Glenn Gould Studio in the fall of 2007 and the perspective I had of Eve’s head and the piano only, triggered all kinds of thoughts and images of what was going on in Eve’s mind through a marathon performance such as this one

Also the general disinclination of the Toronto public to commit to a few hours of a Saturday afternoon to attend a major music event such as this one, made me think that Eve’s generosity and huge talent has no real place in the world. That in itself provoked me to make this work.

—”Inner Cities” is 5-hours long, but E.V.E is only 60 minutes. What happened to the other 4 hours?

GJ: The distillation of an art work demands reduction and concentration to reach the intended conceptual and aesthetic goal. I’m not at all interested in making a documentary of Eve Egoyan playing the piano. She is the medium through which I’ve articulated my ideas.

—I am really interested in your dissection of the emotional and intellectual impact of music on the performer. This is often not considered. What got you thinking about it?

GJ: Ideally, and this will be the case when viewers don’t know who Eve is or what she is doing, one should not know that the woman in the video is playing the piano. So there isn’t really supposed to be a correlation between what you see and any notions of the effect of music on the musician. I was prompted by Eve’s performance to make a statement about emotions, not about music.

—Does your interest in this emotional impact have to do with an ability to commiserate with the mental fatigue of being an artist?

GJ: It is IN the work, it IS the work, so by visiting the video at TSV you will find my answer or at least my proposition. I would say that more than commiserate it is the personal recognition of and empathy with the complex process to achieve at least an approximation of an art work.

—The camera is described as “insisting,” what does this mean exactly and how/why do you accomplish this?

GJ: There are very few of the usual tropes of cinema, i.e. zooms, cuts, pans. There is only the closeup. The camera insists that we see what it sees, and it doesn’t allow us to ever escape outside the frame. You are not released into the fantasy or escapism that comes with watching commercial manifestations of moving image.

—What attracts you to the “extremes of de-contextualized emotional states?”

GJ: Just as I am not interested in the commercial language of cinema, I am bored by the representations of emotion in movies and TV. Emotional gestures viewed outside of the usual contexts allow us to see again with fresh eyes.

—Does this interest have any political aspect to it, like are you making a comment about our emotional states?

GJ: I am making statements about representations of women, and my politics is in opposition to the misrepresentations and basic dishonesty presented by consumer culture.

—The character Hedda is liberated yet tormented, also your work captures both ecstasy and despair. I have to wonder if you feel liberation is ever possible, or does our torment come from having the hope/fantasy of liberation?

GJ: Art allows us to consider liberation, and perhaps even to achieve it.

—What was the most challenging part of the work, and did you do anything particularly new or different for the work?

GJ: The technical aspects of working with HighDefinition technology and Terrabytes of information presented extreme challenges.

—Do you think the general public can handle bare emotion like in E.V.E?

GJ: Artist should never underestimate the general public. In fact, we should make our work for them.

—Is there anything else you want to share with the readers about yourself, work, or the exhibition?

GJ: This work is in some ways a synthesis of my earlier videos and I am pleased to present it in the Images Festival context.

 

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Sewil Otosed – E.V.E. Essay

April 10, 2009

Women are money

We see it every day and everywhere.

Open the newspaper and they’re looking out at you. Walk past the magazine racks and their faces are there in the dozens. They’re on television every few minutes, they’re on the bus shelters, they’re on your computer, their giant faces peer down at you from the sides of buildings. Everywhere, images of women, used as instruments of barter and manipulation.

What do they sell? Everything. How? By offering fulfillment; the realization of fantasies of ecstasy, sex, glamour, and envy. But never power. At least not for women. And only if you give away your money.

It’s a lie, isn’t it? We all know that. Well then, why are we so complicit?

When the arena of public interaction, and discourse, is commerce — buying and selling, and when it becomes so much the norm that we don’t notice, the result is pornography — the offer of a fantasy that will never be realized and is perverse at heart. The predatory manipulations of the fashion/cosmetic industry are the most blatant and obvious example of women as currency. As insidious, and perhaps more dangerous, is that vague conglomeration called the Media, which attempts to exploit the production and dissemination of images into an official Culture that is indistinguishable from the entertainment/commerce nexus. And running through it all is that currency called Woman.

What to make of this woman, this E.V.E?

We keep waiting for her to reveal what she will sell, how she will be sold, but instead she convulses, grimaces, twists, turns, and rotates. She even disappears. She is sinister at times, strange and indecipherable. Is it even a woman? We have met Gunilla Josephson’s transgressive, de-idolized females before — her modern Joan of Arc re-interpreting history in the streets of Paris, her Hedda emptying and filling a room like a triumphant female anti-Sisyphus, her misbehaving twin princesses in the cow merde. Josephson always insists on an acknowledgment of those places that women occupy, those cracks and fissures, that have not been colonized by the dominant male hegemony that continues to hijack art.

E.V.E Absolute Matrix might be a portrait, but not of a lady. This is not the mannequin we are so comfortable with, that submissive, sexualized image that infects our visual landscape. Josephson insists that art’s gestures must be expansive and powerful. Necessity demands it. If a woman makes a spider, as Louise Bourgeois did, it must be large enough to devour the Tate Museum. If an artist makes a portrait, it must never be a seduction and always a threat.

Josephson states that video is a female medium. It is untainted by ‘old masters’ and is largely separated from the fantasy industry. Video is a medium that straddles the official art world, the entertainment industry, and the bumbling disclosures of the amateur. It is difficult to own, to control, or to co-opt. It is fundamentally subversive. And as such, it is life-affirming. It insists on true revelation and true beauty.

Sewil Otosed

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Review – Art Thieves

September 28, 2008

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