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SCREENING: “The Last Screening Room: A Valentine” by Vera Frenkel

“The Last Screening Room: A Valentine” by Vera Frenkel

Screening & Q&A with Artist

Curated by Adrienne Scott

Saturday, February 10th, 3PM

In-person* and Online at Trinity Square Video

*masks are required and will be provided

“In Vera Frenkel’s The Last Screening Room: A Valentine, speech operates in many ways: as confession, storytelling, and narration, with the various speakers’ roles played by the artist. The work exists in a dystopian setting where the Canada Council is a subdivision of the Federal Ministry of Health, and storytelling is against the law. The only festival still celebrated in Canada is Valentine’s Day, a holiday which also functions as the only reprieve from blanket censorship. On Valentine’s Day, citizens are permitted to record an ‘electronic valentine’ which may be kept temporarily before being submitted to an archive overseen by the Ministry of Culture.”


Vera Frenkel

Vera Frenkel is one of Canada’s most renowned multidisciplinary artists, respected both internationally and at home. Rooted in an interrogation of the abuses of power and their consequences, her installations, videotapes, performances and new media projects address the forces at work in human migration, the learning and unlearning of cultural memory, and the ever-increasing bureaucratization of experience.

From her early ground-breaking teleconferencing work, String Games: Improvisations for Inter-City Video (Montréal-Toronto, 1974) to her multi-channel project on migration and displacement, “… from the Transit Bar” (1992), and her web-based touring installations The Institute, or What We Do for Love, and Body Missing (the latter culminating inside the Austrian salt mine where the Nazis hid six years of stolen art), Frenkel’s work challenges received ideas and the boundaries of her chosen media through a compelling mix of visual and conceptual power, narrative force, incisive humour and technical mastery.

Venues where her work has been shown include documenta IX, Kassel; the Offenes Kulturhaus, Linz; the Setagaya Museum, Tokyo; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Biennale di Venezia, the Freud Museum, London, MoCCA, Toronto, and most recently the tunnels of the Altaussee Salt Mine, Austria, the Shanghai Biennale, and Frieze, London.

Based on video retrospectives at the National Gallery of Canada and at the Images Festival of Film and Video, a 4-disk DVD/CD-ROM compilation of Frenkel’s key projects and writings, Of Memory and Displacement, was released by VTape in 2005, and she is recipient of some of Canada’s major awards, including the Canada Council Molson Prize, Bell Canada Award for Visual Art, the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, and the Governor General’s award in Visual and Media art.

Adrienne Scott

Adrienne Scott (she/her) is an artist based in Toronto, Ontario. A current MVS candidate at the University of Toronto, she holds a BFA from the University of Ottawa (2016) and was a recipient of the Edmund and Isobel Ryan Scholarship in photography. She has shown work throughout Ontario, including at the Karsh-Masson Gallery (Ottawa, Ontario), Idea Exchange (Cambridge, Ontario), and Gallery 44 (Toronto, Ontario). She has also been a collaborator on interdisciplinary projects through programs such as the 2017 Montreal Contemporary Music Lab (LMCML), and the 2020 edition of Roundtable Residency.