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ESSAY: “Private disclosures in public systems: Reflections on Vera Frenkel’s work The Last Screening Room: A Valentine (1984)”

“In Vera Frenkel’s work The Last Screening Room: A Valentine, speech operates in many ways: as confession, storytelling, and narration. The work exists in a dystopian setting where the Canada Council is a subdivision of the health agency, and storytelling is outlawed. The only festival still celebrated 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 or submitted to an archive overseen by the Ministry of Culture.”

Curator, Adrienne Scott writes about the historical work by renowned Canadian multidisciplinary artist, Vera Frenkel.



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.