Everyday Video

This hand-edited Super8 film was made as a playful response to Kriss Boggild's curatorial challenge to her women friends to exhibit work after the indictment, "Serious women artists don't do flowers." More than a playful/serious use of flowers as a viable subject for art, the film is a tribute to filmmaker and artist Joyce Wieland (1931-1998). In the 1960s and 70s, Wieland made movies with and alongside the most historicized of New York's avant-garde filmmakers (Michael Snow, who was her husband at the time, Hollis Frampton, and others). Although her contribution is rarely mentioned, it was unique and significant. In the 1980s, I heard her speak bitterly about being left out of this history. Her approach to film making was highly materialist and was often situated in domestic and personal experience. In this tribute, I repeat a structuralist trick that she used in her 1986 film, Birds at Sunrise. As in the Wieland film, Flowers for Joyce is filmed with a crude paper roll attached to the end of the camera. This iris-shrinking device effectively makes evident the mediation or restrictions imposed on the viewer by both the camera technology and the filmmaker's aesthetic and political choices. I think that it announces that the filmmaker is looking for something that is small but important. Also echoing the work of Joyce Wieland, in Flowers for Joyce a simple narrative emerges in the film, from the process of making it. In this story, the artist is determined to make a field of flowers within the confines of a traffic round-about. Each task towards this goal - planting, weeding, pruning -- is recorded. So too is the idyllic picnic for two that happens inside of the tiny circle. Then an unexpected tragedy strikes, causing a dramatic change to the scene.

The film touches on some environmental and civic issues. It was filmed during a civic workers' strike when this new traffic round-about was left untended. It also demonstrates how a chemical-dependent urban environment cannot sustain a legume mono-culture.

2008
07:30 (looped for installation)
S8 Film

Lois Klassen

Previous Exhibitions and Screenings -

Serious women artists don't do flowers (Curator - Kriss Boggild), Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver, Canada, 2008.

$100 Film Festival, Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, The Plaza Theatre, 2009. (Screened from the S8 footage.)

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Everyday Video

Lois Klassen Plus

This channel is a collection of short videos produced by Lois Klassen, with the help of friends and family, from the years 2004 - 2011. Included together are video art works (Word Finding, Flowers For Joyce, Plasma TV, Bell Bouys and Manship) and short…


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This channel is a collection of short videos produced by Lois Klassen, with the help of friends and family, from the years 2004 - 2011. Included together are video art works (Word Finding, Flowers For Joyce, Plasma TV, Bell Bouys and Manship) and short documentaries made with community-based involvement (Archive City: Portraits of Lulu Island, How to Spot a Wolf: Recognizing and Preventing Elder Financial Abuse, Burnaby Art Gallery Presents Evelyn Roth: Bear Ice, Means of Production Artists' Raw Resource Collective).

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