Jorge Lozano: Reports (Ottawa, 2018)



Café Ex, Ottawa, June 21, 2018

Screening and book launch of the new Canadian Film Institute/Pleasure Dome publication Jorge Lozano Reports, edited by Mike Hoolboom, designed by Alexandra Gelis, with contributions by many luminous writers.

Discontinuity 5:08 minutes 2017
A series of titles announces that what we are about to see are found pics and sound, a home-brewed cassette of Sweet Jane and an orphaned roll of super 8 film. What follows is a kinetic, handheld home movie, shot in New York’s lower east during the 80s, mostly offering a blurry haze of coloured abstractions until at last the androgynous figure of Eve Mackey emerges on a rooftop, assertive and questioning. In this time capsule the artist offers his own work as found footage, as if he had many lives and selves, occupied multiple pasts and time zones.

Tampon Thieves 23:46 minutes 1994
One of a pair of 16mm movies made with a crew (!) and actor familiars, this handsomely produced short brings a garage aesthetic to its gender-bending cast. Gaybashing, feminism, and white supremacy ravel out in a prescient political tract that is also a family drama and love story.

The End of Thought 8 minutes 2002
This autobiographical essay video, stuffed with inventive text overlays, shows the artist caught between the worlds of his former home in Colombia and his new residences in Canada. This place between is also a celebration of fluid gender boundaries, travels of the heart and body, even as paramilitary forces try to lock down territory and identity. A complex weave of personal and political, as if the body was already the body politic.

Illegal_its effect on the body 37:07 minutes 2016
Illegal_its impact on the body showcases a harrowingly eloquent quartet of illegal immigrants living in Toronto, Canada. Each works a variety of routinely underpaid jobs, including dishwasher, janitor, metal shop hack, construction crew. Chief amongst the economic precariat, they are routinely exploited for free labour (you mean I have to pay you?) and sexual services.

In place of a talking head parade, the artist offers us a hallucinatory city portrait, each scene lensed as if from the vantage of a forbidden and alien presence, looking askance (sideways, the light streaking, hyperbolically coloured) at the neo-liberal showcase of this brave new city, remade in the image of its developers.