Spécial Video Pool Special

What's Wrong With Romance?


From February 22 to March 10, 2018
Opening on February 22, at 7 pm


With Alex Ateah, Thirza Cuthand, Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan, Divya Mehra, Theo Pelmus & Kris Snowbird, Tracy Peters, Leslie Supnet and Rhayne Vermette

Drawing from the vast catalogue of Video Pool Distribution (Winnipeg, MB), Dazibao offers a program of short video works surrounding the theme of romance. The works brought together for What’s Wrong With Romance? touch upon various aspects of the experience of love in modern times — which is sometimes dark, and other times playful or exciting — and recalls how tone, and its ability to inflect the voice, can change everything.
— Nika Khanjani & Pablo Rodriguez


(55 minutes — starts on the hour)


Alex Ateah, Love Life (2014) — 2 min. 23 sec.

Artist and performer Alex Ateah’s (Winnipeg) work explores the desire for human connection in the digital age. In Love Life, a selfie style video, she describes her ideal suitor. Employing repetition and voice manipulation, as well as Internet found stock photography, the artist exposes and pokes fun at her irrational thoughts. 

Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan, A Day in The Life of A Bull Dyke (1995) — 10 min. 30 sec.

Collaborators since 1989, performers Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan (Winnipeg) create humorous feminist installations, public art pieces, and video works. Their film A Day in The Life of A Bull Dyke is a fictionalized lesbian history told in the first-person from the perspective of a “big boned butcher.” Poking fun at educational exposés like Reefer Madness, the video underlines the trials, triumphs, and ambiguities that texture the main character’s public and private life. 

Leslie Supnet, How to Care for Introverts (2010)
— 1 min. 48 sec.

Through unique combinations of animation, drawing and found media, artist and educator Leslie Supnet (Toronto) fashions imaginative and dreamlike narratives of loss, change, and positive futures. With How to Care for Introverts, she offers an articulate and tender instructional video on how to care for those whose personalities are characterized by the shyness and reserve of introversion. 

Thirza Cuthand, 2 Spirit Introductory Special $19.99 (2015) — 4 min. 56 sec.

In their work, Toronto-based artist Thirza Jean Cuthand (Regina) explores themes of sexuality, mental illness, youth, love, and race through video, film, performance and writing. 2 Spirit Introductory Special $19.99 poses as an infomercial advertising a phone subscription service for those coming out as 2-Spirited, satirically underlining their exclusion from dominant LGBTQ discourses. 

Rhayne Vermette, J. Werier (2012) — 4 min. 20 sec.

Working mainly with 16mm film, Rhayne Vermette’s (Winnipeg) experimental body of work focuses on figuring architectures through animation and image, while investigating concepts of the decadent and surreal. J. Werier features an architectural portrait composed from the film of several broken projectors found at the Winnipeg warehouse from which the film also borrows its title. 

Theo Pelmus & Kris Snowbird, Adam and Eve Saulteaux (2014) — 2 min. 56 sec.

In their collaborations, Romanian artist Theo Pelmus (Ottawa) and Ojibwa/Cree artist Kristin Snowbird (Manitoba) create performative structures that integrate each of their respective cultures. Adam and Eve Saulteaux references Relation in Time (1977), the iconic video work by Marina Abramović and Ulay. The artists gradually braid their hair into a single entity, each bringing their different cultural backgrounds into partnership. 

Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan, Object/Subject of Desire (1993) — 5 min. 15 sec.

In Object/Subject of Desire Dempsey and Millan use humor to explore the sometimes conflictual elements entailed in lesbian relationships. Adorned in a white ball gown, surrounded by projected landscapes and textures, a woman delivers her demands with regards to intimacy, boundaries and love. In doing so, she draws attention to the contradictions that can exist between what we think we want and our desire to be wanted.

Divya Mehra, The Importance of Being Earnest (2009) 
— 2 min 41 sec.

In her work, Divya Mehra (Winnipeg) extracts pop culture references from their usual context and reimagines them in order to critically examine orientalism and the lasting effects of colonialism. The Importance of Being Earnest presents a satirical juxtaposition of an iconic, romantic Disney song, and found photographic images, to illustrate the impact of systemic racism, hypocrisy and violence. 

Tracy Peters, Disturbance (2014) — 3 min. 19 sec.

The work of Tracy Peters (Winnipeg) uses video and installation to examine interactions between built and natural environments. Disturbance is a multi-sensory experience that positions the viewer within a grain shed being gradually beaten down by loud, powerful winds that swing the door open, causing blinding flashes of light.

Alex Ateah, Other Half Dating Service (2015) — 12 min.

In Other Half Dating Service, Alex Ateah appropriates the codes of 1980’s dating videos. The viewer is introduced to four different love-seeking candidates, all played by the artist, describing their ideal “other half”. Ateah’s use of the split-screen reinforces the notion of an other-half while also emphasizing the competing aspects of self within this approach.


Recently, Dazibao has quite freely perused the catalogues of both Vtape and Vidéographe, offering a particular look at the collections of these distributors to highlight some milestone works. In this third iteration, which brings forth the work of Manitoba-based Video Pool, we have taken a different approach. Outlining Video Pool’s catalogue, Nika Khanjani and Pablo Rodriguez have chosen a unique angle that focuses on the “culture of love,” its uses by mass media, the variable ways in which it is associated with cultural or sexual identities, as well as the social and individual expectations it generates.  

What’s Wrong With  Romance? is prepared for Dazibao by Nika Khanjani and Pablo Rodriguez.



Dazibao thanks the artists, Video Pool, Nika Khanjani and Pablo Rodriguez for their generous contribution as well as its members for their support.

Dazibao receives financial support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Ville de Montréal.