Public Studio, Solo Exhibition
September 8 – September 18, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10, 6 – 9 PM
Sunday, September 11, 2 – 4 PM
Sunday, September 18, 2 – 4 PM
Presented on three, double-sided walls and comprised of a series of short films, Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky's powerful and beautifully nuanced installation, Road Movie, examines contemporary life in Palestine. Palestinians living in the West Bank are confronted with a segregated and impossible road system made all the more problematic and unpredictable by shifting political currents. The subjects of the films, from Palestinian ambulance and taxi drivers to Israeli settlers and human-rights activists (who were all filmed while Flanders and Sawatzky traveled the segregated roads) offer a unique and unconventional glimpse into the human landscape of this volatile land. Filmed in stop-motion animation, with a screen set-up suggesting the foreboding wall surrounding Palestine, Road Movie is full of arresting and vibrant images, from the deserts of the Jordan Valley to the circumference of Jerusalem. The piece serves as an elegy for people and places that are rarely seen and heard. And for those who no longer see one another.          - Steve Gravestock, Associate Director,Canadian Programming, Toronto International Film Festival.
As artists we are interested in reflecting the complexity of our current world by looking at how political strife shapes people's lives and transfiguring that into intimate and nuanced gestures that can reshape our preconceptions. Our recent work looks at both the fragility and violence that is emerging in protests and political discord the world over. We work in film, film and sound installation, web projects, photography and architecture to capture in frames some of the moments we have witnessed and have, in turn, attempted to reveal.
In 2009, we went to live in Palestine for a year in order to get a better understanding of the situation on the ground. Flanders, who was raised in Jerusalem, felt that in order to really connect with people and daily life, she needed to live inside Palestine, not just visit. Sawatzky had become interested in the architectural aspects of life under Occupation and together they decided to make a film that looked from the inside out. While much work exists about all aspects of this particular conflict, we approached this from another dimension– we take you, the viewer, into the landscape, into the land in meticulous detail, and allow you to move around in an installation, to give you an immersive and contemplative experience. We shot our films in stop-motion animation, a technique that allowed us to capture, frame by frame, the minutia of this often over-exposed place. Like surveyors, we track the land step by step, taking you with us into each frame.
- September 14, 2011: Future Projections Open Door to Film as Art and Installation, Murray Whyte for The Toronto Star
- September 9, 2011: At the Galleries: TIFF-Related Shows, Leah Sandals for The National Post
- September 9, 2011: Road Movie: Israel/Palestine From Both Sides Now , R.M. Vaughan for The Globe and Mail
- September 8, 2011: Road Pic Power, Fran Schechter for Now Toronto
- September 7, 2011: Middle East Films are a Stronger Presence Than Ever at Toronto, Kaleem Aftab for The National UAE
- September 7, 2011: Road Movie: An Interview with Elle Flanders, Carolyn Weldon for The National Film Board of Canada Blog