Encounters in Experimental Film
A program of:
MVS Studio Program Graduating Exhibition
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
University of Toronto Art Centre
Join the Art Museum for a screening of four films from SAVAC’s Monitor series that expanded MVS Studio graduate Nimisha Bhanot’s artistic practice. Following the screening, listen to a discussion with Bhanot and Indu Vashist, Executive Director at SAVAC, on the films, SAVAC’s Monitor series, and Bhanot’s research.
This event is free and all are welcome. Due to capacity limits, registration is required.
In her thesis work Encounters, MVS recipient Nimisha Bhanot presents a temporal entanglement in the form of paintings, sculpture, and experimental film created using impulsively consigned media from a personal archive. As an oil painter eager to expand her practice, Bhanot’s introduction to experimental film occurred during a summer internship researching the archives of South Asian Visual Arts Centre’s (SAVAC) experimental film series Monitor. This research opportunity, facilitated by SAVAC’s Executive Director Indu Vashist, was instrumental in broadening Bhanot’s practice.
Encounters in Experimental Film brings together four films from SAVAC’s Monitor series which align with criteria Bhanot seeks in her research (largely influenced by Dr. Dina Georgis’ research on The Aesthetics of Radical Hope)—rage, joy, pain, and refusal. Films included in the screening are:
- I Love My India (2003) by Tejal Shah from Monitor 1
- Partition (2009) by Holly Rodricks from Monitor 6
- Rearview Mirror (1966–2011) by the late P.Mansaram from Monitor 8
- Shaai (Ink) (2009) by Smriti Mehra and Matt Lee from Monitor 9
Tejal Shah (they/them; b. 1979 in Bilal, India; lives peripatetically) considers themselves as some kind of an artist working on some kind of nature. They are deeply invested in relationality, love, care, and healing, in ways that honour difference and are sensitive to the flows of power, privilege, and disadvantage along complex intersectional lines. Amongst others, Shah’s worldview is informed by non-dual Buddhist philosophy and practice, queer-feminism, and eco-poetics. Their works have been shown widely at museums, galleries, and film festivals including Documenta 13, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Tate Modern, and Centre Pompidou. (barbaragross.de/artists/tejal-shah/)
P.Mansaram (1934–2020) was born in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India and studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art in Mumbai, India. Shortly after studying at the Rijks Academie in Amsterdam, he migrated to Canada in 1966. Mansaram’s interdisciplinary practice included painting, drawing, collage, and film, which was largely influenced by his experiences in the South Asian diaspora. In 2016, the ROM acquired over 700 pieces from the artist’s archive reflecting over 50 years of his work. Mansaram had exhibitions at numerous galleries through his career, including but not limited to, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of Hamilton, the South Asian Gallery of Art in Oakville, and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.
With a B.F.A. and M.F.A. in art video, Holly Rodricks’ formative work has centred around her experience living between two cultures as a first-generation Indian-American woman. She filters her story through the lens of those closest to her, reflecting the many complex layers of her own identity, family history, and larger cultural heritage.
Holly currently works as a professional, freelance video editor and resides in Birmingham, Alabama with her family. (hollyrodricks.com)
Smriti Mehra is an artist and educator from Bangalore, India. She earned her MFA in Media Art from NSCAD University and taught at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Camberwell College of Arts in London, UK.
As a storyteller, she employs ethnographic research methods to unearth local perspectives in her non-fiction practice. Her work deals with issues of labour, material culture, identity and memory and has shown widely internationally. (smritimehra.com)
Matt Lee is an artist, illustrator, and educator from London. His practice encompasses drawing, collage, photography, and video. His work engages with semiotic processes for constructing, framing, and manipulating visual messages and explores themes of presence/ absence and sense/nonsense. Matt is an Associate Lecturer at University of the Arts London and Arts University Bournemouth. He holds a BA (Honours) in Design: Illustration from Plymouth University and an MA in Visual Arts: Digital Arts from Camberwell College of Arts. (matt-lee.com)