Joyan Saunders

Joyan Saunders is a Canadian artist and educator who has taught at the University of California in San Diego, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, and York University in Toronto. Her videotapes have shown extensively throughout North America and Europe. Exhibition venues include New York's New Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, the American Film Institute and LACE in Los Angeles, A Space and the Power Plant in Toronto, and the Berlin International Film Festival. Her work is in the collections of the National Film Board and the National Gallery of Canada.
Joyan Saunders takes an unusual approach to the video medium, creating tapes which are akin to paintings with the element of real time. Her background in photography has no doubt played an instrumental role in the development of her unique style. Her tapes do not incorporate complex imagery in the technical sense, but focus on the use of colour, formal composition and humour to explore what she regards as a cliche ridden world. The vignettes confront the viewer with images that are slowly revealed to be somewhat more (or less) than they appear.


PUSH PUSH: Recalling the U.S. Presidential Election '00

2003, 17:43 minutes, colour, english

Bottoms Up

1996, 24:22 minutes, colour, English

Brains On Toast: The Inexact Science of Gender

1992, 23:30 minutes, colour, English

Tongue Tied and Twisted

1989, 22:00 minutes, colour, English

Prospect Place

1984, 29:00 minutes, colour, English

Here In The Southwest

1984, 23:00 minutes, colour, English

Video Tableaux

1982, 14:30 minutes, colour, English

Was Ist Das

1980, 04:00 minutes, colour, English


1980, 10:00 minutes, colour, English

The OAC Baby

1980, 02:30 minutes, B&W, English

Critical Writing

The Oxide Mandate: Queer Media in Halifax
by James MacSwain. Queer Looking/ Queer Acting, 1997. Mount St. Vincent: Mount St. Vincent University Press, 1997.
5 Feminist Videotapes: Redefining the Female Subject
by Shonagh Adelman. C Magazine, Winter 1991, no. 28.
Text in photography provices a thought-provoking exhibit
by Elizabeth Godley. Vancouver Sun, Mar. 24 Spring, 1988.
Joyan Saunders Interview
by Robin Metcalfe. Video Guide, Dec. 1988, v. 9, no. 45.
Homosexual videos: Where We Are Now: Attempting to deal with the...
by Martha Gever. Art in America, July 1987, v. 75, no. 7.
Photo Sampler Immature
by John Bentley Mays. The Globe and Mail, Sept. 17, 1982.
Joyan Saunders: Forest City Gallery
by Goldie Rans. Vanguard, Summer 1981.