b.h. Yael is a Toronto based filmmaker, video and installation artist. She is Professor and Chair of Integrated Media at the Ontario College of Art and Design, and past Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Art.
Yael's work has exhibited nationally and internationally and has shown in various settings, from festivals to galleries to various educational venues. Her work has also been purchased by several universities. Yael's film and video work has dealt with issues of identity, authority and family structures, while at the same time addressing the fragmentary nature of memory and belonging. More recent work focuses on activist initiatives, political fear, apocalypse and gender. The work most often involves non-linear and hybrid forms, including dramatized and fictional elements combined with first person narration, autobiographical and documentary perspectives.
Fresh Blood, A Consideration of Belonging dealt specifically with the many intersections of identity, including its racialized aspects within Jewish culture, and centred around a 'return' journey to Israel and to her mother's Iraqi culture. A follow up piece, In the Middle of the Street, is a documentation of peace actions in Israel/Palestine. A project currently in production is, 'a hot sandfilled wind' is a poetic activist piece, acknowledging that peace requires mutual recognition.
Other videos include Seldom, Is Dad Dead Yet, and My Mother is a Dangerous Woman. Past installation works such as Home Rule and Bomb Shelters have exhibited with the Spontaneous Combustion Collective; You are Here was shown at the Images Festival of Independent Film and Video; and offering, a video projection dealing with fear, was exhibited at the Koffler Gallery as part of DIG/DUG.
In collaboration with Johanna Householder, Yael has produced Approximations, a series of short works examining filmic representations of gender. The first, titled The Mission, is a shot for shot recreation - edited in camera - of the opening scene of Francis Coppola's 1979 landmark, Apocalypse Now. The Mission is a comedic piece which calls into question the gendering of redemption. A second piece in the Approximations series is, December 31, 2000, based on Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. December 31, 2000 is an ironic and humourous reversal of domesticity and of a gendered apocalypse, pointing to the failure of the future.
b.h. Yael has produced work as part of various artist projects: (of)fences, in response to the recent Quebec Summit of the Americas is part of the blahblahblah (Re)viewing Quebec artist project; Triskaidekaphobia, commissioned by Inside/Out, focuses on conversations with her son about phobias, theories of sexuality, and mothers; and pacts is a short web based piece pointing to the failure of peace negotitations produced for The Olive Project..
Yael is currently working on a video essay titled Trading the Future which questions the ways in which secular culture has embraced 'apocalypse' as inevitable.
Yael has worked in the sphere of independent film and video since the mid 1980's.
As a past Coordinator of Programming at the Images Festival of Independent Film and Video, Yael was involved in the development of that festival in its first years; she also developed workshops and selected programming at Trinity Square Video.
Yael has sat on the Boards of Northern Visions (Images festival) and the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre; she had also served on the Steering Committee of the Centre for Media and Culture in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She has worked on programming committees, such as A Space Gallery and the Euclid Theatre, and has sat on many arts council juries.
2017, 01:00 minutes, colour, English
2017, 14:30 minutes, colour, English and French subtitles
2010, 04:36 minutes, colour, Hebrew, Arabic & English
2008, 59:00 minutes, colour, English
2006, 75:00 minutes, colour, English, Hebrew & Arabic
2006, 13:00 minutes, colour, English, Hebrew & Arabic
2006, 33:00 minutes, colour, English
2006, 28:00 minutes, colour, English
2005, 07:45 minutes, colour, English, Aramaic, Chinese
2003, 05:57 minutes, colour, English
2002, 18:41 minutes, colour, English
2002, 33:00 minutes, colour, English
2002, 04:45 minutes, colour, English
2001, 07:00 minutes, colour, English / French
2001, 07:20 minutes, colour, English
2000, 04:21 minutes, colour, English
1996, 55:00 minutes, colour, English
1991, 35:00 minutes, colour, English
1987, 16:00 minutes, colour, English
1986, 05:00 minutes, colour, English
1986, 06:00 minutes, colour, English
1985, 05:00 minutes, colour, English
by . Fierce: Women's Hot Blooded Film and Video, Mar. 10, 2010. Hamilton: McMaster Museum of Art, 2010.
by . Fierce: Women's Hot Blooded Film/Video, Mar. 2010. Hamilton: McMaster Museum of Art, 2010.
by . Jewish Tribune, Apr. 11, 2008.
by . The National Post, Mar. 29, 2008.
by . SceneandHeard.ca, Apr. 7, 2008, v. 8, no. 2.
by . Feminist Media Studies Journal, Mar. 2008, v. 6, no. 1.
by . Art Education, Mar. 2008, v. 61, no. 2.
by . Half Empty, Feb. 2005, no. 3.
by . Caught In the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian women, 2004. Toronto: YYZ, 2004.
by . Fuse, Nov. 2002, v. 25, no. 4.
by . Fuse, Nov. 2002, v. 25, no. 4.
by . NOW, Apr. 12, 2001, v. 20, no. 32.
1998 British Canadian Video Exchange, 1998. Toronto: Vtape, 1998.
1998 British Canadian Video Exchange, 1998. Toronto: V tape, 1998.
by . Fuse, Winter 1997, v. 20, no. 1.
by . Now, Sept. 19, 1996, v. 16, no. 3.
by . The Toronto Star, Sept. 19, 1996.
by . Xtra!, Dec. 5, 1996, no. 316.
by . Screen, Summer 1993, v. 34, no. 2.
by . The Toronto Star, Jan. 15, 1991.
by . Fuse, Spring 1990, v. 13, no. 4.
by . Fuse, Fall 1987.
by . Cinema Canada, Nov. 1986.