Current and Upcoming

The Researcher Is Present 2019-2020: two new participants

The Researcher Is Present 2019-2020: two new participants

In 2018, Vtape officially launched The Researcher Is Present, a new residency program that welcomes writers, curators, artists and all hybrids of these to inhabit our space on a regular basis, usually once a week for a few months. We are offer this open-ended space for contemplation in order to see what happens. Sometimes a screening will emerge, or an exhibition; sometimes some writing will surface. We ask for a brief *idea*of what might be investigated, thought about, channelled during this residency. The outcome of this residency is usually determined after a few weeks have passed.


As a fall/winter 2018-19 research resident, curator Adam Barbu explores how the specific material qualities of video can alter the narrative conventions of queer historical thought. The aim of this project is not simply to unearth stories of marginalization and objection. Rather, it seeks to highlight the essential surplus that lies at the heart of the term “queer history.”

Through this lens, the project focuses on works thatcannot be assimilated into grand narratives about shared queer progress. The resulting programs will explore scenes of repetition and non-transcendence – namely, scenes of unspectacular everyday resilience. At stake here is the imaging of that inassimilable excess as the trace empty history. This is an unrestricted territory where queerness itself begins to fade into a state of meaninglessness.

This research follows theorist William Haver’s claim that “the only historical question is the question of the historical.” In this retreat from canonical thought, common assumptions about identity are challenged while alternative modes of curatorial ethics are proposed. What does it mean to pursue the unworking of queer history as a queer curatorial endeavor?

Working title: Empty History   Scheduled for fall 2019.


 Darryn Doull has been coming in weekly throughout the fall 2018, to make use of the Research Commons and view work from the Vtape distribution collection. While digging through periodicals, he became intrigued by issues of Parallelogram (the ANNPAC periodical published from 1976 – the 1990s) and the particular focus on collective organization in the centres and the regions. This began to open a window into the genealogies of the artist-run movement in Toronto and beyond, capturing groundbreaking organizations and their founding members at a crucial moment.

Research is now focused on the underlying social and political conditions that precipitated key organizations and collectives through archival research, interviews with the original founders/writers/thinkers, and looking at the collection of posters, cards and ephemera that were produced from the late 1960s into the 1980s. Hopes for the final project include a segmented written component highlighting select organizations alongside interviews with founding members and an exhibition featuring films from the Vtape collection and archival materials.

Working title: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear?  Scheduled for early 2020.

Image credit: Parallelogram, Vol 3, No. 1 1977-78



Tuesday, November 20, 2018, 6:00-8:00pm

The Commons, 401 Richmond St. W., 4th floor

Please join us for a celebration of Vtape’s newest audience outreach project. The Vtape Website Gallery gives audiences around the world a chance to see some of the beautifully guest-curated programs that we regularly present at Vtape.

The inaugural program to be made available on our website is Autotheory, which was guest curated by Lauren Fournier and screened at Vtape on May 8, 2018. This carefully constructed program weaves together multigenerational voices into a complex and joyous conversation. Fournier has said that this program “…takes performance for video as a ripe space to reflect on the aesthetics, politics, and ethics of ‘auto-theory’…” Lauren Fournier’s extended essay “Autotheory and Artists’ Video: Performing Theory, Philosophy, and Art Criticism in Canadian and Indigenous Video Art, 1968-2018” will be posted on the Vtape website concurrently.

Autotheory: the screening will be available on the Vtape website Nov. 20 – Dec. 20, 2018



Evan Tylerfear, irony, and curating in the 90s, 2011, 04:35

Andrew James Paterson, The Walking Philosopher, 2001, 03:30

Hiba AliPostcolonial Language, 2016, 25:00

Thirza Cuthand, Lessons In Baby Dyke Theory,1995, 03:00

Madelyne BecklesTheory of the Young Girl, 2017, 04:21

Deirdre Logue & Allyson MitchellHers is Still a Dank Cave: Crawling            Toward a Queer Horizon, 2016, 24:32 

Martha WilsonArt Sucks, 1972, 01:25


Dr. Lauren Fournier is a curator, writer, and artist. Her research is focused on the histories and practices of “auto-theory,” contemporary feminist art and literature, and experimental approaches to narrative, theory, and art writing. She is the recipient of the 2018 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators, and her exhibition epistemologies of the moon will open at the Art Gallery of Guelph in September 2018. A practicing artist herself, her video work is distributed through Vtape.

image credit: Madelyne Beckles, Theory of The Young Girl, 2017