Saturday September 13, 2014
2:00 to 5:00 pm
September 15 to October 10, Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
“The object of the project is to produce a practical military weapon in the form of a bomb…”
Thus begins the Los Alamos Primer, a now declassified document cobbled together in 1943 from lectures and conference proceedings by scientists and physicists. The project in question is The Manhattan Project, that implacable Armageddon culminating in the improbably named Little Boy and Fat Man, nomenclature whose irony makes one weep.
In Su Rynard’s As Soon As Weather Will Permit, the viewer is presented with a carefully constructed collage of home movies, archival footage, animation and aerial photography as Rynard seeks to unravel a family story that somehow was implicated in these world-changing events, a story that was, as she says in the voice-over, “… just a fragment of something I didn’t understand at the time.”
Imaginatively using the structure of the above-mentioned declassified document, As Soon As Weather Will Permit is a work of sparse economy, exquisitely layered with historical documents, handwritten fragments, diagrams, scientific formulas and the seemingly endless vistas of the American desert in all of its strange and empty splendor.
“When you’re in the thing and it’s the first one, you don’t reflect on what it’s going to be. You don’t think about it until history has played on it,” says Rynard’s uncle Vern, a 21-year-old serviceman in the U.S. Air Force in 1945, one of 3 Boeing B-29s sent to scout the cloud cover over Hiroshima, Kokura and Nagasaki. On August 6, 1945, with clear skies, Hiroshima “won” this ominous contest, followed by Nagasaki on August 9 of the same year, leaving Kokura to become synonymous with the state of being spared.
Rynard has crafted a work of great beauty that leaves us unsettled and restless, unable to change the events that were enacted into a history which is still playing out.
Su Rynard is a filmmaker and media artist whose interest in science, ecology and natural history has informed and inspired her recent projects, including; Black Bears that inhabit Ontario garbage dumps (Bears, 2008), rising sea levels (Drowning London, 2009), and disappearing orchards (Apples, 2009). Her recent photo based installation (Seed Bank, 2010) peers inside the hi-tech world of international seed banks. Her award winning fiction feature film debut (Kardia, 2006) tells the story of a woman who discovers that the experimental heart operation she underwent as a child has mysteriously linked her life with another. Her work has screened in festivals around the world.
Rynard is currently in production on SongbirdSOS, a documentary film on disappearing songbirds. SongbirdSOS was developed by the NFB/CFC documentary development program and awarded first prize for 2012 Best Feature Documentary Pitch at Sunnyside of the Doc in France. Rynard was a Director Resident at the Canadian Film Centre and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. Rynard is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto. An in-depth discussion of her work is featured in Mike Hoolboom’s 2008 book Practical Dreamers: Conversations with Movie Artists published by Coach House Books.