Video

X-Patriotism

Stephen Foster

2001, 06:00 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 489.05

The title is meant to refer to the two films by Joyce Weiland (Patriotism and Patriotism II). The deep ramifications of the imagery of those two films is what inspired the creation of this video. The work takes as its starting point the military appropriation of the names of First Nations for the Canadian Navy's W.W.II Tribal Class warships. This has a disturbing irony in that these names (i.e. HMCS Haida) have been appropriated in order to help establish a national identity for Canada, while the Canadian government has historically attempted to eliminate those cultures from which the names were taken. Beyond the specifics of the issue the piece is a meditation on the experience of Nationalism and its current conflicts with First Nations. Digital video is manipulated to expose issues of technology in its role as a tool for representation bringing into question its authority by referencing film and analog video as texturing elements. These elements act as disruptive counterpoints to the visual and sonic rhythm of the piece.

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