Unsettled Settings: Ryan Ermacora & Jessica Johnson
- Anyox + NŌ
- Unsettled Settings: Ryan Ermacora & Jessica Johnson
- May 18, 2023 7:00
“The following moment always contains, over and above the preceding one, the memory the latter has left it.”Gilles Deleuze, Bergsonism
This opening night program of “Unsettled Settings” will include a screening of Anyox followed by a discussion with the filmmakers. There will then be a short break before a screening of Sharon Lockhart’s NŌ, which was chosen by Ermacora and Johnson to pair thematically with their films.
Ryan Ermacora, Jessica Johnson
87 min. DCP
The first feature by Vancouver-based filmmaking team Ermacora and Johnson, who have been collaborating on celebrated documentary shorts for over a decade, provides an enigmatic portrait of a nearly-abandoned mining town in northwestern BC. Anyox shares a number of characteristics with the duo’s previous projects, including a strong emphasis on analogue film processes and a focus on labour and environmental exploitation in British Columbia’s remote and unseen places. Anyox, formerly a company town owned by a copper mining company, has been reduced to otherworldly mounds of dark gray slag, and the stunning 35mm and 65mm cinematography (by longtime DP Jeremy Cox) brings out the elemental qualities of this strange, forgotten place. But Ermacora and Johnson are also trying something radically new, immersing the viewer in the tantalizing and sometimes frustrating process of archival research. Anyox is experimental filmmaking at its best.
“An elegant meditation on the dual crises of resource extraction and labour exploitation, and how they both arise from the colonial capitalist project at the heart of modern industry.” Paloma Pacheco, ReIssue
“A deeply beautiful film … Ghosts don’t rest easily here.” Dorothy Woodend, The Tyee
32 min. 16mm
By way of a measured field and a prompt, we see Ito Masa and Yoko, two farmers, rake out piles of hay choreographed in accordance with the field of view of the lens. NО̄ presents a collaboration between the labour of the farmers and the optics of cinema, unfolding as a tapestry of a landscape through time. The delicate and intentional method in which we experience this changing image presents an opportunity to consider the altering of colour, texture, and composition of the landscape. At work here is the effect of duration in dialogue with the experience of labour, as well as a formal game, one which subtly plays with our expectations concerning the objectivity of documentary, and the construction of a frame. —Ryan Ermacora and Jessica Johnson
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