Chris Kennedy

“Jorge Lozano: Tactical Visions.” June 21, 2016

Jorge Lozano: Tactical Visions
featuring videos by Jorge Lozano and Alexandra Gelis (both in person).

Jorge Lozano has been a significant player in Toronto’s media arts scene for almost four decades, as both a media maker and facilitator (his long history of contributions to artist-run culture in the city includes the co-founding of the aluCine Toronto Latin Festival). The last decade has been extremely prolific for Lozano: half of the nearly 100 works in his videography were made since 2005, and he has expanded from single-channel work to installation, most impressively with the eight-screen MOVING STILL_still life, which premiered at the Ryerson Image Centre in late 2015.

Part of this explosion of work derives from Lozano reconnecting with his Colombian homeland through frequent travel to his birthplace to lead youth media workshops, which has stoked his desire to tell stories from the impoverished areas of a country still suffering through a long-running civil war. Though fuelled by this essentially documentary impulse, Lozano is interested in finding innovative ways to present the stories he discovers. Working with a handheld DV camera, he produces portraits of his subjects that are both intimate and aesthetically bold, employing the widescreen canvas, DV’s crisp saturation and occasional multiple screens to great effect.

A natural collaborator in his work no less than his workshops, Lozano has benefited in his recent work from the creative input of Alexandra Gelis, an artist who shares both his Colombian heritage and political commitment. Their dual-screen 2012 video Kuenta offers a portrait of the Wayuu people of northern Colombia and Venezuela, celebrating their culture of weaving while alluding to the government-sponsored violence that so frequently invades their lives. D-enunciation provides even more explicit testimony to the culture of violence plaguing present-day Colombia, centring on the chilling stories of an anonymous woman in Rincon del Mar who tells of the death of her brothers and other men at the hands of a local paramilitary gang.

These two collaborative videos are flanked by an array of Lozano’s poetic shorts, which — even as they range from the overtly political to the meditative and philosophical — all evince Lozano’s fascination with and pleasure in the artistic possibilities of the visual metaphor.

May 1968 Graffiti dir. Jorge Lozano | Canada 2006 | 3.5 min. video
Tactical cycle-ordination dir. Jorge Lozano | Canada 2015 | 4.5 min. video
Kuenta dirs. Jorge Lozano & Alexandra Gelis | Canada/Colombia 2012 | 19 min. video
Menguante (Waning Moon) dirs. Juana Awad & Jorge Lozano | Canada/Colombia 2005 | 5 min. video
D-enunciation dirs. Jorge Lozano & Alexandra Gelis | Canada/Colombia 2014 | 19 min. video
resonance dir. Jorge Lozano | Canada 2010 | 7.5 min. video
The Aloneness of Photograms dir. Jorge Lozano | Canada 2015 | 4 min. video

Tuesday, June 21 6:30pm

Pleasure Dome will be presenting a second screening of Jorge Lozano’s work on Saturday, June 25.