Chris Kennedy

“Enfolded Space: Films by Rhayne Vermette.” March 20, 2019


“It’s impossible to collage a film!” Guy Maddin exclaimed in 2010, yet Winnipeg filmmaker Rhayne Vermette has founded her films on this very impossibility. Vermette builds her films literally frame by frame, layering pieces of celluloid into thick visual masses of imagery and tape. The results are unprojectable: each film has to be digitally scanned in order to be played back in a cinema.

Vermette’s fascination with film detritus — spurred in part by her years spent working for Film Rescue International, a lab devoted to resurrecting long-expired film stocks — meshes with her deep interest in architecture. Her films are three-dimensional in both the physical sense of their thick, chaotic objectness, and in the way they conceive of space as a cubist tesseract; her images are the cinematic equivalent of an architect’s quick, gestural sketch on vellum. Architecture, space, and a sense of home are frequent subjects of Vermette’s work, whether found in her research into architects like Carlo Mollino, her repurposed collection of her father’s home movies, or her filmic studies of the spaces around Winnipeg that she has lived in and left. Her films’ frenetic, rough-and-ready surfaces carry a unique sense of lived presence attuned to how space forms experience over the years.

Rhayne Vermette in person.

Tricks are for Kiddo | Canada 2012 | 2 min. Digital
Tudor Village: A One Shot Deal | Canada 2012 | 5 min. Digital
Black Rectangle | Canada 2013 | 1.5 min. Digital
Full of Fire | Canada 2013 | 2 min. Digital
Extraits d’une famille | Canada 2014 | 6 min. Digital
Turin | Canada 2014 | 7 min. Digital
Les Châssis de Lourdes | Canada 2016 | 18 min. Digital
Domus | Canada 2017 | 15 min. Digital

Q&A Session available to watch here.