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<nettime-ann> Video Pool and Urban Shaman Gallery are proud to present "Rockstars & Wannabes"

For Immediate Release…
September 20, 2007

Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery and Video Pool Media Arts Centre are proud to present the exhibition

Rockstars & Wannabes

Curated by Cathy Mattes, this exhibition features: Warren Arcand, Kevin Ei-Ichi deForest, Skawennati Fragnito, and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay.

Dates: September 29 – November 10, 2007
Opening Reception: September 29, 2007 @ 8 PM
Location: Urban Shaman Gallery –  203-290 McDermot Ave
Mediums: Video and Installation

With the emergence of MTV and Much Music in the early 1980s, a new form of escapism, and role play surfaced for young people. How youth connected with popular singers and bands changed drastically thanks to vee-jays spinning flashy music videos that provided visual narratives to follow along with popular music. In basements and bedrooms across the land, youth held brushes as microphones, envisioned themselves in music videos, and mimicked the music stars they admired…

Rockstars & Wannabes locates artists who examine the impact of the music industry on identity, using music videos, karaoke, and popular TV talent searches as catalysts. Music as an aid in escaping cross-cultural boundaries, the longing for validation or substance in one’s life, and the lengths some will go to locate and express their inner rock star is investigated.

Warren Arcand’s contribution to Rockstars & Wannabes is a video installation that explores “how youth turn to Rock music as a form of magical thinking, or who alternatively may be used by Rock to refresh and revitalize its own iconography. Within this exchange there are many hazards and casualties, not the least of which is boundary control.” – Warren Arcand.

Kevin Ei-Ichi deForest uses Karaoke to out existing stereotypes within popular music and explores the struggle to culturally fit in for those of mixed ancestry. By presenting imagery of Japanese music icons, cityscapes, and the impact of American pop-culture on Japanese youth, his video works expose how cultural perceptions are internalized, while simultaneously reminding viewers about the potential of music to bridge existing gaps.

Skawennati Fragnito locates like-minded adults who grew up in the ‘80s, and dreamt of being in music videos like those seen on Much Music and MTV. Her video work 80 Minutes, 80 Movies, 80s Music, is an ongoing digital-video project which invites Generation X-ers from diverse cultural backgrounds, professions, and locations to live out their ‘80s rock star dreams in 80 second music videos created by Fragnito. New additions to 80 Minutes, 80 Movies, 80s Music will be featured in the exhibition.

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay’s video and installation work provide a glimpse of his intimate relationship with certain pop music icons. History, sexuality and identity collide in Audition Tape, a musical monologue inspired by outtakes from American idol competitions. In Jimmy, a heraldic flag and documentation of a performative marathon honours British gay pop hero Jimmy Somerville. Referencing a fan's obsessive sensibility, Jimmy explores the rewriting of narratives about who gets canonized and honoured in popular culture.

Rockstars & Wannabes Highlights:

* Join us at the free public opening reception on Saturday, September 29, 2007, which will include an '80s dance party after 10 PM.
* Come to the curatorial talk/karaoke night at Urban Shaman – date TBA

Biographies and sample images are available by visiting: http://videopool.blogspot.com/2007/09/rockstars-wannabes.html

For more information please contact Milena Placentile at Video Pool @ (204) 949-9134 ext.1


Milena Placentile
Programming Coordinator
Video Pool Media Arts Centre
#300-100 Arthur St.
Winnipeg MB R3B 1H3

e: vpprogramming@videopool.org
t: 204.949.9134 x 1 _______________________________________________
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