Vera Frenkel Residency

Flute & Drum: Unheard Voices Sing (working title)

Shot by our own Konrad Skreta at the Theatre Centre in Toronto, Vera Frenkel’s “Flute & Drum” (working title) features a network of narratives inspired by encounters between strangers, in this case very young children and elders ten times their age, in an exploration of ageism at both ends of life’s arc.

These unrehearsed pairings of youngsters and elders ten times their age, resulted in some extraordinary exchanges that reveal an interesting, though neglected, truth: That depth of feeling, humour, inventiveness, openness and insight are gifts of personhood throughout the human trajectory.

A game of chance designed by the artist prompted each child and elder to make an image of life, future or past, as it seemed to them. Flute & Drum: Voices was shot in the incubation space of the Theatre Centre in Toronto as a green-screen production, allowing the artworks to be developed as visual contexts for the conversations.

The completed work will exist in two forms - a single-channel narrative composite, and a seven-channel installation. "Neither could be achieved without the support and expertise of Charles Street Video, the production centre that has made possible most of my video projects realized in Canada," says the artist.

Production Team​: ​Phase One

​Production Manager:
Maggie Flynn

Production Assistant:
Josh Vettivelu

Konrad Skreta

Camera Assistant:
Maddy Hajek

Digital Tech/ Documentation:
Tom Legrady

Set preparation, liaison with participants:
Katie Kehoe

About the Artist

Vera Frenkel is one of Canada's most renowned multidisciplinary artists, respected both internationally and at home. Her installations, videotapes, performances and new media projects address the forces at work in human migration, the learning and unlearning of cultural memory, and the ever-increasing bureaucratization of experience.

Her multidisciplinary projects address the forces at work in human migration and displacement, the learning and unlearning of cultural memory, and the ever-increasing bureaucratization of experience. They’ve been shown in Canada and internationally at venues such as documenta IX, Kassel; the Freud Museum, London; the Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo; the Altaussee Salt Mine, Austria; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; MOMA, New York; and the Biennale di Venezia. Her awards include the TFVA (Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts) Founders' Award, iDMAa Pioneering Achievement Award, The Governor General’s Visual and Media Arts Award, the Bell Canada Award for Video Art, and honorary doctorates from NSCAD and UBC’s Emily Carr Institute.


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