During the late 1970s, in the wake of the October Crisis, Dennis Tourbin explored the relatively new medium of video to delve deeper into the themes that powered his poetry and painting. He reflected on how mainstream media and politics are marked by censorship and a lack of transparency, which can create a troubling absence of identity and historical memory. Tourbin’s works display a sensitivity to language, looking at how words can be manipulated to obscure meaning and create nonsense. His videos often played up the absurdities of modern political theatre, spoofing the evasiveness of politicians’ double-speak. Ironically, Tourbin became the target of censorship himself in 1995, when for reasons never made clear, the National Gallery cancelled an exhibition of his art, as detailed in excerpts from The October Crisis Controversy. SAW Video is proud to present this programme of works by an artist who played a major role in the Ottawa arts scene and contributed to the centre in its early years.
Presented in conjunction with the exhibitions Dennis Tourbin: The Language of Visual Poetry at Carleton University Art Gallery and Twice Lightning: 101's International Radio Series at Gallery 101.
ABCDelevision is part of VideoCity at SAW Video. In 2014, SAW Video will devote its entire programming year to celebrating media artists from the Ottawa-Gatineau region, past and present.