Taking this warped moment in time, spring 2021, and the emotional disruptions caused by it as a starting point, the program re-frames a selection of films from the CFMDC’s archive. The 16mm films are projected on to a screen for a webcam in an otherwise empty theatre. With a mix of the original soundtracks and a new score by Victoria Cheong aka New Chance, performed and streamed live. The films, produced between the years 1969 to 2000, are very different in style and content – seen together, now, they resonate with the idea of a foyer or antechamber, a waiting room that promises the potential of a great event - but might be a trap. The result is an experiment in translation – from the past into the now; the screen into the web; 16mm to twitch; the room into the world; the mind into the forest.
In his essay Foyer, written in 2011, Ian White describes how internationally film co-ops like the CFMDC - funded based on ideals of openness, access and collaboration - have over time, through accumulating material and constructing canons, become “careers, definitions, collections, archives, restricted zones, police patrols.” Instead of this, he imagines “a place that slides between positions, potentials, instructions, openness, closures.” He calls this place “a foyer - an engine room that is also by necessity otherwise regarded as marginal.” Victoria Cheong and Oliver Husain propose the screening performance Foyer Forest Feelings to be live broadcast from this imaginary antechamber. With films by Vincent Grenier, Sarah Pucill, Midi Onodera, Ellie Epp, Chris Chong Chan Fui, David Rimmer, Mary J Daniel – who have all generously agreed to this re-staging of their work – and Tom Chomont and Jack Smith as the queer ghosts watching over us.