Jalal Toufic, Saving Face (still), 2003, single-channel video, 09:00 mins. Courtesy of the artist.

Jalal Toufic, Saving Face (still), 2003, single-channel video, 09:00 mins. Courtesy of the artist.


Film Screening: Jalal Toufic, Variations on Guilt and Innocence in 39 Steps


In person at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery’s Outdoor Screen
No registration necessary
More event information here

Saturday, April 6 at 2:00 pm PST
Saturday, April 13 at 2:00 pm PST

In conjunction with Aporia (Notes to a Medium) join the Belkin for two outdoor screenings of exhibiting artist Jalal Toufic’s film Variations on Guilt and Innocence in 39 Steps (2013). Through a reworking of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film The 39 Steps, Toufic questions the possibilities that will never occur hidden in unconscious gestures in the film. Charting these gestures as capable of occurring across and beyond a moment, he explores the multiplicity of possible variations in time and action, highlighting a visual manifestation of doubt and uncertainty.

For a deeper discussion of his film, read Jalal Toufic’s “How Not to Be Subject to Variations on Guilt and Innocence” in his book What Was I Thinking? (Berlin: e-flux journal-Sternberg Press, 2017), pages 128–132.

Aporia (Notes to a Medium) considers how history, mythology, and wishful thinking entwine across media and through mediums. In this moment where faith in media, government, and institutions is further collapsing, where binarization is on the rise, where expressions of doubt are tactical, this exhibition includes artists’ works that contend with systems of belief and perception to trouble truth’s material (and immaterial) forms. Holding space for doubt – a space of critical reflection that contains multiple truths or exposes the limits of truth – is a strength of contemporary art. Doubt is part of nuanced thinking, and ambiguity may be fertile ground for possibility and otherwise thinking. But Janus-faced doubt is also a tactic. From the Greek word aporos, the exhibition’s title engages the paradoxical or impassable. This impasse functions as an expression of real or pretend uncertainty, something the works in the exhibition collectively query and channel.

Aporia (Notes to a Medium) is curated by Melanie O’Brian and made possible with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the Belkin Curator’s Forum members. This exhibition includes work by Colleen Brown, Azza El Siddique, Dani Gal, Katie Kozak and Lucien Durey, Mark Lewis, Jenine Marsh, Jalal Toufic, and Elizabeth Zvonar.

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