Atelier national du Manitoba

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L'Atelier national du Manitoba was a three-year filmmaking and art project based in Winnipeg, Canada that ran from 2005 to 2008. The club's artistic output was devoted to the artistic study of the history, culture and ephemera of Winnipeg and Manitoba.

In collaboration, and individually under the l'Atelier rubric, the project's members created an array of short and feature-length films, videos, posters, curatorial showcases and essays.[1]

Screening Series and Movies[edit]

On August 26–28, 2005, l'Atelier collaborated with Winnipeg artist Daniel Barrow to present the screening series, Garbage Hill: A Showcase of Discarded Winnipeg Film and TV, held at the Winnipeg Film Group's Cinematheque. The series was a compendium of former cable access television shows from VPW and Cablevision, locally produced television commercials and under appreciated films from thirty years of Manitoba filmmaking. Barrow presented clips from cable TV shows, such as dance free-for-all The Pollock and Pollock Gossip Show, repertory musical performance show The Cosmopolitans, and the white Persian cat fan club TV-newsletter What's New Pussycat, among others, with his signature overhead projector providing scrolling historical background on each show. L'Atelier national du Manitoba presented the history of locally produced, low-budget TV commercials in the feature-length video Kubasa in a Glass: the Fetishised Winnipeg TV Commercial 1976-1992.[2] Barrow went on to continue collecting the work of 1980s cable access stars, and in 2009 Video Pool Media Arts Centre released, Winnipeg Babysitter, a DVD compendium of cable access clips featuring early performances of Guy Maddin, Marcel Dzama, Neil Farber, The Cosmopolitans, the Pollocks, and many more.[3]

In December 2005, l'Atelier national du Manitoba presented a 60-minute video-collage Death by Popcorn: the Tragedy of the Winnipeg Jets at the Winnipeg Film Group's Cinematheque for three screenings.[4] Subsequent to the video's Winnipeg premiere, l'Atelier became involved in a highly publicized public controversy and legal battle with media conglomerate CTV BellGlobeMedia over Fair Use of de-accessioned television footage.[5] Throughout 2006 and 2007, Death By Popcorn screened across Canada and the United States.[6][7]

In the summer of 2007, l'Atelier presented Beefs and Bouquets, a series of short programs of new films by friends and associated filmmakers such as Deco Dawson, Victoria Prince, Darryl Nepinak, Daniel Gerson and Eve Majzels, at the Winnipeg Cinematheque.[8]

In 2008, l'Atelier publicly denounced the City of Winnipeg's downtown development office, Centre Venture, for their alleged plans to raze historically significant portions of the city's Chinatown district.[9]

Beaux Arts[edit]

In January 2008, the University of Manitoba's ARCH-2 Gallery installed Discount Everything, an exhibition featuring artwork and photographs by l'Atelier national du Mantioba and Winnipeg documentarian John Paskievich.[10]

The following month, Atelier-commissioned art films I Dream of Driftwood and Burton's Favorite were featured in the Winnipeg Art Gallery exhibition, Subconscious City.[11]

Enamored by local boosterism and propaganda campaigns, l'Atelier was also recognized for its wheatpaste posters which often littered the downtown core area.


Post L'Atelier national du Manitoba[edit]

L'Atelier's core members - Matthew Rankin, Mike Maryniuk and Walter Forsberg - continue to work together periodically under their individual names. At a 2009 screening, Winnipeg Film Group Executive Director Cecilia Araneda publicly stated, "all of Winnipeg's marginalized film and video artists owe L'Atelier national du Manitoba an enormous debt of gratitude for their contribution to, and recognition of, what society has otherwise deemed as trash."[12]

References[edit]

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