Jump to content

Colin Campbell (artist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Colin Campbell
Born(1942-06-15)June 15, 1942
Died(2001-10-31)October 31, 2001
Toronto, Ontario, Canada (age 59)
Alma materUniversity of Manitoba, Claremont Graduate School
Known forVideo artist
AwardsBell Canada Award for Video Art, 1996

Colin Campbell (1942–2001) was a Canadian video artist.



Colin Campbell was born in Reston, Manitoba, 1942. He received his BFA from the University of Manitoba (gold medal) and his MFA from Claremont Graduate School, California. Campbell's first academic position was at Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, the subject of his video Sackville, I'm Yours.[1] Campbell moved to Toronto in 1973, where he taught at the Ontario College of Art and later (from 1980) in the Department of Fine Art at the University of Toronto.[2] Based in Toronto since 1973, Campbell produced over 45 tapes.

Campbell was active in the artist-run centre movement and was a founding member of Vtape.[3] He was active as a curator and a producer of artists' books.

Campbell saw himself as bisexual and bigendered.[1]

Colin Campbell died of cancer on October 31, 2001, in Toronto.



Campbell was a pioneer of video art in Canada.[4] He began exploring video in the early 1970's when the use of video in visual arts was still marginal.[4] He created one of his earliest videos, Sackville I'm Yours (1972) using a video camera borrowed from the Mount Allison University football team during the off season.[5] In the video he plays the persona of "Art Star", a legend in his own mind responding to a media interview while "roughing it out" in rural New Brunswick.[6]

Campbell used video as an accessible and flexible means for story telling. Starring in almost all of his works, his videos explore themes of gender and sexual identity with humour and pathos.[7]

Campbell's work has been exhibited internationally since the mid-1970s, including the 1977 São Paulo Biennale, 1980 Venice Biennale and 1992 Istanbul Biennale. In 1990 the Winnipeg Art Gallery organized a national touring retrospective of his videotapes (1972–90). His first film, Skin, premiered at the Festival of Festivals (Toronto International Film Festival) in 1991. In 2008, Oakville Galleries held a retrospective exhibition of Campbell's work.[2]

In 2013 Canadian artist Benny Nemer revisited Campbell's 1972 video True/False. Originally intended as a remake, Nemer's work, Colin is my real name, instead summons Campbell's voice to once again speak statements related to his identity and private life.[8] Nemer's video was filmed at Mount Allison University, where True/False was originally produced. It was exhibited on the university campus and premiered at the Per Speculum Video exhibition at the Frankfurter Kunstverein in 2013.



Campbell was awarded the Bell Canada Award in Video Art in 1996.[2]

Select videography

  • Sackville, I'm Yours (1972)
  • Janus (1973)
  • The Woman From Malibu (1976)
  • Modern Love (1978)
  • Bad Girls (1980)
  • White Money (1983)
  • The Woman Who Went too Far (1984)
  • Bennies from Heaven (1986)
  • No Voice Over (1986)
  • Black and Light (1987)
  • Fiddle Faddle (1988)
  • Rendez-vous (1991)
  • Invention (1993)




  1. ^ a b "A truly queer network, Video artist Colin Campbell & Toronto's fruitful art scene" Archived 2012-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, Kathleen Mullen, accessed January 1, 2009
  2. ^ a b c Davies, Jon; Greyson, John (2008). People Like Us: The Gossip of Colin Campbell = Des gens comme nous : les potins de Colin Campbell. Oakville, Ont.: Oakville Galleries. ISBN 9781894707282.
  3. ^ "History | Vtape". vtape.org. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  4. ^ a b l’UQAM, Galerie de (2017-01-01). "1977 – Hollywood and Vine by Colin Campbell". 150 years 150 works. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  5. ^ "Colin Campbell | Mike Hoolboom". Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  6. ^ Davies, Jon (2021). More Voice-Over: Colin Campbell Writings. Concordia University Press. ISBN 9781988111261.
  7. ^ "The Extended Scene: Seeing Queer Futurity through the work of Colin Campbell | Drain Magazine". Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  8. ^ "Colin is my real name | www.li-ma.nl". www.li-ma.nl. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  9. ^ "Museum of Modern Art".
  10. ^ "National Gallery of Canada". www.gallery.ca. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  11. ^ "Home". Home. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  12. ^ "Home". Canadian Cultural Centre – Paris. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  13. ^ "Oakville Galleries". www.oakvillegalleries.com. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  14. ^ "Centre Pompidou: Accueil".
  15. ^ "A-Z of Collection – Owens Art Gallery". Retrieved 2023-03-30.