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Ryan Conrad: Don’t Believe the ’69 Hype!

Ryan Conrad: Don’t Believe the ’69 Hype! [public projection]
August 16th - August 25th | Nightly | 8:30pm - 11pm | Exterior of 21 James St.
Visible from the intersection of James St. and Bank St., Ottawa

Don’t Believe the Hype! is a silent looping video projection intended for screening on public surfaces in gay neighbourhoods across Canada. It beckons viewers with sensuous displays of queer public affection paired with scrolling text that both provokes and informs. This site-specific work claims public space for queer intimacy and political imagining at a time when Canadians are being encouraged by both the federal government and LGBT civil society organizations to celebrate the so-called 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality.

Critical of the state mythologies and top down benevolence, this piece demands a more critical interpretation of Pierre Elliott Trudeau's 1969 Criminal Code reform that failed to stop the regular brutality, disregard, police violence, arrests, harassment, firings, and bar and bathhouse raids that continue in the wake of the supposed decriminalization of homosexuality. Whose legacy are we celebrating? Whose lives are disappeared by convenient origin myths? What’s the cost of misremembering? And why have so many gays and lesbians been so eager to embrace a demonstrably false anniversary?

Presented as part of Knot Projections 2019: Imagining Publics, a special public art project by SAW Video Media Art Centre, with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Ryan Conrad is artist, activist, and scholar based in Ottawa. He is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Cinema & Media Studies Program at York University where he is working on a manuscript entitled 'Radical VIHsion: Canadian AIDS Film & Video.' Previously he held a postdoctoral fellowship at Carleton University with the AIDS Activist History Project. He earned a PhD from the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Society and Culture at Concordia University and an MFA in interdisciplinary studio arts from the Maine College of Art.

Read more: http://www.sawvideo.com/knot/projection/dont-believe-hype

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Don’t Believe the Hype! [screening + discussion]
Ryan Conrad, Tom Hooper, Ummni Khan, and Darrah Teitel
Tuesday, August 20th | 6:30pm-8:30pm | Knot Project Space, 2 Daly Ave., Ottawa

Join SAW Video Media Art Centre for an artist talk and panel on the mythologies and realities of the 1969 Criminal Code reform and its impact on the lives of queers, sex workers, and those seeking abortions. Artist and activist Ryan Conrad will screen and talk about his commissioned video projection Don't Believe The Hype!, which will also be on display in Ottawa’s gay village throughout Pride week as part of Knot Projections 2019: Imagining Publics, an extended public projection series involving five local artists. Conrad's talk will be followed by context-setting commentary from Tom Hooper, Darrah Teitel, and Ummni Khan.

Ryan Conrad is an artist, activist, and scholar based in Ottawa. He is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Cinema and Media Studies Program at York University where he is working on a manuscript entitled 'Radical VIHsion: Canadian AIDS Film & Video.' Darrah Teitel is currently the campaigns officer for Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. Previously, Darrah worked on Parliament Hill as a legislative assistant for the official opposition critics for the Status of Women and Indigenous Affairs. Tom Hooper is a historian who researches the criminalization of LGBTQ2 communities in the decades following the 1969 criminal code reform. He also works as contract faculty in the Law and Society Program at York University. Ummni Khan, S.J.D., is an Associate Professor in Legal Studies at Carleton University. Her scholarship addresses the legal and cultural construction of sexual deviancy in relation to gender, racialization, class, and disability along with other axes of difference and identity.

Don’t Believe the Hype! is a silent looping video that claims public space for queer intimacy and political imagining at a time when Canadians are being encouraged by both the federal government and LGBTQ civil society organizations to celebrate the so-called 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality.

Read more: http://www.sawvideo.com/knot/event/dont-believe-69-hype

 

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