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Vera Frenkel, Anne Ramsden
From February 7th 1984 to February 29th 1984
Verifications

“Verifications” is a video exhibition curated by Monica Haim and Sorel Cohen, members of Optica’s Board of Directors, and investigates the theme of truth and fiction in the mise-en-abîme of persona in recent videotapes by Vera Frenkel and Anne Ramsden.

Interdisciplinary artist, Vera Frenkel, who is at present working in Toronto, will show … And Now The Truth (A Parenthesis), 1980, part 2 of The Secret Life of Cornelia Lumsden, (30 minutes, B/W and colour). Based on a real incident, this tape continues Frenkel’s video inquiry into the life, work, and fate of Cornelia Lumsden; the legendary Canadian novelist who lived in Paris between the wars- then mysteriously disappeared. This tape is a particularly rich example of the image-sound-text interplay and the combined use of documentary and staged footage that characterize Frenkel’s work.

Shot in Banff, Kyoto, Toronto and Montreal, … And Now The Truth uses combinations of high and low culture, and the assumptions they represent, to bounce us at every turn into a new uncertainty. We are led by the figure of Lumsden and the presence of her namesake, and a braiding of narrative voices which discuss both women, steadily towards a place where truth and fiction converge.

Montreal video artist, Anne Ramsden, will show her series, “Manufactured Romance” 1982-84, colour, where a young writer, Candie Cane, goes through a process of evolution towards self-sufficiency, both in her personal and professional life. While commenting on common TV fiction by its use of the soap-opera format, the series begins with a listing of Candie Cane’s vital statistics, which, curiously, seem to be the only facts the viewer can ascertain about Candie, whose character is so enmeshed in her down fictional personalities as to be unreal.

Through carefully orchestrated layers of consciousness and objectivity, then confusion and sentimentality, Candie Cane portrays a heart-rending, though ironic, view of contemporary issues of identity.

Vera Frenkel and Anne Ramsden both offer the dilemma of reality and fiction for examination and entice the spectator to find meaning in the very search for a tenable truth.
- Press release (Optica)