The film is a metaphor for revolution and escape, where cats are the oppressors and the gerbils are the oppressed.
The gerbils represent political prisoners in the United States who make their way to freedom in Canada. Rat Life and Diet in North America is an example of how Wieland's concern with political issues, nationalism, symbols, and myths was represented aesthetically through her works. Wieland's self-identification as a feminist in an era of second wave of feminism also manifested itself through aesthetic means and played an important part in her career as an artist.
Toronto Film Review Presents : Joyce Wieland Tribute with Kay Armatage
However, her visual-art practice's popularity remained confined within Canada. Due to the political climate in the United States, Wieland returned to Toronto in She believed that she couldn't make art anymore in America due to its ideological orientation. Her film The Far Shore had "devastating appraisals and dismal box office receipts. In a retrospective of her work at the Art Gallery of Ontario presented a critical overview of both her visual art practice and her experimental films. Joyce Wieland was a central figure in Canadian art during the s and s.
Though, she began her career as a painter, her work came to explore a wide range of materials and media, including film. The s were an incredibly productive time for Wieland, as she responded to the contemporary artistic trends of Pop art and Conceptual art. Internationally, Wieland is best known as an experimental filmmaker whose work challenged and bridged boundaries among avant-garde film factions of her time.
Her works introduced physical manipulation of the filmstrip that inscribed an explicitly female craft tradition into her films while also playing with the facticity of photographed images. Wieland's output was small but received considerable attention in comparison to other female avant-garde filmmakers of her time. As both a gallery artist and a filmmaker, Wieland was able to cross over between those realms and to garner attention and support in both worlds. In the s, Joyce Wieland focused again on painting, though her representations of natural environments became less identifiably Canadian.
In , Wieland married filmmaker Michael Snow , whom she had met through her job at the animation studio.
Joyce Wieland's 'the Far Shore'
They remained married for over twenty years until their divorce in In , Wieland and Snow moved to New York where they lived until After she moved back to Toronto in , Wieland maintained a studio practice there until her death on June 27, from Alzheimer's disease. The main character, however, is not Tom, but the fictional creation of Eulalie de Chicoutimi, the married Qu?
Using Eulalie's perspective, Wieland was able to re-frame Thomson's life and story as a romantic melodrama while infusing it with subversive commentary on gender, nature and nationalism, and ultimately, on the value of art. Here, Wieland specialist Johanne Sloan offers a fascinating new perspective on The Far Shore , making it more accessible by discussing Wieland's utopian fusion of art and politics, the importance of landscape within Canadian culture, and the on-going struggle over the meaning of the natural environment.
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