CFAT is an inclusive artist-run centre that supports artists who use video, audio, and electronic media to express ideas and stories that are under-represented in mainstream culture.
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2021-22 Media Arts Scholarship Exhibition "Unlike the hippopotamus, a bird"

Online: March 10-19 | In Person: April 20th-21st


We are very excited to be presenting this years Media Arts Scholars work in person and online. The online streaming component will go live March 10th -19th here:

We will also be holding rotating screenings in-person at Busstop Theatre on April 20th and the 21st. So come out to see some of the more sculptural works in person, view stuff on the big screen and see the amazing risograph programs designed and printed by our Exhibition Coordinator Riss Sean Cruz!!

"The hippopotamus and the oxpecker bird are in a mutualistic relationship. The hippopotamus likes to spend time with the oxpecker because they eat the pestering insects on their skin’s surface. The oxpecker likes to hang out with the hippopotamus to keep them fed, and enjoys the ease of life with their protection. The two offer each other something. In good friendship, in good care, and in good business.

Though, at times it can be complicated. The oxpecker has been known to dig at the flesh of the hippopotamus – a deliberate invitation for the oxpecker’s food source to embed into the incisions. In the wake of this action, the hippopotamus has weighed out its options, “maybe there are some prices to pay to be in this thing with the oxpecker”. Ultimately they continue on in their oppositional forms, a surprising and charming seismic and slight duo. Unlike the hippopotamus, a bird may not be able to live without it. But maybe it isn’t that simple. Perhaps there is a balance to this relationship, a give and take.

"Unlike the hippopotamus, a bird" may not be able to live without it. But maybe it isn’t that simple. Perhaps there is a balance to this relationship, a give and take.

In a variety of ways, the videos are guided by relationships and their complexities too: the familial, the ancestral, the professional, the romantic, the generational.

While all the pieces are strikingly different, there are meaningful exchanges that happen in these bodies of work. Collectively, there is a balancing act at play. The ordinary and the uncanny, the theatrical and the monotonous, the comedic and somber, the poetic and frank intertwine with one and other.

Over the past 8 months, artists Kit Holden-Ada, Violet Pask, Steph Rybczyn, Rebecca Wolfe, Rachel Bruch and Camille-Zoé Valcourt-Synnott have attended intensive workshops, mentorship and critiques that have led to the creation of six complex video works considering these connections and misalignments.

Like the hippopotamus and a bird, they are entangled into an intricate set of relations.The artists respond to these coilings, carefully and contemplative, defined by the weavings of technological representation."

- Riss Sean Cruz
Exhibition Coordinator

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