Maybe the John Waters quote is too much. Maybe school is a bad idea. In my application to the Master’s in Fine Arts, I search for the right words to describe my work and myself. I want to sound academic and serious while trying to remain authentic. I enquired about taking an evening class at Concordia weeks earlier, and ended up in a meeting with the graduate program director at Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Marielle Nitoslawska. She warns me that I will study with the fine artists in the Master’s, but I like the idea. I consider my work artsy, but it’s also punk, this seems to please her. Now faced with the writing, I try to justify my punk film with a quote from a man that was kicked out of art school.

Flavie Chonière [1]“Noor, in her thirties, behind her espresso machine, hunched over the Fantasia program. After work, she writes and directs experimental shorts. She studied industrial design.” Flavie Chonière, … Continue reading

I recognize myself instantly in my ex-coworker, my friend and author Flavie’s three-sentence descriptions arabized as Noor, which means light. I also put “experimental filmmaker” on my tinder profile, like most under 140 characters one liners, that could mean many things. To the informed, I’m a “surrealist cineaste”. To fine-art academics, I am a “multimedia artist focused on moving images synchronized to sound that play in the space between figurative and abstraction with stylized, saturated, camp, visceral and psychedelic results”. It’s not as snappy.

In the last four years of not getting kicked out of art school, something strange happened: a global pandemic. The plague slammed the brakes on my plans and meddled in everything that followed. The following website was constructed in the event that I would not be able to present my work in person. It became an opportunity to break from making and reflect on what had been made so far. 

The website is divided in three main blocks: 

  • We hunt my research questions in “I’m Sorry, What Was The Question?” (±2800 words). I locate my artistic practice and the major influences, both artistic and theoretical.
  • Creative Research” is an assembly of research-creation projects with short reflections which shape as much as they answer the questions (±5000 words divided in smaller chunks). I estimate that if you click on every little video link you might have an hour of work cut in chunks of under a minute to ten minutes, please save yourself the trouble. The website is designed as a digital gallery where you can see things as an animated .gif to give an overview, if you want to watch the full length you can click to see the videos. If you insist on a recommendation, the writing of Antidote seems to be favoured and Dirty Talk is a fleshed, but quick viewing. As you go fly over the works, you can see the evolution and accumulation of work over the four years. I dip into my methodology, how I do things and why this is how I do things. 
  • The culminating manifestation thesis film is “Masticating Whorl”. (±2100 words). The 13-minute loop is not on this website, but visible in Concordia’s Fine Arts building, 1395 René-Lévesque Blvd W, Montreal, Quebec  H3G 2M5, June 14th to 17th 2022, from 2 pm to 6 pm. 

Ok. J’commence à catcher là. [2] Okay. I’m starting to get it now.

Said Ode after the first few films.

It was my thirtieth birthday when we made tacos and watched every film I ever made. A retrospective for four close friends. It took a few films for Ode to catch on to my through line and adjust her mindset. I continue my search for words to describe this through line, but less to justify it and not the right words, because the right ones don’t exist.


1 “Noor, in her thirties, behind her espresso machine, hunched over the Fantasia program. After work, she writes and directs experimental shorts. She studied industrial design.” Flavie Chonière, Fibres, p.11, Éditions Tête Première, Montréal, 2021.
2 Okay. I’m starting to get it now.