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Joyce Wieland: Rat Life and Diet in North America

January 24, 2015 - May 3, 2015

AWE Gallery

Joyce Wieland, Rat Life and Diet in North America, 1968, 16 minutes; originally made in 16 mm film

Acclaimed Canadian artist Joyce Wieland began making experimental films in the 1960s, exploring themes of Canadian identity, ecology and politics. While living in New York, she made Rat Life and Diet in North America (1968) at the height of the Vietnam War. The film’s protagonists are pet gerbils who Wieland frames as political prisoners who escape their feline oppressors and go over the border into Canada, where they take up cooperative farming only to find their dream of a new life shattered when Canada is invaded by Americans.

As a Canadian artist sometimes living and working in the USA, Wieland’s exposure to the politics of both nations gave her a unique vantage point of the power relations at stake in the hegemonic position of the USA in the postwar global economy.

Joyce Wieland’s film Rat Life and Diet in North America has been relocated to the Valiant Corporation Suite on the AGW’s 3rd floor and continues through May 3 Should a previously-planned event be running in the Valiant Suite during the time of your visit, the film will resume again shortly afterwards for your enjoyment.

In this exhibit

Joyce Wieland, Rat Life and Diet in North America, 1968, 16 minutes; originally made in 16 mm film

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