Inspired by the helplessness of being stuck on a hamster wheel, this series chronicles one’s inner dialogue. Losing It explores the journey of trying to confront your demons after listening to them tell you lies all day long. For the artist, this includes trying out all the self-help tricks in the book with the hope that a light can someday be found at the end of the tunnel. This series was created to find an outlet and a means of articulating the artist’s mental health struggles with room for some humor in the despair.
Boozie is an independent, self-taught artist based in Toronto. She finds inspiration in everyday moments. Her artwork primarily focuses on her experiences as a woman. Being drawn to portraits, many of her works reflect everyday women in different personas.
Artist website: instagram.com/artbyboozie
Keywords: Anxiety | BIPOC Experience | Family | OCD
This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.
The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto.
October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.
EXHIBITION OPENING & ARTISTS TALK
October 29, 1-4 PM, Talk at 2:30 PM
After the opening reception, engage with the artists of kind renderings as they delve into their work and practice.
Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM
On October 28th at Rendezvous With Madness enjoy an in person screening of the film Les Prières De Delphine/ Delphine’s Prayers directed by Rosine Mbakam. The event features a post-film talk with the director.
Les Prières De Delphine/ Delphine’s Prayers is a brutal and intimate portrait by Rosine Mbakam, a Cameroonian filmmaker based in Belgium who introduces us to her friend and compatriot Delphine, a young Cameroonian girl who after the death of her mother and the abandonment of her father’s parental responsibilities, was raped at the age of 13. She engages with sex work to support herself and her daughter and ends up marrying a Belgian man who is three times her age, hoping to find a better life in Europe. Seven years later, the European dream has faded and her situation has only gotten worse. Delphine, like others, is part of a generation of young African women crushed by patriarchal societies and left with Western sexual colonization as the only means of survival. Winner of the IndieLisboa Award for best film, Les prières de Delphine is a candid story of courage and strength in the face of racism, misogyny and poverty.
For accessibility Les Prières De Delphine | Delphine’s Prayers is also available online via Workman Arts & Cinesend from October 27th to November 6th 2022
Keywords: Domestic Violence | Racism | Family | Generational Trauma | Colonialism
Rendezvous With Madness is pleased to present the Canadian premiere of the documentary film Eat Your Cat Fish directed by Adam Isenberg, Noah Amir Arjomand, Senem Tüzen available for streaming across Canada from October 27th to November 6th
Years with ALS have left Kathryn paralyzed and needing 24-hour care. With her mind intact and having opted for mechanical breathing, she could live like this indefinitely. But the situation has embittered and alienated her husband, Said, and proved too much for many nurses and aides. Her grown son Noah, who lives with Kathryn and Said in their New York City apartment, struggles to balance his academic obligations with those he feels he has to his mother. Kathryn often falls into despair, but she has been holding on to see her daughter’s wedding day.
This project draws on 930 hours of footage filmed with a fixed camera from Kathryn’s point of view, without any crew present. The result is a profoundly intimate, layered and wryly funny portrait of a family at its breaking point.
Keywords: ALS | Disability | Family | Chronic Illness | Mental Health
Rendezvous With Madness is pleased to present the fabulous fiction film Mi Vacío Y Yo / My Emptiness And I directed by Adrián Silvestre available for streaming across Canada from October 27th to November 6th. With the film, there is a prerecorded talk about the film with the d moderated by Anna Daliza to enjoy.
“Raphi, young and naive, enjoys writing love poems and dreams about falling in love. She leaves her native France and moves to Barcelona, where she works in a call centre. She struggles with maintaining relationships with boys and what it means to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. As a trans woman, Raphi feels the pressure to define and defend herself to anyone who asks but also deals with the social pressures to move forward with irreversible reassignment surgery. Even among her trans support group, Raphi receives mixed messages about needing to love herself exactly as she is … or instead, change her body in order for someone to love her in return. The brutal dating scene is no help as she’s matched with men who see her as more of a sexual novelty than a human being searching for love and connection. Wading through serious doubts and an array of intimate encounters of varying pleasure, Raphi must learn to trust herself and her newfound opportunity of the arts as a means of healing and empowerment. Raw, honest, and thought-provoking, Mi vacío y yo is an intensely intimate journey of self-discovery and acceptance.” —Cleveland International Film Festival
Anna Daliza is an emerging writer, artist and educator, was born in Southwestern Ontario to an Anglo-Canadian father and a Lebanese immigrant mother. She describes her cultural upbringing as a marriage between oil and water.
The Spiral | María Silvia Esteve | 2022 | Argentina | Spanish with English subtitles
The Spiral is a dive into a lonely ride, an hypnotic escalation towards childhood, family, and the loneliness of “home”.
Keywords: Dating | Gender Dysphoria | Family | Anxiety | Youth
Genre: Fiction (Feature) Fiction (Short)
Rozalind MacPhail / 2022 / English / Canada / 60 minutes
A special live music and cinema event featuring Newfoundland’s award-winning performer Rozalind MacPhail. DON’T LET ME FALL TOO FAR tells a timeless story of self-discovery experienced by a young woman navigating her way through a vulnerable period in her life.
MacPhail’s live music score features moody vocals, electrifying flute loops and driving electronics reminiscent of Pink Floyd, Mazzy Star and New Order.
Raven Blue’s film HOMELESS tells a timeless story of self-discovery experienced by a young woman navigating her way through a vulnerable period in her life. Haunting, lonely, dreamy and deeply honest. The film adapts the Indigenous tradition of the vision quest and explores themes of attachment, loss and longing. Filmed in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Newfoundland’s award-winning songwriter, looping flutologist and inspirational speaker explores new ways of combining image, inspiration and sound in audio-visual works that speak honestly of people, place and the human experience. A classically trained flutist, MacPhail layers moody vocals, electrifying flute loops, omnichord and driving electronics through her effects pedals and the digital audio workstation, Ableton Live. MacPhail has received multiple honours and awards, including an East Coast Music Award for Electronic Recording of the Year and MusicNL‘s Female Artist of the Year. She has recorded 12 albums, composed music for film and toured internationally over the last two decades.
Rosa Laborde / 2021 / English / Canada
On the anniversary of their mother’s death, three sisters are hurtled back in time when their estranged father shows up with a note stating he has Alzheimer’s. Roy hasn’t seen his daughters Anita, Cece and Marie, in years and it’s a visit that is not entirely welcome. But the present Roy is quite unlike the father they remember. This Roy is affable, sensitive, funny, emotional and loving – in total contrast to the unpredictable, often drunk and abusive father of their memories. As they open to the possibility of having him in their lives they are continuously jarred by the sudden trips into the past they are forced into due to his neurological condition. Marie’s husband, Franco, a former professional musician and all-around dilettante, expounds particle theory while playing Mozart and posits the possibility that restructuring their fractured memories could alter the future from that point forward. What follows is a rapid-fire ride through past and present that illuminates the unreliable nature of memory and how the stories we hang onto define us until the moment we let them go. Inspired by King Lear, memory loss in an aging father, the cost of speaking one’s truth, the devastation addiction can wreak on a family, Ikebana flower arranging, piano prodigies and the multiverse theory known as Daughter Universes, the play explores the possibility that rewriting our memories can alter the past and ergo change the future. It is a playful, poignant and piercing look into the nature of memory.
Michelle Melles / 2021 / English / Canada / 77 mins / World Premiere
What does it mean to be normal in a world gone mad? That’s the question at the heart of writer-director Michelle Melles’ poignant documentary, Drunk on Too Much Life. The film strives to change how people perceive those with mental health issues, framing their conditions as potentially insightful gifts rather than burdensome disorders.
Drunk on Too Much Life focuses on Melles’ daughter, Corrina, a young woman who experiences intense and sometimes painful emotional and psychic states. Corrina describes herself as “being trapped inside her own mind games.” Now, after years of doctors, medications and mental health facility check-ins, her family starts exploring healing methods outside of standard biomedical models. These holistic methods positively impact Corrina, reflecting the healing power of art, creativity and meaningful human connection.
SCREENING WITH SOUND GARDEN
Jeamin Cha | 2019 | South Korea | 30 min | Korean with English subtitles
Sound Garden alternates between scenes of large trees being transported and interviews with South Korean female
mental health workers who reflect on counselling’s ambivalence and complexity. The film highlights
the discrepancy between these cultivated trees, designed to thrive in urban surroundings, and the
human spirit, shaped and affected by our modern values and evolving social environments.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: PANEL DISCUSSION
Join director Michelle Melles and family members Corinna and Kevin virtually as they share their
thoughts on this personal documentary. They’ll be joined by others and will delve into different
ways Canadian mental health programs and health care succeeds and fails to accommodate and
support young people in their healing.
How can we create our own architectures of liberation? How we cared (3-channel video installation) is a return to Pandi Kumaraswamy’s archives, reinterpreting the multiple systems of care in his life, over which he had varying levels of autonomy. This expanded schematic of forced care, natural forms of care and creative care. The three sites operate within a fluid and undetermined ecosystem spanning the healthcare/medical world to the spiritual/natural based on family experiences. The schematic attempts to move away from finite solutions to healing medically diagnosed disorders. It prompts viewers to take a step back from conventional architectural practices that use speculative methods to conjure up imaginary built environments for those receiving mental health care.
Saroja Ponnambalam is an Ontario-based filmmaker. Her art practice involves working with a variety of documentary mediums – animation, photographs, family video archives and interviews. Her more recent work explores intergenerational mental health experiences through an intersectional lens.
Rupali Morzaria is a designer and film programmer currently based in Tiohti:áke/ Montreal. She is moved by storytelling and movement—in film, dance, and advertising—and uses design as a way to indulge in this fascination. Her work is based in traditional forms of print media and finding new forms of expression within contemporary media arts.
IN-PERSON VIDEO INSTALLATION
CAMH (ground floor window)
1025 Queen Street West
Oct 28 – Nov 7
This piece has an audio component that will need to be accessed through a personal mobile/cellular device onsite. If data is unavailable, access to Wi-Fi is available upon request.
Headphones/earphones are also recommended to bring to experience this installation, though not necessary if mobile/cellular device has a speaker. Workman Arts will have extra headphones available onsite upon request.
If accessing this in-person installation is a barrier and to find out alternate ways to experience this piece, please contact Paulina Wiszowata at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 416-583-4339 ext 6.
WORKSHOP – MOCA PARTNERSHIP:
FROM SCRAPBOOK TO SCREEN
Sun, Nov 7, 1 PM ET
Join artist Saroja Ponnambalam for a virtual workshop that responds to MOCA’s GTA21 exhibition.
Made with funding support from Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council
Through the voices of various artists, this web-based experience explores the relationship between mental health, language, and lineage. Many awareness campaigns urge us to “break the silence”. But the question of whether – or how – to speak is complicated. Mental health discourses are shaped by particular histories, which reverberate in the present. By juxtaposing multiple perspectives, Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue aims to expand the possibilities for how we communicate about madness, trauma, and neurodivergence. The content is offered in the form of audio files, transcripts, and ASL videos.
The process for Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue began when artist Veronique West invited seven collaborators to make audio recordings in response to open-ended questions about mental health, language and lineage. The collaborators were: mia susan amir, Kagan Goh, Maya Jones, Constantin Lozitsky, Jivesh Parasram, Kendra Place, and Manuel Axel Strain. A digital platform was developed to host the recordings, through collaboration between the Cultch Digital Storytelling Team, Sound Designer David Mesiha, Inclusive Designer JD Derbyshire, Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty, Deaf Interpreter Ladan Sahraei, Production Coordinator Brian Postalian and Veronique West. Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue was first presented at the 2021 rEvolver Festival.
Consultants: Amy Amantea, June Fukumura, Simran Gill, and MariFer Rios.
For a full list of the Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue team’s biographies, please follow the link below:
COLLABORATOR ARTISTS TALK
Recording available online Oct 28 – Nov 7
For Artist Talk:
ASL and Closed Captions
For work in exhibition:
ASL, Transcripts, Audio Playback
Brief references to colonization, war, genocide, child abuse, suicide, and psychiatric hospitalization. Detailed description of ableism, depression, mania, trauma, and a parent’s incarceration. The content does not play automatically and can be paused or skipped.
Digital Platform Realization by: The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team
Developed at Playwrights Theatre Centre as part of the Associates program.
The project has also been supported by:
Upintheair Theatre’s rEvolver Festival
The National Theatre School of Canada’s Art Apart initiative
The parallel in-person performance has been supported by:
the Canada Council for the Arts
the BC Arts Council
the Province of British Columbia
Playwrights Theatre Centre
Progress Lab 1422
Boca del Lupo and Rice & Beans Theatre’s DBLSPK series
Mentorship with Boca del Lupo’s Artistic Director Sherry J. Yoon
Universal Limited’s Horizontal Help program
The Arts Club Theatre Company’s LEAP Playwriting Intensive
The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts
Jessica Earnshaw / 2020 / English / USA / 105 mins / Canadian Premiere
Filmed over the course of three years, this documentary begins at the Maine Correctional Center where Jacinta, 26, and her mother Rosemary, 46, are incarcerated together, both recovering from drug addictions. As a child, Jacinta became entangled in her mother’s world of drugs and crime and has followed her in and out of the system since she was a teenager. This time, as Jacinta is released from prison, she hopes to maintain her sobriety and reconnect with her own daughter, Caylynn, 10, who lives with her paternal grandparents. Despite her desire to rebuild her life for her daughter, Jacinta continually struggles against the forces that first led to her addiction. With unparalleled access and a gripping vérité approach, director Jessica Earnshaw paints a deeply intimate portrait of mothers and daughters and the effects of trauma over generations.
SCREENING WITH VERY PRESENT
Conor McNally | 2020 | Canada | 5 min | English
How does prolonged confinement shape our experience of time? Filmmaker Conor McNally explores the question in the company of his brother Riley, a young man who’s learning to cope with a new—yet strangely familiar—reality.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A with Jessica Earnshaw