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A Film by Eva Kolcze Captures the Fragility of the Bluffs

Toronto artist Eva Kolcze uses 16mm film and aerial drone footage to reveal the geological and colonial narratives embedded in this iconic landscape

By Sara Cunningham
Photography by Eva Kolcze

Dust Cycles, a film installation by Toronto filmmaker Eva Kolcze screening at Surface Tension (Jan 18 – Mar 3), a group exhibition launching during this year’s DesignTO festival, begins peacefully enough. Lapping water, glistening sand and wind-swept grasses caress the craggy base of the Scarborough Bluffs, one of the only geological records of the Last Ice Age on earth. Captured on 16mm film, these images resemble old family video; but there’s a sea change halfway through the film that shakes one’s nostalgia.

Film still courtesy of the artist.

From one visual cycle to the next, the sun-bleached footage taken from the shore is replaced by dizzying aerial views of the cliffs. Kolcze then reveals a white house, likely built during a 1940s-housing boom, slowly sliding off an eroded precipice. Ripped open on one side, the dwelling’s dollhouse-like insides, including a bathtub squeezed into a small lavatory, are fully exposed to the elements. In only ten minutes, the film manages to convey the ancient majesty, and terrifying fragility, of a natural environment and community literally on the brink of collapse.

Dust Cycles is screening at Artport Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, at the DesignTO exhibition, Surface Tension, from January 18 to March 3. 

Categories: DL Dispatch

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