Video Rental Store Discussion

Suzanne Carte, Alison Creba, Benjamin Gianni
May 19, 2018. 3:00AM.

SAW Video Media Art Centre is very pleased to have hosted curator Suzanne Carte, member of the Under New Management collective, whose project Video Rental Store was in operation out of Knot project space. The store was comprised of over 200 rare DVD videos by artists and independent filmmakers who had submitted their work for inclusion in the store over its multiple iterations in different cities. Far from your typical store environment, Under New Management’s Video Rental Store is a non-commercial venture that has a unique rental policy of non-policy, and a pay-what-you-wish with what-you-wish program. Videos are returned by customers/viewers with non-monetary forms of payment that are in some way a reflection of their experience with the rented item. These payments are later mailed directly to the artists.

In the spirit of the store's system of exchange, which encourages reflection, negotiation and dialogue, Suzanne Carte will led an open group discussion about a range of topics that the Video Rental Store project seeks to explore through its intervention in the space of the gallery. Respondents in the conversation included Alison Creba, artist and MA student from Carleton University whose recent thesis work focuses on the demolition of Honest Eds, and Ben Gianni, Associate Professor in the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism whose research interests include housing and urban development.

 Following the discussion, a reception for the exhibition Video Rental Store took place, when regular business operations continued - artist videos could have been previewed in store, rented, returned and payed for.


Under New Management

Under New Management (UNM) is the curatorial team Suzanne Carte and Su-Ying Lee, a collective of cultural producers. With over fifteen years each in the art industry, Carte and Lee have launched UNM to channel their expertise and test the roles of the artist and curator with notions of audience, place and space. Operating as a mutable entity, UNM reinvents roles and shifts boundaries to inspire production and engagement. Hybridizing exhibition-based practices, we explore experiential methods to examine the relationship between art and its vast milieu.

Suzanne Carte

Suzanne Carte is an award-winning curator and cultural producer living in Toronto, Canada. She is currently the Assistant Curator at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) and works with a dynamic team to produce high quality exhibitions and public programs. Within her independent practice, she has curated exhibitions in public spaces, artist-run centres, and commercial and public art galleries including You Cannot Kill What Is Already Dead, Video Rental Store, All Systems Go!, Under New Management, MOTEL and Man’s Ruin. Previously, she held positions as outreach programmer for the Blackwood Gallery and the Art Gallery of Mississauga, and as professional development and public program coordinator at the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. Her critical writing has been published recently in the AGO’s A.I.R. publication for Meera Margaret Singh as well as in Magenta Magazine, Art Writ, and Huffington Post. Suzanne holds an MA in Contemporary Art History from Sotheby’s Art Institute in New York and a BFA from the University of Windsor, and she is a member of the 2017 Toronto Arts Council Leaders Lab.

Alison Creba

Working in academic, arts and trades contexts, Alison works to articulate the relationship between cultural and physical landscapesthrough interdisciplinary modes of expression. Alison is interested in the built form as evidence of social processes and intrigued by thechoreography of structures on multiple scales. In addition to a BA Hon in Contemporary Studies, Development Studies and Urban Designand a certificate in Advanced Woodworking, Alison has recently completed a Master's degree in the Heritage Conservation in the Schoolof Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University where her research explored the legacy of demolition waste and approaches to conservation through deconstruction processes.  Having worked in various contexts in arts programming and building maintenance, Alison is currently collaborating with the architecture/art collective and deconstruction specialists, Rotor, in Brussels, Belgium. 

Benjamin Gianni

Benjamin Gianni is an Associate Professor in the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University where he heads the Urbanism program. Mr. Gianni received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Arch. from Yale University.  He served as Director of the School of Architecture at Carleton University from 1992-2000 and Director of the School of Information Technology from 2003-2006. Professor Gianni’s research interests focus on the areas of housing and urban development.  Of particular interest is public housing constructed in the decades following WWII in Europe and North America, and its redevelopment from the 1990s onward.  He is currently finishing a book on pre-WWII suburbanization in Pittsburgh, comparing the form of automobile suburbs from the 1920s with the streetcar suburbs that preceded them.   His research also includes urbanization, suburbanization and a study of large-scale housing ensembles in contemporary China, questioning the legacy of modernism and its transposition to different cultural and temporal contexts.