MONTREAL.- The Canadian Center for Architecture
(CCA) presents "Intermission: Films From a Heroic Future", an unprecedented exhibition of rare films shown in galleries that are transformed into cinematic screening rooms for the occasion. On view through February 28 2010, "Intermission" features a program of rarely seen experimental, scientific, and artistic films on speed and space from the archives of NASA, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM), the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and UbuWeb. Selected by specialised curators, the films explore the impact of velocity and technology on our past, present and future.
Functioning as an interval between the preceding and subsequent CCA exhibitions, "Intermission: Films From a Heroic Future" bridges the themes of "Speed Limits" (20 May to 8 November 2009) and "Other Space Odysseys: Greg Lynn, Michael Maltzan, and Alessandro Poli" (8 April to 6 September 2010). Marking the centenary of the foundation of the Italian Futurist movement, "Speed Limits" addressed the pivotal role played by speed in modern life, while "Other Space Odysseys" will examine historical and contemporary architectural projects related to space exploration, the idea of progress and the role of technology. Intermission surveys the evolving relationship between speed and space, from early reactions to new technology to nostalgic ideas of an unmechanised past. The films on view date from the 20th and 21st-centuries, and show speed and technology as heroic indicators of progress or harbingers of an uncertain future. Groundbreaking experimental and artistic films explore disruption and curiosity caused by an accelerating pace of life, or evoke wonder created by the moving image. Films on flight span the eras of the Wright brothers to the space shuttle, while fantastical projections of the future are accompanied by films that question the likelihood of life in outer space.
With "Intermission", the CCA explores the founding myths of contemporary life. These films question the vision of the future and raise issues in an experimental and innovative way. In recent years, the CCA has undertaken a number of projects addressing the question of limits the limits of visual perception in "Sense of the City", of post-war notions of progress in "1973: Sorry, Out of Gas", and of modernist urbanism and top-down planning in "Actions: What You Can Do With the City". These exhibitions all bring to light ideas that are shaping daily experience and expectations, commented CCA Director Mirko Zardini.
Selections from each archive are grouped by themes such as pace, rhythm, speed, flight, cosmonauts, and space, and are shown in the main screening gallery. Two additional galleries contain continuous projections: one featuring selections from the NFB and UbuWeb, and one devoted to rare footage from NASA. A final gallery serves as an archive room, where films are available for viewing at any time at nine personal stations to give visitors a more intimate experience and the opportunity to explore the depth of the archives at their own pace.