Risa Horowitz


A Small and Quiet Winter Screen | Donna Szoke and Lisa Birke

An overwintering program of looping artworks, screened periodically from about sunset starting November 22 through spring 2022.
University of Regina campus, my studio window, visible from the plant conservatory and outdoor path to the Academic Green, between the Education and Riddell Centre buildings at ground level..



Week Nine - February 27...

Midst by Donna Szoke (2019)
Single channel HD video, 4-minute loop

White on White (revisited) by Lisa Birke (2013-2023)
HD video, 6-minutes loop

White on White (revisited)

In White on White we encounter a seemingly blank screen. Implied in the video capture of a snow storm - a 'white out'-is the blank canvas and reference to minimalist transcendental void. This is emotionally heightened by the unease of 'white-noise' and the mortality implicit in 'white-light'. The scene is disrupted by another symbol of purity: the bride. Intermittently she is seen sprinting through the drifting snow in a flowing white wedding gown, veil, and dainty open-toed shoes. The euphoria of the bride's flight is coupled with the obvious physical pain of the bride's plight. This reveals an ambiguous space - a space between beauty and terror, running to and running from.

Lisa Birke is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is a result of the collision of video, performance art, and installation. She is interested in the stories that we re-cite and re-brand and how these inform our conception of the world and the tragi-comic perception of ourselves. Recently, Birke has been exploring immersive multi-media approaches using special effects, AR, and 360 video. Her award-winning video work has seen more than 100 screenings and installations at film festivals, media centers and in galleries and museums internationally, including Vancouver International Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, International Short Film Week Regensburg, TIME is Love, and The New Museum of Networked Art and the Remai Modern. Birke is Assistant Professor of Digital and Extended Media and area chair of Digital and Integrated Practice in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Saskatchewan.



Issues of encroachment of cities into wild space raise questions of animal rights. Do animals 'own' the wild spaces that they depend upon for life and sustenance? Within systems of property rights through capitalism, animals have no land rights. How does the reality of the disposability of animals fit within the Canadian psyche, one in which "nature" predominates? This project springs from my desire to repopulate urban spaces with the animals that once would have proliferated. To brush up against animal encounters is an experience of majesty, intimacy, and humility. I hope this project inspires a sense of our deep interconnectedness with the forces of nature. How do we rethink what it is to be an animal beyond being another disposable body for the interests of advanced capitalism?

Donna Szoke's work revolves around immanence, encounter, and non-visual knowledge in moving images. Her practice includes video, animation, writing, installation, experimental collaboration, and drawing. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, she resided in Vancouver until becoming a studio art professor. She is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at Brock University on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, which is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement. She received the Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity in 2017.


A Small and Quiet Winter Screen is presented with the assistance of Visual Arts Technician Jesse Goddard, Theatre and Scene Shop Technician Mason Roth, Theatre Instructor William Hales, Theatre Wardrobe Technician Cathy Mearns, and Jeff Meldrum.

Updated July 2023 | Acknowledgements | Copyright ©1998-2023 Risa Horowitz