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Luc Bourdon

About the artist | Video clips | Printer friendly

Video still from <b>Touei</b> by Luc Bourdon

Luc Bourdon, Touei, (1985), 4:24 min.

Video still from <b>The Story of Feniks and Abdullah</b> by Luc Bourdon

Luc Bourdon, The Story of Feniks and Abdullah, (1988), 5:39 min. excerpt from the 18:00 min. original

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About these works

Touei (1985)
Distributed by Vidéographe.

Webster Lake, summer 1984, in late afternoon. A naked baby smiles as he plays; a young couple quietly relaxes. Behind them, the surface of a lake shimmers. Almost motionless, behind a window, the woman touches her stomach. From the water emerges the head of the child. The woman sighs twice. The dream dims as the lake becomes quiet. The couple remains still; the child looks at them and smiles. Touei, as translated from a Chinese trigram of the I Ching, signifies the serene, the joyous, the lake. The video features an original soundtrack by Jean Décarie. (adapted English translation from Vidéographe online catalogue)

Gentle and intimate, Touei recalls a private moment of memory for Bourdon, touching and elegiac. Touei was a prizewinner at New York's Experimental Film and Video Festival (1985).

The Story of Feniks and Abdullah (1988)
Distributed by Vidéographe.

This video-poem was adapted from A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes and traces a man's actions as he awaits his lover in an unfamiliar city.
To pass the time, he visits the Botanical Gardens and the zoo, lingers over coffee, and wanders through Chinatown. He becomes a tourist, but everything around him seems unreal and only reminds him again of his forced wait. "I'm waiting for you in places where you don't want to go. I love you where you don't exist."

Bourdon presents Vancouver as a city ideal for waiting, for longing, with its rippled ponds and distant mountains, sublime light and delicate air at the edge of the continent, made for introspection and a green silence. The city is both welcoming and foreign. These unspoken thoughts are printed letter by letter onscreen as his camera drifts and speculates, thoughtful and responsive to landscape and passersby. Finally, The Story of Feniks and Abdullah is a poignant letter for an unnamed woman, a letter-in-a-bottle seeking its intended harbour.

Produced for the Artist in Residence Program at The Western Front artist-run centre in Vancouver, The Story of Feniks and Abdullah was named Best Video Drama at the 12th Atlanta Film and Video Festival, and awarded the Alcan Prize for best video at the 17th Montreal International Festival of New Cinema and Video. It also won an award in the Video Letter Exchange at the 11th Tokyo Video Festival and an honourable mention in the New Vision category at San Francisco International Film Festival's Golden Gate Awards Competition.

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