Christopher McNamara


Christopher McNamara (Canada) is an award-winning film and video artist who creates single-channel work, audiovisual installations, and live performances. He is a founding member of Media City Film Festival and former Artistic Director of Artcite Inc. His work has been featured in galleries, museums and festivals including, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Western Front (Vancouver), Kunst Werke (Berlin), Mercer Union (Toronto), Projection Gallery (UK), Ann Arbor Film Festival, Galerie B 312 (Montréal), the Khyber Art Centre (Halifax), Binz 39 (Zürich), and the Sherwell Art Centre (UK). In addition to his film & video practice, McNamara works with three distinct audio art collectives:  Thinkbox, Nospectacle and Noiseborder Ensemble. He has performed at international music festivals including, Mutek (Montréal), Spark (Minneapolis) and Detroit Electronic Music Festival. McNamara is a Lecturer IV in the Department of Film, Television, and Media at the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council grants, including a Chalmers Art Fellowship. He lives in Windsor, Ontario and Ann Arbor, Michigan.


ONLINE SCREENING DATES: December 2 – December 23, 2020

FILMS IN THIS PROGRAM: The Use of Movement, 16 min, 2009; There for a While and Then Gone, 11.5 min, 2018.

The Use of Movement, 16 min, 2009

The Use of Movement considers the formal edges of the frame and the way in which camera movement, whether slight or dramatic, is ascribed with meaning. A series of tableaux are played out—with foreign language voice-overs providing the only real narrative context. A sleepless woman is haunted by images she has watched on the internet; a man drives an ice cream truck down a barren street; a couple ride a motorscooter in the twilight; steam rises from manhole covers. Each scene is an incomplete narrative—and the monologues in Spanish, German, Bengali, and Italian only serve to provide a degree of abstraction to the sound treatment—distancing most of us from the more visceral aspects of the film form and creating occasional dissonances with what’s happening visually.

There for a While and Then Gone, 11.5 min, 2018

There For a While and Then Gone is a stereoscopic landscape and cityscape that chronicles the shifting realities of urban space. This film features long audio/visual takes of settings in Brighton, UK; Plymouth, UK; London, UK; Windsor, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Detroit, Michigan. In many cases, the shots seem to have the effect of functioning as “establishing shots”—suggesting that a story is about to unfold. But the viewer soon realizes that the story is inferred in the structure—and the narrative remains largely elusive.