Greater Toronto Art 2024, March 22–July 28.

Robin Cameron

Near Future Recent Past

July 4, 2020
–July 17, 2020

Robin Cameron, Near Future Recent Past, video, 9′10″, 2016.

Near Future Recent Past (2016) is a split-screen video that juxtaposes archival film on the left with new footage shot by Cameron or downloaded from stock image websites on the right. The clips appear in rapid succession, following the cadence of a spoken script interspersing Cameron’s words with excerpts from writers such as Richard Brautigan, Joe Brainard, and Rebecca Solnit. The footage ranges in content with almost encyclopedic ambition, but frequently returns to symbols for time and its measurement: hourglasses, newspapers, calendars, a sundial, a watch. A doubling occurs. Cameron offers “signs” of time using time itself as her medium, the fixity of the former undercut by the ephemerality of the latter as the seconds of the video tick by.

Voice: Maia Ruth Lee
Audio Edit: Greg Teves
Drums: Booker Stardrum
Additional Audio Editing: Shane O’Connell
Additional Cinematography: Wilson Cameron

Recommended Age: Grade 8 and up

  • How does this work make you feel?
  • The passage of time is a prevalent theme throughout the piece.
    • What are some of the symbols, objects, and scenes shown in the film that represent time?
    • Has living through the COVID-19 situation made you consider time and its passage in a different way? How so
  • Why do you think Cameron chose to show clips of archival footage on the left beside newer footage on the right? How does this split screen format add to your understanding of the work?
  • If you could ask the artist a question about the piece, what would you like to know?

Past Shift Key Programmes

A still from Cecilia Vicuña "Paracas" (1983)
Cecilia Vicuña
A Still from Cauleen Smith "Pilgrim" (2017)
Cauleen Smith
Mona Hatoum
Aura Satz
Preemptive Listening (Part 1: The Fork in the Road)