Now Open: Greater Toronto Art 2024, March 22–July 28.

Sara Cwynar

Scroll 1

April 25, 2020
–May 8, 2020

Sara Cwynar, Scroll 1, 2020, digital video, 21′35″, looped.

Scroll 1 conveys an endless circling of objects, images, and value signifiers, and the way the same images (and bodies) get used again and again—whether it’s a pop star’s body, a reclining nude in a classical painting, or a model on an E-commerce site. This video, filmed over a long set built in the studio, features several extended backward and forward-moving scrolls over a stream of art reproductions and commercial objects, moving in a way similar to an Instagram or Facebook feed, sometimes with myself inserted into the shot. The film occasionally zooms in and focuses on a longer image – a woman posing on a floral backdrop, the pop star Christina Aguilera, or a shot of a worker in a pantyhose factory in Italy. The work tries to convey a sense of the equalizing quality of our current media world, the way it washes over us, occasionally punctuated by a longer more meaningful or more urgent message.

Thanks to Sara for sharing her work. Courtesy of the artist, Cooper Cole, Toronto and The Approach, London where these films and more by Sara can be viewed in her current exhibition, which is now online.

Sara Cwynar’s work Red Film, 2018 was included in the MOCA exhibition Age of You (fall 2019). Red Film can be viewed until April 30 on the website of The Approach, London.

Recommended Age: Grade 7 and up

  • Cwynar presents hundreds of objects and images on a seemingly endless assembled collage, filmed from above.
    • What are some of the objects and images that you see? What do they have in common? 
    • Are there any items or images that you think would make fitting additions to the assembled collage shown? What would they be and why?
  • Cwynar chooses to feature some colours prominently – specifically reds, pinks, and purples – yet in contrast she herself wears blue in the film.
    • Why do you think she chose to use these colours?
    • Do the colours make you feel a certain way?
  • 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)