Video maker, editor. Newfoundland-bred, Toronto-trained, Montreal-transplanted, Dennis Day is one of the leading lights of the OCAD pomo homo video movement. His sensibility is distinct, and it’s as an editor and collagist that he shines, enamoured of bright primary colours, pink pastiche and ‘ppropriation, sexy allegory, frontal performance, and the precise, technically flawless but non-gimmicky deployment of all those 1980s art video gimmicks. My favorite is Auto Biography (1994), a witty reconstruction of a Newfoundland queer coming of age, complete with swishy fashion struts chroma-keyed onto the runway of the local wharf. For all his playfulness Day has also been capable of profound emotion, as in his AIDS cycle, co-produced with Montreal dancer Ian Middleton and culminating in the elegiac, prize-winning Heaven or Montreal (1997). Finished four years after Middleton’s death from HIV, this tape features an austere and intense Middleton performance editorially paired with another older woman dancer and many conditional statements of intent (“If he had not died, we would have....). After a pause, Day returned in 2001 with the prizewinning This Narrative is Killing Me, a self-reflexive story of a gay vampire wandering and channel-surfing through history and mythologies. Day’s virtuoso editing was also behind the haute couture of John Greyson’s Un©ut, and contributed to the work of numerous other artists including Balass, Bociurkiw, Fernie, Fung, and Hoolboom.
Montreal , QC