Site and Simulation, curated by ARIA DEAN | Toronto International Film Festival

Aria Dean, Abattoir U.S.A., 2023
Aria Dean, Abattoir, U.S.A.!, 2023

Site and Simulation, curated by ARIA DEAN

Toronto International Film Festival
Cinema 4 - Paul & Leah Atkinson Family Cinema
6:30 PM
Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Diego Marcon, Monelle, 2017
Rachel Rose, A Minute Ago, 2014
Aria Dean, Abattoir, U.S.A.!, 2023
Harun Farocki, Serious Games II: Three Dead, 2010
Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson, Mono Lake, 1968

This programme exhibits moving image works that explore the entanglement of sites and their simulations. Specifically, these films draw out the virtual dimensions of real sites, and the real dimensions of the virtual, often in order to pinpoint political and historical fissures in reality as we understand it.

While these films formally engage virtuality, illusion, simulation, and fiction in different ways, all share an interest in sites where the real, actual, and virtual play for the same team, so to speak. Rather than exploiting the virtual for its futurism, these works take a practical and critical approach to virtual models. Through this modelling, the artist may consider and play with a site and its contours, treating it as material and not simply as subject. What otherwise might simply be setting, architecture, or backdrop becomes a lively configuration of entities ― organic and inorganic ― to manipulate.

These films also scratch at the politics of the virtual double including and beyond the human subject ― beyond the relatively limited threat of deepfakes ― and into a generalized sense of unreality. Extending it into architecture and landscape, this sort of doubling throws the legitimacy of the real ― and of the way power is arranged in it ― into question.


Site and Simulation curated by Aria Dean is presented in partnership with The Vega Foundation, and coincides with Aria Dean: Abattoir, U.S.A.!, an exhibition on view at The Power Plant, Toronto, through January 7, 2024.

For more information, please visit the TIFF website.


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