Videograms of a Revolution

Radar: Videograms of a Revolution, ArtStars One Year Anniversary, 9 Parts of Desire, Dundas Street West Streetscape Walk, Solid Colour at Launch Projects

FILM | Videograms of a Revolution
When Romania's communist government collapsed in 1989, the entire revolution played out on television. Nicolai Ceaucescu's disastrous final public speech, trial at a kangaroo court, and even execution were all captured by cameras, and in the days afterward revolutionaires occupied state television stations and broadcast continuously for 120 hours, making the Romanian revolution the first in which television played a central role. In 1992 filmmakers Harun Farocki and Anrei Ujica collected over 125 hours of amateur and professional footage to create Videograms of a Revolution, a remarkable film that takes as its subject not only the fall of communism in Eastern Europe but the way in which history was produced in the late 20th century. The film screens at the ROM tonight, presented by the museum's Institute for Contemporary Culture to coincide with Dan Perjovschi's exhibition Late News, which is open until August 15.
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park West, $10, 7 pm

PARTY | ArtStars* One Year Anniversary
Toronto video art blog ArtStars* has had a pretty good year. They've interviewed luminaries like Douglas Coupland, Bruce LaBruce, and Peaches, crashed a swanky AGO party, and possibly even created a whole new genre of gonzo art criticism. Tonight they mark their first birthday with a bash at their informal headquarters in Kensington Market that they're framing as a battle between themselves and something called ArtSpeak*, which I can only assume they made up. Like all good birthday party hosts, they're giving away plenty of goodies to guests including a door prize of a Jackie Curtis biography and a chance to win some art from concrete cube collective CN Tower Liquidation. Hyper-talented local photographer, DJ, and sometime blogTO contributor Carl W. Hiendl will be spinning the tunes, and of course your master of ceremonies will be Miss ArtStar* herself, the bespectacled, befabulous Nadya Sayej.
Double Double Land, 209 Augusta Avenue, $5, 10 pm

THEATRE | 9 Parts of Desire
Like Vietnam before it, Iraq has become a shorthand word for intractable war. Tonight marks the Canadian premiere of a play that brings us stories of Iraqi lives that are bigger than the conflict, pulling Iraqi women from out of the shadow of war. Based on a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning historical fiction writer Geraldine Brooks, 9 Parts of Desire has already been an Off-Broadway hit, garnering high praise from the New York press for its humanizing portrayal of female society in the war-torn country. The play portrays Islamic women not simply as an oppressed class but as real people; sexy, intelligent, and defiant. The Toronto production is mounted by socially-conscious theatre company Seventh Stage Productions. Runs til Sunday.
The Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen Street West, $25 evenings, $20 matinees, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8 pm, Thursday 12 pm, Sunday 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees 2 pm

COMMUNITY | Dundas Street West Streetscape Walk
Play urban planner for a day at this City-organized stroll down Dundas. The stretch of Dundas Street between Bathurst and University is getting a much-needed makeover in 2011, with City Hall hoping to turn the rundown thoroughfare into a tourist-friendly neighbourhood while preserving the historic character of Kensington Market, Chinatown, and the Grange. Exactly how they plan to do that is as yet unclear however, and officials are inviting community members to get involved with a series of consultations open to the public. Today they host a walk through of the area to get some local feedback on how best to redesign the street and sidewalks to optimize the space.
North-West Corner of Dundas and University, Free with RSVP, 5 pm

GALLERY | Solid Colour at Launch Projects
Toronto's newest abstract art collective Solid Colour is made up of four artists with differing styles but who share a passion for painting things that aren't other things. Karen Taylor, Bill Phillipovich, Ben Stansfield, and Kate Taylor are influenced by everything from comic books to Thom Yorke to Wassily Kandinsky, but the most striking aspect of their creations is their fearless use of bold colour. While they've all exhibited separately in Toronto this is their first group show in the city. Runs til May 30.
Launch Projects, 404 Adelaide Street West, Reception Saturday 2 pm - 4 pm, Gallery hours Wednesday to Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

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Photo: "mary mary where ya hiding?" by Half my Dad's age, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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