Urban Geography


Video installation of variable dimensions, 7 monitors, 27 minute video tape, 6 colour photographs.

Installation vidéo de dimensions variables, 7 moniteurs,  bande vidéo de 27 minutes, 6 photographies en couleur.

The single channel video can be played on up to seven monitors, each one displaying a different moment in the narrative. The video depicts the meanderings of a visiting film location scout and her driver around Vancouver and its suburbs.

Installation at the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery at UBC in the 2017 exhibition Melancholy Bay.

Installation in exhibition titled The Backlot, at the Belkin Satellite, Vancouver, in 2007.

Originally part of an installation consisting of seven monitors with variable timing arrangements, Anne Ramsden's Urban Geography (1990) uses fragmented yet connected stories to explore the relationships between the characters, their "stories" and their surroundings.

Shot on video, the work follows a character named Dorothy, a fictional producer, as she arrives in Vancouver and scouts for locations around the city. She is joined by another character, Michele, a driver who has been assigned to accompany her on this venture.

Dorothy's search for locations is ambiguously defined. Perhaps driven by mysterious, unformed memories of vague emotions, she is drawn from one site to antoher throughout the city. There are moments of boredom and banality - for instance, passing the countless ordinary storefront awnings as they drive down East Hastings in the rain, but these moments are delivered within a splintered structure and narrative, creating a sense of detachment between the viewer, the character and the narrative. This is revelaed in Michele's detachment from Dorothy's process when she (Michele) comments that "[We] went to the unlikeliest place... It all seemed uite disconnected to me."

Through the experience of location scouting and discussing Dorothy's script, the characters in Urban Geography attempt to initiate relationshiops between themselves and their surroundings, but the results are both troubling and unsettling.

Sophie Brodowitch
Referring to exhibition The Backlot