Hogan’s Alley (1994) by Cornelia Wyngaarden and Andrea Fatona
Hogan’s Alley (1994) (32:00) (Vancouver, Canada)
by Cornelia Wyngaarden and Andrea Fatona
This video documents the previously unrecorded history of Vancouver’s Black community, specifically Hogan’s Alley, between 1930 and the late 1960s. The tape examines the lives of three Black women. Thelma Gibson is an African-Caribbean dance teacher who recalls the era with nostalgia. Pearl Brown is a well known local jazz singer who speaks about working in the chicken houses flanking Hogan’s Alley. Leah Curtis is a lesbian in her mid-forties, whose history as an abused child is interconnected with her experience as a child worker in the gambling houses of Papa White. The videotape investigates the identities of these women, as well as the identities of a disappeared community.
*Digitized from 3/4″
A well known cultural dissident and important voice of Canadian feminism, Cornelia Wyngaarden has been a pioneering force in the development and institutionalization of new media in Vancouver. Along with producing theoretically complex and formally compelling works of video and sculpture, Wyngaarden rallied, fought and forged for years at both Video In and Western Front to lay the ground rock on which much of the Vancouver’s media community flourished.
Andrea Fatona is an assistant professor in the Criticism and Curatorial program at OCAD University in Toronto. She was the former curator of contemporary art at the Ottawa Art Gallery, and has worked as the programme director at Video In, Vancouver, Co-Director of Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver, and Artistic Director of Artspace Gallery, Peterborough. Fatona is equally concerned with the pedagogical possibilities of art works produced by ‘other’ Canadians in articulating broader perspectives of Canadian identities. At its core, her curatorial practice is concerned with creating spaces of engagement – inside and outside of the gallery walls. Some examples of her curatorial projects are: Queer Collaborations (1993), Across Borders (1995/6), Cadboro Bay: Index to an Incomplete History (1999), The Attack of the Sandwich Men (2001), a national touring exhibition entitled, Reading the Image: Poetics of the Black Diaspora (2006-2008), Fibred Optics (2009-10), Will Work for Food (2011), and Land Marks (2013-14).