Keynote 3: Janine Marchessault and Monika Kin Gagnon, "The Missing Archive of Expo67 / In Search of Expo67"

Saturday, November 4
10:45 AM–12:00 PM

Location: Council Room, King's College London

Speaker/performer: Janine Marchessault, Monika Kin Gagnon

Film: Expo67 film
Lecture: Keynote lecture
Days: Saturday, 4 November

Janine Marchessault (York): The Missing Archive of Expo67 

Finding the missing films of Expo 67 involved many people, public and personal archives. The research took on the character of the novelistic -- each interview opening up into a constellation of relationships that would reveal other relationships and pieces of the puzzle. This talk will discuss three reasons why the Expo 67 archive does not exist: 1) in July 1967, a devastating nitrate fire broke out in a storage facility near Montreìal under the care of the National Film Board destroying films produced in Canada from the beginnings of cinema to 1950; 2) the inability to handle new media (especially multiscreen films); 3) a new feeling of immediacy that was the zeitgeist of Expo -- McLuhan's fair---meaning that there was no thought to preserve elements of the fair (especially media/film). The results of this is the development of an "anarchive": the unofficial Expo 67 archive with 1.7M assets on the internet. 

 Monika Kin Gagnon (Concordia): In Search of Expo67

To mark Expo67's 50th anniversary, the Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal hosted In Search of Expo 67 in summer 2017, a major exhibition of newly commissioned works by nineteen contemporary Canadian artists. I will discuss and illustrate the exhibition and its grounding in the ongoing archival research of CINEMAexpo67, exploring the most innovative, experimental and provocative dimensions of the original event, and its artistic and socio-political context. Among the key themes explored by artists are national consciousness and identity building; the media experimentation of expanded cinemas; the futuristic gaze and utopias of the 1960s; the fervour and creativity of Expo67; the history of the site and its current condition; as well as the architecture and exhibitions of some of its most innovative pavilions. The exhibition was predicated on three layers of engagement: the production of new art works; the recreation of works dating from 1967 using new technologies; and the activation of archival material.