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‘A vital hub’: Concordia’s Visual Collections Repository officially launches

The integrated media space will facilitate innovative fine arts research and new research-creation initiatives
September 11, 2018
By Andy Murdoch


How might we imagine a space that not only has one of the largest slide collections in Canada, but also contains a massive moving image archive featuring more than 39,000 titles? What if that place were to also include one of the few collections documenting Canadian women artists?

Concordia students and faculty need not dream any longer now that the newly renovated Visual Collections Repository (VCR) is officially open.

After a year of construction, the new VCR space on the third floor of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV Building) has combined two former fine arts facilities. The Moving Image Resource Centre (MIRC) and the Digital Image and Slide Collection (DISC) are now a single state-of-the-art space.

Altogether, the VCR contains a powerful engine for faculty and student research in the Faculty of Fine Arts, as well as a golden opportunity for visiting researchers.

“When we conceived of this project as part of our strategic speculations nearly three years ago, we envisioned a federated space,” says Rebecca Duclos, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts.

“We wanted it to showcase our incredible collections, facilitate research, bring in visiting researchers and become a vital hub to host events, lectures and residencies. The VCR does all that and I am thrilled with this beautiful new space on campus.”


Diverse collections and rare media equipment

The VCR contains five new viewing stations, a mini-cinema and many pieces of rare media equipment to provide access to work with the diverse collections. There is also a seminar room available for faculty and students, as well as a newly outfitted student work area.

“This new space is ideal for supporting research and research-creation initiatives at Concordia. It enables us to expand our collections into new media and allows us to capture the future of the visual arts in the Faculty of Fine Arts,” says Pamela Caussy, supervisor of the VCR.

The official launch will take place September 13 from 2 to 5 p.m. in EV 7.345. VCR artists-in-residence Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley — who work under the moniker Leisure — will present a slide show, and resident curator Ezra Winton will oversee the viewing stations. Snacks and beverages will be provided.


To celebrate its launch, the VCR team highlights five rarities in their newly merged collections

  1. Metropolis (1926) | Colourized restoration (1985) | LaserDisc
    World-renowned producer and composer Giorgio Moroder (Flashdance) captured the essence of Fritz Lang’s legendary futuristic masterpiece, Metropolis, in this brilliant recreation of the 1926 silent film classic. Using his award-winning musical expertise, Moroder composed an electrifying soundtrack to match the film’s visionary style. The music includes performances by pop rock artists Pat Benatar, Freddie Mercury, Loverboy, Adam Ant and more.

  2. Towards the Year 2000: Can We Survive the Future? (1973) | Sound slide set | 35mm slides and tape cassette
    This two-part series presented the positive and negative effects of technology on human progress. The Centre for Humanities in White Plains, New York, distributed this sound slide set as an audiovisual instructional teaching aid.

  3. Images of Man 2: The Decisive Moment (1973) | Sound Slide Set | 35mm slides, tape cassette and teaching guide
    Photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson narrated the audio guide for this rare box set of 35mm slides of his own work. The collection belongs to an audiovisual library series produced in collaboration with Scholastic Magazines, which includes other photojournalists such as Bruce Davidson, Robert Capa, W. Eugene Smith and Don McCullin (also available in the slide library collection).

  4. Jean Renoir Films 1924-1939 (120 slides from film) (1969) | Slide collection | 35mm slides
    Grove Press distributed this collection of 120 35mm slides featuring images from 23 of Jean Renoir’s films made between 1924 and 1939. Issued as part of a series by L'Avant-Scène Cinéma magazine, the set includes slides of Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game.

  5. 3D Rarities (2015) | Film | Blu-ray
    This is a collection of 22 ultra-rare and stunningly restored 3D films from the 3-D Film Archive presented by Flicker Alley. All the films are available in 3D format at the VCR.

Beginning September 13, visit
Concordia’s relaunched Visual Collections Repository.

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