Francisca Duran

Francisca Duran is an experimental media artist based in Toronto, Canada. Born in Santiago, Chile in 1967, Duran came to Canada as a refugee following the 1973 military coup that ousted elected president Salvador Allende. This event – the experience of exile and its reckoning – is integral to her artistic practice. Duran’s moving image work takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues through the aperture of the archive, both familial and public. Combining digital and analogue media, her work explores the intersection points of memory, history, politics and technology. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous film festivals, and group screenings, including HotDocs, DOK Leipzig, London International Film Festival, Images Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and the John Hansard Gallery and Ben Russell Gallery. Her practice has been supported by research and production grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

Duran holds an MFA in Film Production from York University (Toronto, Canada) and a BAH from Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada), and continues her professional development at artist-run centres such as the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) and Gallery 44 (Toronto). In addition to her art practice, Duran has worked as a graphic designer, as adjunct university and college faculty, and as an arts administrator. Since 1991, she has been involved with a number of artist-run cultural organizations including Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society in Vancouver, LIFT and Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC).  

"She arrived in Canada on the first plane of refugees after the CIA-backed assassination of Chile’s democratically elected Salvador Allende. This primal wound and displacement lies at the heart of Duran’s making, whether it means lifting a camera to see a rainy street, a mountain or the face of her young boy as if she’d never seen before, or taking aim at the dictator who ruled Chile in the years of her maturity. Roughly speaking, her work may be divided into three central areas of interest, the first is an extension of the home movie, looking at the birth of her first born, or her own childhood. The second looks at Chile under the rule of Pinochet’s dictatorship. While the third is more broadly interested in questions of the archive and historical records and technologies. Hegel wrote: History is what man does with death. But there is a last flicker before the end, call it magic hour, the epitaph, the closing song, and the fragile beauty of this passing draws this artist toward it again and again.”

"Even if my hands were full of truths” 
A first Toronto Retrospective of Films by Francisca Duran

Screening at CineCycle, Toronto, Canada; co-presented by Colectivo Toronto.