Boris: Portrait of an Artist…

Film Block: O       Cinema:  LAB 2        Date:  03.03.18              Time: 11.30-12.40 PM

Boris: Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man

Director: Matus Racek

Country: Canada / Switzerland

Runtime: 28 mins

Genre: Documentary / Senior


In this collaboration between three generations of Vansiers, Swiss painter Boris Vansier (90) reflects on his seventy-plus years of daily artistic practice in a series of interviews with his granddaughter, the unseen interviewer and producer, Natalie Vansier.

Between flashes of his some fifteen hundred paintings, Boris’ comments raise broader questions about how we view artists and the fruits of their labours. What tired categorizations about art continue to be rehashed today despite being outmoded? What value do we assign a professional artist versus an amateur one? What is the importance of the cult ‘originality’ in art historical discourse? How tenable is the entrenched distinction between modern and contemporary art? And finally – who and what is an artist?

We may never truly grasp an artwork nor understand the artist behind it, but this thoughtful and inspiring commentary, illustrated with the rich themes, sentiments and textures in Boris’ body of work, leads the audience to surmise that perhaps that one knows a person best through a direct experience of their work.

Rated: 18




 Matus Racek is a filmmaker, photographer and videographer born in Slovakia and living in Montreal. His primary body of work is an ongoing analogue video project of shorts, comedic advertisements and music videos that he has filmed and released, through his own 5443 Productions, on a nearly weekly basis for many years. These videos, posted solely through his own personal Facebook and Vimeo account, garnered so much attention online that a selection were exhibited at the notable Parisian Laundry gallery, as well as being featured in numerous festivals including the Druid Underground Film Festival (NY, 2016), the D E E P public screenings at Videology (Brooklyn, NY, 2016), and the M60 festival in Montreal (2012, 2013).

In 2012, Matus co-created the critically acclaimed local web-series, Parc Avenue Tonight, a neighbourhood, DIY take on a late-night talk show. He served as the D.O.P, editor and graphic designer for the 16-episode series, which culminated in a live televised one-hour special of the show for CBC’s Absolutely Quebec (2013). In 2015, he co-created Article, a 30-episode web-series featuring interviews with contemporary artists, produced by the contemporary art centre, Arsenal Montreal. Matus was the videographer and editor of the vlog, as well as creating the graphic design and music.

In 2016, he travelled across Asia and Central America gathering footage for upcoming projects slated for television, as well as beginning work on his seminal project, an augmented reality anthology of his 5443 series of videos, photos and writings.