“A Day in the Life” with Toronto Filmmaker Thirza Cuthand

Thirza Jean Cuthand was born in Regina and grew up in Saskatoon. Since 1995, she has been making short experimental narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, youth, love, and race which have screened in festivals internationally.

The familiar razor-sharp wit and DIY diarist aesthetic abound in the imagineNATIVE Artist Spotlight on Thirza. The selection is drawn from Thirza’s prolific video art practice. Released over the past 20 years, the featured works present Cuthand’s voice and body prominently as both subject and object while taking up with and scrutinizing themes of queer Indigenous identity, madness, kink and colonialism.

-written by Ariel Smith

"A Day in the Life" with Toronto Filmmaker Thirza Cuthand
I’ve been going to Toronto Newsgirls Boxing for a few years, but this year it got shut down because of COVID. There were some classes in a nearby park tho.
"A Day in the Life" with Toronto Filmmaker Thirza Cuthand
My dog Posey and I came across this graffiti phallus while on one of our walks. I had to get a photo of her next to it.
"A Day in the Life" with Toronto Filmmaker Thirza Cuthand
This graffiti is on a bridge crossing the Don Valley. I love seeing Indigenous representation in my neighbourhood.
"A Day in the Life" with Toronto Filmmaker Thirza Cuthand
Marty Fink took this ussie photo and is one of my friends I’ve been having physically distanced yet socially close visits with. It’s keeping me sane, plus we were eating these great apple turnovers from Absolute Bakery that I am addicted to.
"A Day in the Life" with Toronto Filmmaker Thirza Cuthand
My dog Little Mister needs to get groomed four times a year, he’s also 15 and very rickety and I had to try carrying him to Diggity Dog Grooming in my bag.
I like taking photos of cheeky things around my neighbourhood. I saw this joyful nipply mannequin on Parliament Street this summer and it made me smile, she is having the time of her life!
I like taking photos of cheeky things around my neighbourhood. I saw this joyful nipply mannequin on Parliament Street this summer and it made me smile, she is having the time of her life!
This house has really striking lighting, and when I did research on it I found out it's called the Witch House!
This house has really striking lighting, and when I did research on it I found out it’s called the Witch House!
I've had so many zoom meetings this year. Sometimes I start one and no one shows up.
I’ve had so many zoom meetings this year. Sometimes I start one and no one shows up.

Which Toronto neighbourhood do you live in?

I live in Cabbagetown.

What do you do for your artistic practice?

I am a filmmaker, video artist, performance artist, and writer.

What are you currently working on?

I am in post production on a short film called kwêskosîw (she whistles) which is about a nêhiyaw woman who gets abducted by a cab driver in Saskatchewan and has to harness a supernatural power. It’s based on a feature film currently in development called Evil Fire, which is about an Indigenous woman who has powers of pyrokinesis and kicks serious ass.

Where can we find your work?

I have a blog on my website thirzacuthand.com which is really an informal place for me to vent and whine. I also have a Vimeo account but most newer work is password protected. I can also be found in the collection at Vtape.

 

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1975 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography