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On the Air

The Screen Girls

author
Gary Jarvis
illustration
Kim Pringle
photography
Jaqueline Manoukian

Christina Ghuman and Sarah Sangha met studying journalism, forming an alliance which has since flourished into a production company, a website and now a radio show on CiTR, all under the moniker of The Screen Girls. I met with Sarah and Christina on a wet and windy night in October at CiTR to find out more about their radio show and their passions for contemporary art.

WHAT WAS THE INITIAL REACTION WHEN YOU FIRST CAME TO CiTR WITH THE IDEA FOR THE SHOW?

Sarah: They’ve been so supportive, [especially] the programming manager, Robin Alam. It’s such an intimidating concept at first, the idea of going on the radio. But making the transition as radio hosts is probably one of the most liberating things we’ve done.
Christina: We wanted the show to be like when we have our conversations — very natural, fluid, exactly the way we talk when we’re in the car.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE CONTEMPORARY ART?

C: That’s what I love so much about it. Contemporary art is so broad. Music, rap, hip-hop, all that stuff. That’s all part of contemporary art, and some of the stuff we cover. Contemporary art is everything from fine art that’s more traditional like painting, sculpture, what people think of when they hear the term art. But then definitely it’s getting more into the digital art, and talking to a lot of graphic designers. Digital art is really exciting right now.
S: We love to explore the mediums of art that have cropped up in, say, the last 30 years. Hip hop totally falls under that. Yeah, digital art, and different ways of sculpture.
C: And they all influence each other, whether it’s fashion or music. So it’s fun to sit back and see where the trends will pop up, like Beyonce’s music video recreating a shot from an iconic painting, and us talking about that on the show. I think with my art background we’re able to pick up on those trends really quick and almost critique them to figure out what they mean.

HOW DO YOU TRANSLATE WHAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN INTO A RADIO SHOW?

C: Bit by bit. There’s Fuse, the Vancouver Art Gallery event that they do — we’ll go there, we’ll film it, we’ll talk about it on the show, we’ll recap it, and share some of the things that caught our attention while we were there, and we do that with different galleries around the city. Through all of this we found a really fun gallery in New West.
S: It’s called the New Media Gallery at the Anvil Centre. They had a display with over 4,000 balloons and they were black, so you just kind of walk in. First you’ve got all your feelings of claustrophobia. Just imagine the sounds of that as you’re moving through. It made for a really cool auditory experience.
C: At [NMG] during that exhibit they had four different art works. They had a film that played on repeat and you could just hear the sounds of balloons popping. We played the audio on-air of the popping balloons, us running through the balloons, and an interview with the curators. We gave our first-hand personal experience. It’s cool to be able to share that experience with the listeners who might not have been able to visit the gallery.

DOES SOUND ART COME INTO PART OF WHAT YOU DO?
C: It sounded like the ocean running through those balloons. Sarah was running through, and we did a bit of hide and seek in the balloons. It was all dark. You couldn’t see anything, and she was on one end and I was on the other end. She could hear my voice and she would get really close. I could tell that she was this close to me and I would be very still.
(Both Christina and Sarah giggle at the memory)
C: The sounds of it were insane.

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The Screen Girls airs Wednesday nights from 10-11pm. You can also listen to past interviews which they stream on Soundcloud, links at their website, thescreengirls.com. The website contains a wealth of information on contemporary art and emerging trends and is engaging reading.

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