Pretend Not To See Me, the art of Colette Urban

52 minutes & 47.5 minutes – HDCam / DVD-Colour-Stereo 2009

What does it mean to live on the edge of the country, but at the heart of art? This and other questions are explored in Pretend Not to See Me, a whimsical film about performance artist Colette Urban that reminds us to believe in ourselves.

Life and art intersect on a spectacular Newfoundland farm where visual artist Colette Urban mounts thirteen art performances in the fields and barns of her property. Resilient, determined, self aware and funny, Colette embraces the transformative power of art as she restages the significant art performances of her thirty-year career. With the camera as her audience she transforms the quotidian into a playful world of the imagination with elaborate costumes and idiosyncratic self invented rituals.  The film features the astonishing juxtaposition of Urban’s enigmatic art performances set against the rugged beauty of the Newfoundland landscape. She emerges as an empathetic, courageous and visionary character that has achieved artistic excellence through a focused and solitary journey. Urban takes her art out of the gallery and rediscovers it in the natural environment. The film documents the passion of an artist carving out her own distinctive place in the world. Pretend Not To See Me transports audiences to that place.  


Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival

St John’s International Women’s Film Festival

Reel Artist Film Festival, Toronto

Reel Artist Film Festival, Calgary

Ecofilms, Rhodos International  Films and Visual Art Fesitval

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Critical Acclaim

Nominated for Golden Sheaf