Good Citizen: Betty Baker

Good Citizen: Betty Baker

Dempsey and Millan have created films and videos that reconceive pre-existing performance pieces, that are ancillary components of performance projects and that are stand-alone single-channel works.

Film and Videography

2014     Vigilance Super 8 Film. 3 min. A woman is impassive as she is dragged through a field, considering the implications of violent images of women in motion pictures. Commissioned by 8Fest, Toronto

2009     Endangered Species Lesbian National Parks and Services Public Service Announcements in the style of Hinterland's "who's Who?". Video. 6 min. Commissioned by Pride Toronto.

2008     Super Video. 2 min. Commissioned  by Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art. A reworking of the Wonder Woman opening sequence from 1970s television... a new superhero kicks butt!

2007     Consideration Liberation Army Five-part video. 12 min. The Summer of Thought was unleashed upon the citizens of Winnipeg in 2007. For three steamy months, Consideration Liberation Army agitated for unbridled thought and thoughtfulness. These insurgents communicated to the world via a website (, graffiti, and video communiqués. The leadership of the movement has since gone underground, but the video missives remain and the revolution continues.

2003      Archaeology and You Video. 6 min. Five part site-specific installation and single channel versions. Nominated for Canadian Museum Association Award. Archaeology and You manipulates shards of narrative into a meditation on the construction of self and culture through language. It juxtaposes historical theory with ever-timely questions such as “What do we have to say?” and “Why do we bother writing it down?” The tape was commissioned by the Royal Ontario Museum for exhibition alongside statuary in the Galleries of the Ancient World. Millan’s vulnerable, human presence was inserted into a colonnade of idealized Greek beauty and a history that focuses upon the chronicles of war.

2002     Lesbian National Parks and Services: A Force of Nature Video. 24 min. This mock-u-mentary follows the intrepid Lesbian Rangers through Jr. Lesbian Ranger training camp, research missions, deep-sea rescue, and field work around the globe. Premiered at the Sydney (Australia) Gay/Lesbian Film Festival.

2000     Calamity Video. 4:40 min. Commissioned by Ottawa Gay/Lesbian Film Festival. The Wild West heroine Calamity Jane roams through time. Excluded from history, she revels in lore. “I dreamed it better. I dreamed it big.” North American Western mythology is subverted, celebrating an alternative outsider position. Featuring a scratched and mixed score by contemporary audio artist Michelle Irving.

2000     Peril!  Video. 8 min. A silent video (accompanied by Marilyn Lerner on piano) featuring amazing feats of dare-deviltry which metaphorically map the territory of women's lives.

1998     Homogeneity Video. 3 min. 1998. Funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation. Suburban architecture is used to critique gay culture’s desire to conform with the mainstream. Shot on Super 8 film while in residence at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Centre, Buffalo, NY.

1996     Good Citizen:  Betty Baker Film. 27 min.1996. Winner of 1999 Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association Blizzard Award for Best Short Drama. This cliffhanger is full of unexpected twists and suspenseful endings. It features Betty, a civic-minded housewife who inhabits a 2-dimensional, 1950s-inspired world replete with narrow-minded peril. All costumes in this romp are giant paper doll dresses, attached to the actors’ highly structured 1950s underwear, and all sets are edged with pop-art, 2-D facing. Betty satirically examines the rise of the New Right.

1995     A Day in The Life of A Bull Dyke Video. 10 min. Winner of 1997 Blizzard Award for Best Experimental. Second prize at both the 1996 US Super 8 Film and Video Festival and the 1997 University of Oregon Gay/Lesbian Film Festival. From dawn to dusk we follow a bulldagger into skirmishes, drag, and the arms of a beautiful recruit. Both the public and the private lives of this “strange animal” are documented with the same mix of journalism and sensationalism found in the exposés that Bull-Dyke mocks. However, because we see the world through the eyes of the subject Sal, this fictionalized lesbian history is filled with all the joy, pain, and ambivalence each of us experiences. A companion to Dempsey and Millan's In The Life magazine.

1994     What Does A Lesbian Look Like?Video. 1 min. Produced by Much Music. Played in rotation on national TV (Much Music). Screened at the UNESCO conference on women in Beijing. A spoken word piece co-produced by Much Music, and aired on rotation in 1994-5, this short video exposes every myth about lesbians and reveals... they’re all true! Featuring the beautiful and talented lesbians of Montreal. Audio available on the Virgin Records CD Word Up

1993     Object/Subject of Desire Video. 5 min. Screened throughout India and Sri Lanka (as part of a touring video package organized by Opera. Other screenings include Carillo Gil Museum (Mexico City), Magnetic North touring exhibit, Walker Arts Centre (Minneapolis), the Museum of Modern Art (NYC). Purchased by The Canada Council Art Bank. An exploration into the contradictory (and oddly amusing) nature of wanting and being wanted.

1992     Medusa Raw Video. 10 min. Dempsey and Millan’s first video, a re-telling of the classical Medusa myth from the Medusa’s own perspective.

1990     We're Talking Vulva Film. 5 min. Co-producers and directors with Tracey Traeger. Part of Studio D's Five Feminist Minutes program. Winner of 1993 Blizzard Award for Best Music Video. Audience choice,1997 Sydney Gay/Lesbian Film Festival. Represented Canada at 3rd Istanbul Biennial, 1992. A gleeful wear-and-care manual for female genetailia.”


2015 WNDX Festival, Winnipeg; 2009 Kunst-und Theorieprojekte, Frankfurt; 2008 Galerie sans nom, Moncton; 2002 Inside/Out Director’s Series, Toronto; 1999 Making Scenes Gay/Lesbian Festival, Ottawa; 1998 Cornell Cinema, Ithaca; 1997 Image et Nation Gay/Lesbian Festival, Montreal; 1997 Out on Screen Gay/Lesbian Festival, Vancouver; 1996 YYZ Gallery, Toronto.