The (Being) One Thing at a Time photo series came out of an interest in responding specifically to a selection of public sites across the island of Montreal. Initiated in 2003, and carried out until 2008, artists and non-artists alike were invited to join me in creating contemporary living tableaux through the performance of meditative, physical actions that would subtly impress upon the urban landscape and surrounding architecture. Proposing to open up a dialogue between the body and the spaces it traverses, I attempted to impose slightly transgressive, collective actions – bewildering (or questionable) gestures in unexpected, or just plain banal places. Due to a widespread enthusiasm for a few of these interventions, some ended up being re-enacted in additional locations both within Montreal and across Canada.
The resulting images have become the capsules for, and traces of, momentarily activated – and at times even politicized – public spaces. As such, the ensemble of pictures that have emerged from the performance series make up a narrative across time and space that re-creates and reconsiders various elements of each of the performances. Captions appearing along with these images provide another contextualizing frame for the viewer to virtually re-visit the performances that took place in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and St-John’s.
This project is a true collaboration. As such, I would like to thank: the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for their support; photographers SB Edwards, Aaron McKenzie Fraser, Martin Savoie, Phil Chee, Mike Hickey and David Jhave Johnston for their documentation; the 100+ participants for making the performances possible, and the Centre SAGAMIE (in particular Technician Extraordinaire Etienne Fortin) for providing the opportunity to produce these prints.
The TouVA Collective (Sylvie Tourangeau, Victoria Stanton and Anne Bérubé) will present a short, performative action on the evening of the vernissage (Jan. 21).