Photo Residence at Centre SAGAMIE

I have the pleasure of once again being back in residence at Centre SAGAMIE, an artist-run centre specializing in supporting artists’ experimentation in digital print production.

The occasion that brings me there is Ghost Stories/ Histoires de fantômes/ Historias de Fantasmas, the second stage of a research & creation project that took place almost five years ago.

The brief capsule: In 2012, I visited Mexico for the first time. I was stationed in Real del Monte, a former mining community in the mountains, being one of a small group of participants in an interdisciplinary arts residence. My project saw me carrying out performative research, engaging principally in social transaction: spending time and taking time – to wander, listen, and discover. Personal exchanges and shared experiential encounters between people and a local landscape were the focal point of an extended and reflective investigation into the process of acclimatization: of how we come to understand a place, and feel some sense of “belonging” – of how “place” is indeed constructed. Through geopoetic meanderings, one-on-one encounters and performative collaborations, these explorations considered the many and varied ways of embodying transitional, liminal, “in-between” spaces (physical, emotional, and psychological).

While in residence, I studiously documented all aspects of my visit with the intention of developing an eventual series of images. I thought I would be depicting what I saw. But then I began capturing things that weren’t quite there. How to depict the imperceptible? Wishing to not name it specifically but instead to invoke via the residue of these encounters, these images will be the trace of a trace – the documentation of performative encounters now being mined to reveal this space between space, where what we see in front of our eyes might not tell the entire story, and where what we feel (beyond our five senses) might contain valuable information that our body imperceptibly receives.

…And so, with all this floating in the ether, working alongside technician extraordinaire Etienne Fortier (quite honestly, another collaborator in the creation process), over the next week I will play with fabrics, textures, and layers in an attempt to bring this vision to life as it moves toward the next manifestation: an exhibition of this performative work.

The First Yearlong Cycle of Doing Nothing Comes to an End

Watching the Apple Trees Lose Their Blossoms, May 2016, Photo by: Csenge Kolozsvári

The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred Presents:
Watching the Apple Trees Blossom (le début est la fin d’un cycle continu)
A project (for life) by Victoria Stanton

Sunday May 14, 2017

2pm to 3:30pm: collective non-action under the apple trees in Parc Atwater-St-Charles (corner of Thomas-Keefer and Saint-Patrick, south side of the Lachine Canal, 2 minutes by foot from Atwater Market)

4pm to 5:30pm: finissage at the DARE-DARE trailer

As part of DARE-DARE’s 2016-2017 cycle of programming, “La Société des Rendez-vous,” The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred proposed a yearlong residence in which I instigated publicly held “non-events”: collectively enacted moments of downtime in a variety of public locations, mainly around the South West of Montreal. Non-active (and largely invisible) actions were carried out alongside a program of curated dialogues (Talking About Nothing With…) in which artists, researchers, thinkers and practitioners of various disciplines – both within and outside of the arts – were invited to present their reflections in an open format around the idea of Doing Nothing. The ensemble of gatherings generated extensive discussions around the complexity of this quest: What does it even mean to “Do Nothing?” Is it a state of “pure being?” Or does it simply mean “not working?” (As in, “if I’m not working I’m doing nothing.”) Is it a form of resistance? Is it an assertion of Freedom? Is it necessary for our wellbeing? Doing Nothing is clearly paradoxical, and perhaps quite impossible to do. At the same time a general consensus repeatedly rose to the surface: that there is a need to carve out such spaces (and times) for deep pause within our personal lives and within our professional sectors – albeit that this is a very difficult thing to actually (or consistently) do. Sitting with the intricacies of these questions it has become clear that the affirmation of such (non)activity is an inherently political act; it challenges notions of productivity, what constitutes “failure” (and success) and reconsiders “non-productive” uses of time.

…And what about bringing this quest into an art context? The opportunity to embark on this slippery, if not contradictory task (that of Doing Nothing) within the frame of DARE-DARE’s mandate became an instance of prolonged embodied research into the more imperceptible areas of art-making and artistic process. Exploring the invisible, liminal spaces in art has been a long-standing preoccupation of mine, and The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred became an invaluable container, and occasion, within which to delve even more deeply into this fertile area of performative practice.

…And so…How to wrap up a project that I know needs to keep going? I feel like I’m left with as many questions as when I started. But this is encouraging; I think my questions got more interesting. And as all good things must come to an end, this finissage marks what I think of as one end – the completion of a first cycle. The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred began exactly a year ago, under the blossoming apple trees just as their bloom was in descent. We come back to the same spot, this time at the commencement of the blossom season, to mark new beginnings, and to celebrate a full year of… Nothing.

I will continue to enthusiastically insert this Nothing into my everyday, however; to see/accept/appreciate Nothing as Something and hold the space of Nothing in the company of others who wish to continue to accompany me in this quiet, open, sacred, and decidedly un-productive, lifelong project.

« Nous terminerons là où nous avons commencé; nous recommencerons là où nous allons terminer. »

Talking About Nothing With… Parlons de rien avec… Sylvie Tourangeau (Montreal)

Public Forum About Nothing Presents: Talking About Nothing With…

Sylvie Tourangeau, Temps libre, 2015, 3e impérial

Sylvie Tourangeau
April 26, 2017 from 5 to 7pm
/ 26 avril 2017 de 17h à 19h
La roulotte de DARE-DARE trailer
Intersection Atwater, Greene & Doré devant le marché / in front of the market

As part of the yearlong project, The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred, I am inviting artists, researchers, thinkers, and practitioners of various disciplines – both within and outside of the arts – to present their reflections in an open format around the question of Doing Nothing.

The fifth (and final) in the series is a presentation and collective action with Sylvie Tourangeau.

Revisiting her residence project titled Temps libre, that she carried out two years ago with the 3e impérial artist-run centre in Granby, QC, Sylvie is proposing a collective moment of Free Time.

She writes:
“What are the ways in which free time infiltrates our body? Free time: a notion… a sensation… a parallel universe… a practice… an SOS…

Rendez-vous for late afternoon, personalized – and collective – moment of free time at DARE-DARE, 5pm. Wear clothes that you’ll be comfortable in, inside or outside.”

Biography
Sylvie Tourangeau is considered a pioneer of performance art in Canada. Since 1978, her actions, collective workshops and individual coaching have actively created a space for the experimentation of a performative consciousness through minimal actions that enhance the quality of presence, support intensity and personify connections with the viewer. Performances, relational art, furtive practices and rituals of circumstance are her main areas of focus. She has also published artist books and more than sixty articles on a significant ensemble of performers. Currently, she is working with the TouVA collective (Anne Bérubé and Victoria Stanton) on a publication on the performative mode to appear in the fall of 2017.

**

Dans le cadre du projet L’édifiante secte de rien (n)’est sacré, qui se déroule sur un an, j’invite des artistes, chercheur.es et praticien.nes issu.es de diverses disciplines [artistiques ou extra-artistiques] à présenter leur réflexions durant une série de discussions informelles portant sur la question du rien faire. La formule est complètement ouverte, ce qui permet à chaque conférencier.ère de prévoir la manière dans laquelle il ou elle désire aborder le sujet et engager l’auditoire.

Le cinquième (et dernier) rendez-vous de la série est une présentation et action collective sur la notion du temps libre avec Sylvie Tourangeau.

Deux ans après une résidence d’artiste au 3e impérial à Granby (QC), Sylvie propose de revisiter le projet lors d’un moment collectif de Temps libre.

Sylvie écrit :
« De quelles façons le temps libre infiltre-t-il notre corps? Le temps libre : une notion… une sensation… un monde parallèle… une pratique… un S.O.S….

Rendez-vous pour un 5 à 7 pour un temps libre personnalisé et en collectif. Rendez-vous à la roulotte de DARE_DARE à 17:00. Merci de vous habiller en lien avec la température. »

Bio
Sylvie Tourangeau est considérée comme une pionnière de l’art performance au Canada. Depuis 1978, ses actions, ses ateliers collectifs et ses coachings individuels créent un espace actif d’expérimentation de la conscience performative à travers des actions minimales qui renchérissent la qualité de présence, soutiennent l’intensité et personnifient le lien avec le spectateur. Performances, art relationnel, pratiques furtives et rituels de circonstances sont des pratiques dans lesquelles elle s’investit. Elle a aussi publié des livres d’artistes et plus d’une soixantaine d’articles sur un ensemble important de performeur-es. Actuellement, elle prépare avec le collectif TouVA (Anne Bérubé et Victoria Stanton) une publication sur le mode performatif à paraître à l’automne 2017.

Moment. Of. Nothing.

As part of B-312’s annual collective fundraising exhibition, POUR L’ART, I will be proposing a performative experience. Moment. Of. Nothing. (Moment. De. Rien.) invites potential art-buyers to choose a moment of nothing among three possible options. One, two or three of the three performative experiences can be purchased, the resulting “product” being an accompanied moment together, out in the world, doing nothing. A walk, an interval in sitting, a pause while staring off into space are all on offer…

POUR L’ART, exposition bénéfice
Galerie B-312
372, Ste-Catherine, O, suite 403

Du 22 avril au 13 mai, 2017
vernissage le 22 avril, 2017 à 14h

– read more about the exhibition here –

Talking About Nothing With… Parlons de rien avec… Sarah Harwood (Montreal)

Public Forum About Nothing Presents: Talking About Nothing With…

sarah feldy space

Sarah Harwood
April 21, 2017 from 2 to 4pm

As part of the yearlong project, The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred, I am inviting artists, researchers, thinkers, and practitioners of various disciplines – both within and outside of the arts – to present their reflections in an open format around the question of Doing Nothing.

The fourth in the series is a hands-on lesson, followed by an open discussion, with Feldenkrais Method Practitioner, Sarah Harwood.

Feldenkrais is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Through this Method, you can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. These improvements will often generalize to enhance functioning in other aspects of your life.

Sarah writes:
“By moving slowly and deliberately in each class using everyday actions like looking up, reaching, turning, or bending as inspiration, we are given the opportunity to learn how we use ourselves. We experience how different parts of ourselves relate to each other and we can use this knowledge to inform a variety of movement options and thinking patterns that may have previously been unavailable to us. People of all fitness levels, abilities, sizes and genders are welcome to attend. The classes are verbally guided, and hands-on help is available for those who request it. Classes are usually conducted either on mats on the floor (which are provided) or seated in chairs. There is no stretching or strength training involved.”

Biography
Sarah Harwood is a Feldenkrais practitioner certified by the North American Feldenkrais Guild. She’s also completed the first two segments of a Somatic Experiencing (SE) training program. When she’s not teaching or practising Feldenkrais for herself, Sarah can be found doing graphic design and cooking up a storm. She’s a friendly, pragmatic, creative type who loves pen and ink drawing, reading about how humans work, and gardening. She was raised in tiny wilderness village in central British Columbia, and it’ll show if you ask her to build a fire or a drift-wood fort. She grew up with severe anxiety and hyper-sensitivity and is particularly interested in exploring how the Feldenkrais Method can help people mitigate the causes and symptoms of hyper-vigilance.

— Maximum 8 participants
— To reserve your spot please email your name and phone number to info@dare-dare.org
— Spots are limited so PLEASE, only register if you know you can really be there. THANKS!
— Address will be given when you have confirmed your participation the day before the lesson; email info@dare-dare.org by 3pm April 20
– read more about the Feldenkrais Method & Sarah’s work here –

Mile End Poets’ Festival Presents: A Short Presentation About Nothing

Winnie-the-Pooh On Nothing (from The House at Pooh Corner, with thanks to Louise Dubreuil)

As part of the Mile End Poets’ Festival, I’ll be giving a Short Presentation About Nothing. A kind of performative lecture bringing together bits & pieces of readings, reflections, actions (and non-actions) that all point to the very paradoxical and ever-so-stimulating notion of Doing Nothing. I’ll also be sharing the stage with two of Montreal’s finest poet/performers, Kaie Kellough and Tanya Evanson, along with musical act Skin Tone.

Where: Casa del popolo, 4873 St-Laurent
When: April 4, 2017; doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9pm
How much: $7

– read more about the festival here –

Talking About Nothing With… Parlons de rien avec… Carly Gaylor & Curtis Murphy (Hamilton)

Public Forum About Nothing Presents: Talking About Nothing With…

Curtis Murphy & Carly Gaylor
March 15, 2017 from 5 to 6:30pm
DARE-DARE trailer
Intersection Atwater, Greene & Doré in front of the Atwater market

As part of the yearlong project, The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred, I am inviting artists, researchers, thinkers, and practitioners of various disciplines – both within and outside of the arts – to present their reflections in an open format around the question of Doing Nothing.

The third in the series is a presentation, followed by an open discussion, with Hamilton-based Unitarian ministers Carly Gaylor and Curtis Murphy.

Carly and Curtis are currently exploring slowing down as a spiritual practice, making Sabbath a regular part of their lives, and are preparing to start a (slow) new ministry in Hamilton where they will practice doing money differently and having an answer to “how are you?” that is not “busy.” They’ll share experiences and ideas about Sabbath and taking things slow.

Presenters’ bio
Curtis is currently finishing his final year of seminary to become a Unitarian Universalist minister, and Carly was ordained in the same tradition in 2013. They enjoy yoga and meditation, subversive economics, tossing a frisbee, eating at the local all-day breakfast joint, and Star Trek.

**

Dans le cadre du projet L’édifiante secte de rien (n)’est sacré, qui se déroule sur un an, j’invite des artistes, chercheur.es et praticien.nes issu.es de diverses disciplines [artistiques ou extra-artistiques] à présenter leur réflexions durant une série de discussions informelles portant sur la question du rien faire. La formule est complètement ouverte, ce qui permet à chaque conférencier.ère de prévoir la manière dans laquelle il ou elle désire aborder le sujet et engager l’auditoire.

Le troisième rendez-vous de la série est une présentation, suivie d’une discussion ouverte, avec Carly Gaylor et Curtis Murphy, pasteurs de l’église unitarienne (Hamilton, Ontario).

Carly et Curtis explorent l’idée de ralentir comme une pratique spirituelle. En insérant le Sabbat de manière plus régulière dans leur quotidien, ils travaillent à mettre sur pied une nouvelle congrégation à Hamilton (ON), où ils souhaitent repenser le travail et essayer de trouver une autre réponse qu’«occupés» à la question : «Comment allez-vous» ? Dans le cadre de cette causerie, ils partageront leur expérience et réflexion autour du Sabbat et la notion de prendre la vie sans stress.

Bio des conférencier•ère•s
Curtis en est à sa dernière année de séminaire pour devenir un pasteur de l’église Unitarienne Universelle. Carly a été ordonnée dans la même confession en 2013. Ils aiment le yoga et la méditation, les économies subversives, jouer au frisbee, manger au resto-déjeuner du coin et regarder Star Trek.

-nothingissacred.ca-
-DARE-DARE-