See more performance pics on my flickr page.
The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred, May 2016 – May 2017
At the invitation of Montreal artist-run centre DARE-DARE, and as part of their current cycle of programming, “La Société des Rendez-vous” I have embarked on what I realize is going to be a particularly challenging task: Doing Nothing (paradox intended). The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred unfolds as a yearlong endeavour in which I propose a space and extended moment of… Nothing. An opportunity for rest. While I could really use this downtime (and am convinced that if I’m feeling this way most likely many others are too), I also see the affirmation of such an activity as an inherently political act; it challenges notions of productivity, what constitutes “failure” (and success) and reconsiders “non-productive” uses of time. This is my dream project. And so from May 2016 to May 2017 (and possibly on through for the rest of life, if I am lucky), at regular intervals and in various configurations, I will not only attempt to consciously Do Nothing, but sit with the complexity of that question. I will enthusiastically insert this Nothing into my everyday, to see/accept/appreciate Nothing as Something and hold the space of Nothing in the company of others who wish to accompany me in this quiet, open, sacred, and decidedly un-productive project. Nothing as a proposal for the Potential in Everything. Visit the project blog here.
What the Interval Tastes Like, ORANGE – Triennial of Contemporary Art About Food, September 2015
For its 5th edition, ORANGE (LES VISCÉRAUX), a recurring arts event in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec that functions like a living laboratory to explore issues related to art and the agri-food industry, decided to create a dedicated performance residency program, of which I was a part. Within the same trajectory as my ongoing “Relationships in Residence” (see entry below), and my continued explorations of our individual relationships to food, I proposed accompanying willing participants (residents of Saint-Hyacinthe) on their grocery shopping excursions as well as offering these same participants the possibility of cooking their favourite meal in their own kitchens. I had the privilege of meeting with complete strangers who invited me into their personal, intimate space (whether indoors or out) to share a meal together. In this circumstance, food became a transactional object through which these encounters could take place. In the aftermath of the project, I realized, however, that food was in fact a kind of ruse. This was really a project about hospitality, about receiving and being received. And how we each have our own very distinct way of receiving (and giving). Working alongside three other artists (Céline Boucher, Éric Ladouceur and Arkadi Lavoie-Lachapelle) the residence was curated by Sylvie Tourangeau and culminated in a final performance during the opening of ORANGE in September, 2015. A round table discussion followed the opening, during which time I discussed the notion of food as transactional object within participatory performance actions.
The Listening Sessions, 2013-present
The listening session is an occasion to get together and spend quality time listening to music. The joy that I have known in this process is something that I have always appreciated sharing with others and I am curious to explore how this kind of non-verbal engaging can potentially create connection, even a kind of intimacy, among acquaintances, but especially among ‘strangers’. As music is so very evocative of other times/places and emotions, the experience of the music/listening, in an intentioned, quiet and focused setting, creates a particular zone of ‘communion.’ In this performance the audience is invited to bring a song of their choice which is played off mp3 players in a round-robin dj session. I sit with the audience and we stare at a blank wall, while listening to music together. Participants are invited to say something about the song they’ve selected (if they choose to) which turns into a second stage of presentation: performances of memory through spontaneous storytelling.
The Listening Sessions Performance History
- May 2015: Titled, The MTL Listening Sessions (#3) – MTL sessions d’écoute, presented as part of Centre des arts actuels SKOL performance programming in Montreal, QC.
- April 2015: Titled, The T.O. Listening Sessions (#1) – The ‘Drop In Session’, presented during the open house, RECESS at Artscape Youngplace in Toronto, ON.
- January 2015: Titled, The MTL Listening Sessions (#2) – The Birthday Edition, presented as part of The Link & Pin performance art series at RATS 9 in Montreal, QC.
- December 2014: Titled, The MTL Listening Sessions (#1), presented presented as part of The Link & Pin performance art series at RATS 9 in Montreal, QC.
- June 2013: Titled, The Mobile Listening Sessions, presented during The Works Art & Design Festival at Sir Winston Churchill Square in Edmonton, AB.
Relationships in Residence, 2010-present
This entry acknowledges the processes inherent, and hiding in the wings, of each residence I’ve been doing since 2010. Experimenting with “transactional performance” for some time, my recent experiences in residence have provided precious spaces within which to keep exploring an intentional embodying of “in-between” space. No matter what the final outcome is: whether photo, film, writing, drawing – or even a performance before an audience, the crux of this work is in the very encounters that take place between myself and another. Negotiating interaction in spontaneous encounters that don’t provide guaranteed outcomes. Meeting people and being fully present and available to the meeting. I realized how difficult it is to qualify or quantify such an invisible trajectory. How do you measure the experience? Where is the expertise? The art frame provides an invaluable context and a container within which to carry out this research – an extremely important, and delicate process of personalized social engagement. The joy comes from being able to push past the top layer of surface, to get to something that produces a profoundly consequential exchange. Something that can only happen through time – through having the luxury of time. Time spent doing. Time spent being. Time spent repeating. Being in a quotidian situation, over time, in a place with others. Being in residence. When time allows for the creation and repetition of a routine, the prospect of meaningful contact that is mutually exchanged and acknowledged becomes possible. Whether these are organically occurring routines, such as buying groceries, or consciously constructed encounters, such as inviting specific people to walk with me and share their stories of place. See more images of Relationships in Residence on my flickr page.
Cake Feeding Performance History
- November 2008: Titled, Eat How You Feel, presented during the annual Poetry Gabriola festival, on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. I wore the dress – to great effect – and for the first time, worked with cupcakes. Each cake had a little message pinned to it with a tooth pick. Afterward the eating parade, the “audience” went around reading their messages like the found poetry of a corps exquis.
- September 2008: Titled, Mange tes sentiments, presented during the annual Infr’Action performance festival in Sète, France (without the dress). A lovely fruity cake was served quite early in the morning to passersby in a fresh food market on the street.
- July 2008: Titled, Mange tes sentiments / Eat How You Feel, presented during the annual FIMA festival, in Montreal, QC. (without the dress). This time around, the 16″ x 20″ cake was cut into 2 x 2 pieces, each piece displaying a title, much like a “fortune” found in the centre of a Chinese fortune cookie (except on the outside, where guests could deliberately pick their message).
- August 2006: Titled, Eat How You Feel, presented during the annual Overload Festival, in Melbourne, Australia (without the dress).
- September 2005: Titled, Let Them Eat My Graduation Certificate, as part of the Concordia University 3rd Annual Juried Fine Arts Alumni Exhibition, Montreal, QC. In Let Them Eat My Graduation Certificate the cake (as indicated in the title) was a facsimile of my BFA diploma.
- February 2004: Titled, Ikh Gib Dir Eppes Tzu Essen – I Give You Something To Eat, as part of the Rethinking the Body, Self and Subject in Performance Conference, hosted by Columbia University in New York City.
- January 2004: Titled, Let Them Eat Cake, as part of the internationally web-cast event, Art’s Birthday held at Studio XX in Montreal, QC.
- June 2002: Titled, Evidence II, during the InterAzioni festival in Sardinia, Italy.
- March 2002: Titled, Evidence, during the Festival Voix d’Amériques in Montreal, QC.
- November 2001: Titled, (If) not for me, (if) not for you at Grunt Gallery as part of Live: The Vancouver Performance Art Biennale in Vancouver, BC.