Spoken House by Otiose

FADO is pleased to present Spoken House, a new work by the British performance duo otiose, as part of the Public Spaces / Private Places series.

Spoken House is part of an ongoing series of works by the artists which examine various aspects of household space. Over three days, the artists will hold public conversations with everyone who visits this constructed space, beginning with a spoken description of the fictional Southfork ranch of the television series Dallas. With each description, Southfork will be remodelled into a private space built up from the recollections and desires of each ‘house guest.’ Visitors on the fourth day will find a text/audio archive documenting the results of the three-day performance project.


On November 1 & 2, spoken house inhabited the following fictional, historical and actual homes:
The Southfork ranch from Dallas.
Seinfeld’s apartment.
The family residence of the Brady Bunch.
The living room of All In The Family.
The home of the Simpsons.
The shared apartment in Friends.
The house occupied by Norman Bates in Psycho.
A shared bedroom in New York.
A house lived in by an old Estonian lady in London.
A shared flat in Finland.
An 18th century Chinese house.
Military barracks housing in Canada.
Cooperative housing in Toronto.
Mary Tyler Moore’s apartment.

Presented in the context the 3rd 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival with travel support from The British Council Canada.

<< Public Web >> by Tagny Duff

FADO is pleased to present << Public Web >>, a new performance project by Tagny Duff, as part of the Public Spaces / Private Places series.

<< Public Web >> is a performance provocation and interactive audio tour that places the audience in the role of performer and explorer. Wearing portable headphones and guided by the transmitted voice of the artist, participants will tour various destinations in the downtown core. A sculptural apparatus will connect a group of up to ten participants together for an intimate journey exploring various physical and virtual entry points into the space between the public and private.

<< Public Web >> is an interactive tour based on the model of constructive hypertext, offering the possibility for the audience/participant to create, change and recover particular encounters with the developing body of knowledge. Participants are given the opportunity to navigate through the city landscape while co-authoring a performance experience.

Wearing headsets with mics, individuals in the tour group communicate via a single channel radio transmitter. The tour group is held together by an apparatus consisting of nylon straps and plastic snaps allowing for participants to detach from the group at any moment, if they so choose. Performative gestures and conversations are undertaken by the group that in turn prompt the tour to navigate through one site to the next, resulting in a unique narrative/experience for every tour.

The artist’s voice offers the participants a variety of destination points and actions to be selected by the tour group. The artist follows the group unseen, wearing camouflaged radio surveillance gear. Ultimately, the tension between the artist’s ability to remote control the tour and the group’s decision-making ability (or inability) exposes the subtle complexities and agencies of influence inherent in the notions of “navigation,” “consensus” and “interactivity.”


<< Public Web >>¬†is an interactive tour that navigates through downtown Toronto. The performance tour is designed as a constructive hypertext model, offering the possibility for the audience/participant to create, change and recover particular encounters with a developing body of knowledge. In¬†<< Public Web >>¬†participants are given the opportunity to navigate through the city landscape while co-authoring a performance experience. This performance questions both the limitations and possibilities of “interactive” navigation in the physical realm. Some other questions raised are: is consensus an effective model of decision making when groups are presented with multiple “options” for action, how is our experience and perception of the city and the body changed by utilizing a constructive model of navigation, and finally, how does the apparatus affect and transform the behaviour of the individual, the group and the incidental audience?

Thanks to Jen Small, Paul Couillard, FADO, Tim and Peter, The Scadding Community Cafe, 7a*11d, Samantha and Elyps, volunteers and participants.


Image © Otiose, Passage, 1999. Photo by Paul Couillard.

Ailith Roberts and John Dummett, known collectively as otiose, are rising stars on the British art scene. Their intriguing investigations into the acts of archiving, documenting, and witnessing combine a strong conceptual bent with a penchant for obsessive, repetitive physical activities. Based in Leeds, England, the duo have been working together for the past three years, presenting actions and installation works that invite us to reconsider our relationship to the world while calling into question the nature of public space.

Numb/Hum: A Subterranean Metropolitan Opera by Christine Carson

FADO is pleased to present Christine Carson’s Numb/Hum: A Subterranean Metropolitan Opera, part of the Public Spaces / Private Places series.

For the first three days of November, Toronto subway commuters used to the familiar sounds of moving crowds, screeching wheels, electronic warning signals may find themselves encountering something unexpected. Numb/Hum: A Subterranean Metropolitan Opera is an urban intervention that will bring 40 singers to a subway platform to hum harmonically in relation to the surrounding aural landscape. Arriving anonymously and unobtrusively in street clothes, the singers will perform the work for half an hour each morning during rush hour over the course of three days.

Presented in the context of the 3rd 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival.

© Christine Carson, Numb/Hum: A Subterranean Metropolitan Opera, 2000. Photo Paul Couillard.

Between Us by Jerzy Onuch

This performance is part of FADO’s¬†Public Space / Private Places¬†series, and is presented in the context of the 7A*11D International Festival of Performance Art.

For Between Us, the audience entered a room set up with six industrial fans. As the performance progressed, a repetitive soundtrack gradually increased in volume over 20 minutes from nearly inaudibly to uncomfortably loud, then slowly faded away over the next 20 minutes to silence. The performer, dressed anonymously, moved slowly around the room, whistling quietly into people‚Äôs ears and presenting a card with a poetic text. 

Between Us addresses the discomforts associated with intimacy, examining the double-edged sword of awkwardness, which can encourage solidarity and bonding or lead to alienation and isolation. The work also considers issues of proximity and personal space, setting up a situation that questions the role of the performer and his relationship to the audience.

Ethel: Bloodline by Louise Liliefeldt

FADO is pleased to present Ethel: Bloodline, a performance by Louise Liliefeldt as part of the Public Spaces / Private Places series. In this new work, Liliefeldt weaves together the disparate elements of her personal history into a tableau that plays on the tensions between the public meaning of private symbols and the private meaning of public symbols.

A wooden cross angles up out of the grass as the sun hangs low on the horizon. As you approach, you hear a piano playing, and you notice that the surface of the cross is covered in photographs. This is a language, a series of keys to a personal history, but how do you interpret them, and what do they tell you of the figure who clings to the cross?

Louise Liliefeldt’s work explores notions of beauty and the attempt to slow time through metaphors, symbols and physical actions. Her work is predominantly concerned with the politics of identity, especially as it intersects with issues of gender and race. Other concerns include the cultural conventions of spectatorship and the links between expanded emotional/psychological states and physical experience.

© Louise Liliefeldt, Ethel: Bloodline, 2000. Photo Paul Couillard.

Ethel: Bloodline by Louise Liliefeldt
where do I go from here? by Stefanie Marshall

“A deviser of territories, languages, works, the deject never stops demarcating his universe, whose fluid confines… constantly question his solidity and impel him to start afresh. A tireless builder, the deject is in short a ‘stray.’ He is on a journey during the night, the end of which keeps receding. …And the more he strays, the more he is saved.”
Power of Horror by Julia Kristeva

FADO is pleased to present where do I go from here?, a new performance by Stefanie Marshall, as part of the Public Spaces / Private Places series. where do I go from here? undertakes a form of artistic alchemy by bringing ritualized behaviour and obsessive gesture into the public realm.

For several hours on two separate days, Marshall will wheel an old 2-burner stove through the streets of downtown Toronto. Following her instinct, she will navigate the social and physical geography of the heart of the city, stopping frequently to engage more closely with her surroundings. This work is about carving out a public place of permission for the private poetry of the body and the imagination. In taking everyday objects and private actions into the street, Marshall holds a mirror up to the privacy of our emotions and inspires a different conscious awareness. Those who choose to enter Marshall’s world may find themselves taken deeper into their own senses, where half-forgotten memories can be reawakened.

Marshall writes: “If they had lips, my fingers would be my teeth, masticating, probing holes, moving, wrapping, marking days and cloth, rubbing, sliding, grabbing, squeezing, slapping‚ÄĒmanifesting complex thought into repetitive patterns of action. They are my memory… allowing me to survive.”

August 21, 2000 from 2:00pm‚Äď5:00pm
The artist’s walk begins¬†at the corner of Queen and Yonge streets, ending at Spadina Avenue and College Street.

August 26, 2000 from 12:00pm‚Äď3:00pm
The artist’s walk begins¬†at the corner of Bloor and Yonge streets, ending in Kensington Market.

© Stefanie Marshall, where do I go from here?, 2000. Photo Paul Couillard.

Urban Disco Trailer by Jinhan Ko

FADO is pleased to present the latest work of artist Jinhan Ko as part of the¬†Public Spaces/Private Places¬†series. Jin’s Banana House is back with Urban Disco Trailer, a small-scale multimedia extravaganza that redefines the dance club experience. The raw material for this project is a 25-foot long 1974 Holiday Cruiser‚ÄĒone of those pull-behind camping trailers originally designed to accommodate up to six people with the modern comforts of home. The transformed Urban Disco Trailer has been retrofitted with not-so-modern technology approximating a discotheque. Follow this impromptu, intimate discotheque-for-the-21st-century as it circulates the city.

Jin’s Banana House wants to know how we can be bored in a world where television is filled with dating game shows and cooking networks and the internet is filled with more shopping than we know what to do with? I’m not offering an answer to this question, but I’m inviting you to Urban Disco Trailer… This wheeled disco offers you the aura of utopian desires associated with motor travelling without leaving the parking lot. Club goers and art patrons alike are encouraged to attend this private/public party.

Jinhan Ko

August 17‚Äď19, 2000
35 Liberty Street, Toronto

August 24‚Äď26, 2000
101 Niagara Street, Toronto

Evanescent Rumour
Evanescent Rumour by Tony Romano

What is at rest is easy to hold;
What has not given a sign is easy to plan for;
The brittle is easily scattered;
Act on it before it comes into being;
Order it before it turns into chaos;
…Those who act on it ruin it;
Those who hold on to it lose it…
He learns not to learn and return to what the masses pass by;
He could help all things to be natural, yet he dare not do it.
~Te-Tao Ching, Chapter 64

FADO inaugurates its newest performance art series, Public Places / Private Spaces, with a 4-day window performance by artist Tony Romano. Evanescent Rumour uses personal memory as the departure point for a meditation on both the functionality and aesthetics of visual communication. The artist will sit in a storefront window for four days drawing images based on a specific memory. Audience members will be able to watch the artist drawing and view his drawings on a monitor through a live video feed, but as each image is completed, the previous one will be obscured, erased ‚Äď in a word, shredded. In the end, only one image will remain. What will we glean from these images, and how will the making of them alter the artist’s own understanding of the event they attempt to portray?

Romano writes of this work:

This piece deals with the validity and quality of memory… Memory exists, but how certain can one be about its truth? How free are one’s ideas from emotions, physical environment, customs and habits? …In the process of receiving, storing, recalling and communicating, the idea becomes over simulated, fragmented and distorted. This evanescent cycle leads to false analogies, which become one’s reality.The wall between the subjective and objective (private & public) is created by mediation. My work serves as a tool to investigate reality and its make up. I wish to erase the walls between “art” and “reality”, bringing to light illusion, which is the grand mysterious reality of life. We live in a world surrounded by a trompe-l’oeil. In the spirit of the iconoclasts, I wish to break down all analogies that have served as the foundations of Western Culture. We have lost mystery and have constructed reality.

Image © Tony Romano, Evanescent Rumour, 2000. Photo by Paul Couillard.

Cleaning and Loving (It) by Margaret Dragu

La Dragu’s Cleaning Oh Yes/Oh No List

Automatic Dishwashers
Chamois & Cloth Napkins
Vinegar & Water
Saran Wrap
Some Bleach
Hot Hot Water & Soap
String Mops
Vacuum Cleaners

Smelly wet dishrags that aren’t hung out
Paper Towels & Paper Napkins (however, washing/drying and re-using is ok)
Glass Cleaners in Spray Bottles (however it is are excellent for chrome)
Hippie Rule of Baking Soda only is dumb
Greasy Dishwater
Sponge Mops (unless industrial)
Feather dusters are stupid except for photo ops

July 7, 2000

Dear Toronto,
Itz a dirty city and someone has to clean it up. After a week of private cleaning performances, I am sharing some of my CLEANING THOTS with all you Virgo wanna-bees. Andy hey, I am still available for some private cleaning performances‚ÄĒin your office lunchrooms before the Big Wall and Roll Parade‚ÄĒon Sunday July 16 at NOON at the Ontario Legislature in Queen’s Park. Sew, call me! Take my picture! Interview me! Your coffee cups will gleam!
~Margaret Dragu, The Cleaning Lady

Canadian Performance Art Legend and “international cleaning lady” Margaret Dragu invites Toronto audiences to participate in Cleaning and Loving (It). This performance art event is a celebration of small-scale community ritual and of Dragu’s long-standing love affair with cleaning and laundry. Already underway as a series of intimate cleaning performances for Toronto-based friends and colleagues of the artist, Cleaning and Loving (It) goes public on Sunday, July 16.

Rain or shine, join us for a warm and witty afternoon of festivities that begins with a “walk and roll” parade starting at Queen’s Park at noon and wending its way down to Vtape located near Spadina Avenue and Richmond Street West. People of all ages are welcome to show up on foot, in wheelchairs, on bikes, rollerblades or other non-motorized transportation. Feel free to bring your own favourite cleaning supplies and tools (buckets, mops, brooms, rags, scrub brushes, spray bottles, etc.) as your banner of choice, and learn the simple secrets of Margaret’s famous “Xs and Os” choreography.

Parade Route (start time 12:00pm)
Beginning at Queen’s Park, south along University to Orde Street,
west along Orde to McCaul Street, south along McCaul Street to Grange Park,
west and south through Grange Park to John Street,
south along John Street to the alleyway in between Queen Street West and Richmond Street West,
west along the alleyway to Peter Street,
south along Peter Street to Richmond Street West,
and then west on Richmond Street West to Vtape located at 401 Richmond Street West building.

The parade concludes at Vtape at 1:30pm, where everyone is invited to an old-fashioned ‘social’ that will include screenings of cleaning and laundry sequences from Dragu’s many performances, films and videotapes, plus plenty of snacks and refreshments.

Margaret Dragu is a warm-hearted, fearless and indomitable spirit who has left her mark across disciplines and across the country. Dragu’s astonishing output of work spans back to 1969 and includes forays into theatre, film, video, writing, choreography and above all, performance art. She is perhaps best known for her work in the 1980s, including her long-running X’s and O’s series, which began with a solstice mega-spectacle in Hamilton in 1983 (X’s and O’s on the Longest Day of the Year) and continues with her recent Improvisation for X’s and O’s. Her 1988 film project I VANT TO BE ALONE reads as a who’s who of the Toronto art scene of the 1980s, while her smaller, more intimate 1990s work has been produced and seen mainly on the west coast.

Over the years Dragu has tackled various issues ranging from love to labour to death, colouring the mundane and everyday with a spirit of celebration and a touch of the fanciful. Multilayered, sexy and political, her work is firmly rooted in the lessons of the mortal body while playfully engaging with images of glamour and passion. Adept in both solo and collaborative environments, she is a major influence in contemporary Canadian performance art.

Canadian Performance Art Legends

Since 2000, FADO has been celebrating Canada’s senior performance artists with this multi-faceted series. Featured artists are asked to create a major new work, which is followed by a (text and video) publication documenting the artist’s history in performance. The series was curated and edited by Paul Couillard.

Canadian Performance Art Legends has honoured:

Margaret Dragu
Cleaning and Loving It (performance, 2000)
La Dragu: The Living Art of Margaret Dragu (publication, 2002)

Tanya Mars
Tyranny of Bliss (performance, 2004)
From Ironic to Iconic: The Performance Work of Tanya Mars (publication, 2009)

Alain-Martin Richard
The Route to Rosa (performance, 2006)
Alain-Martin Richard: Performances, Manoeuvres and Other Hypotheses for Disappearing (publication, 2014)

Masterclass with Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal has been teaching and refining her original performance techniques for 45 years, beginning the 1950s in Hollywood with her company of performers, INSTANT THEATRE. She has done residencies with various colleges and universities, museums and galleries, artist colonies and companies throughout the US as well as in Canada and Europe. She also teaches regularly at her Espace DbD studio in Los Angeles. Her “Doing by Doing” approach integrates aesthetic, technique and performance theory with active movement and vocal improvisation. Her integrated approach to working recognizes that the human animal is a complex creature encompassing spiritual, political, social, emotional and physical realms. This is a rare opportunity to work with a teacher whose classes have been described by participants as a “mind/body spa.”

This workshop is a ‘master level’ class with limited space. The organizers are pleased to acknowledge the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council in helping to make this workshop possible.

Public Spaces / Private Places

Public Spaces / Private Places was a 3-year long international performance art series featuring 22 projects, created by 26 artists, from Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. The series explored the elements that turn neutral ‘space’ into meaningful ‘place’ through performances that examined the degrees of intimacy, connection and interaction that mark the dividing line between public and private. The series was particularly focused on performances created for intimate audiences. Some projects featured site-specific or installational environments that invited participants into a sensory or experiential journey. Others were process-oriented, involving public intervention, intimate gestures, or actions that were, by their nature, nearly invisible. Above all, the series explored the points where identity and geography intersect to generate meaning.

Walking and Getting Rid of Something by Kirsten Forkert
Promenades by Sylvie Cotton
The Rootless Man by Iwan Wijono
Disposition by Adina Bar-On

Talking to my Horse by Archer Pechawis
A Gathering for Her by Reona Brass
Mettachine (Sequence 1) by Louise McKissick
Feu de Joie by Randy & Berenicci
Open Surgery by Oreet Ashery & Svar Simpson
Remembrance Day by Johanna Householder
Disclosure by Undo
Meridian by Marilyn Arsem
One Stitch in Time by Devora Newmark

The Addmore Session by Istvan Kantor
spoken house by Otiose
Public Web by Tagny Duff
Numb/Hum: A Subterranean Metropolitan Opera by Christine Carson
Between Us by Jerzy Onuch
Ethel: Bloodline by Louise Liliefeldt
where do I go from here? by Stefanie Marshall
Urban Disco Trailer by Jinhan Ko
Evanescent Rumour by Tony Romano

The Public Spaces / Private Places series presented 22 performance projects between 2000‚Äď2003, and was curated by Paul Couillard.

E-Bulletin Green

This scent is an homage to the future; for things to come. Cut grass, string bean, coriander, and ivy diffuse a smell of ever-green, or the eternal return, however you decide.

Top Notes

cut grass, lovage, coriander

Middle Notes

string bean, fennel

Base Notes

ivy leaves, moss