Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 8

Conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 8: Atonement with the Father/State
Movement: Training Sessions for Freedom Fighters
Syrus Marcus Ware

In this stage of the monomyth narrative, the hero must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in life. All the previous stages of the journey have been moving into this place; all that follow will move out from it. This stage is frequently symbolized by an encounter with someone or thing with incredible power, often conceived as masculine, through the patriarchal heterosexist imagining of the state. 

In Movement: Training Sessions for Freedom Fighters, Syrus Marcus Ware invites you to join in the present moment (after, back then and just before, in the future), wherein the potential directions are seemingly endless, yet also hyper- focused. In this confrontation with the Father State, we move past what we have been training for, and into what we are creating anew. We will move into the prefigurative political dreams we have been working towards. All participants (heroes) will participate in collective struggle that harnesses all the activisms that have come before and that will lead us into the future together. This work will be rooted in the often invisibilized labour behind the scenes, work often done by those on the margins of the struggle. It celebrates the powerful behind the scenes hustle that facilitates–and is its own kind of–direct action. 

Participants (heroes) will create a 36-square metre banner, in four connected pieces. The 4-piece banner will be themed around 4 phrases that guide our heroes journey:

  • Octavia E. Butler’s phrase, “Our future is in the stars”;
  • Nat King Cole’s resistance statement to a white supremacist concert audience, “Some people are just afraid of the Dark”;
  • Assata Shakur’s famous words, “I believe that we will win”;
  • And finally, the relatively ambivalent expression, “What if we don’t?” 

Separately the phrases convey hope, fear, confidence and uncertainty. Together they tell a broader story about the decidedly hopeful uncertainty of our current struggle–the struggle against the supremacist state with the future of humanity and our planet in the balance. 

The banner will be gifted to the movement for use in future actions, bringing all participants into the process of supporting this life giving work. As a collective journey, as heroes we are all witness and archive to this behind the scenes labour; and as allies to the struggle for self-determination of all people through the liberation of black people, we are all implicated in the shared risks and responsibilities of this work. 

We will work together, collectively, to create these works and through the process we will meditate on the question, “what if we don’t?”, perhaps coming up with answers together as we go. For, ‘its not all we got’….and we do have each other.

This event will be ASL interpreted.

Reimaging & Remembering by Tharmila Rajasingam

Co-Presented by FADO Performance Art Centre and SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in the context of the In Situ Multi Arts Festival 

Reimaging & Remembering is a site-specific performance that collects and documents drawings of the Small Arms Building visitors over the period of In Situ. The piece is an evolvement of a previous memory building project that uses blind contour drawing technique as a way to preserve memory, through repetitive and organizational procedures. The drawings of the visitors will be installed on the windows of the Small Arms Building (an abandoned WWII munitions inspection building), as the drawings are created. The faces of the visitors will embody the physical space of the Small Arms Building, when looking in or out, the faces will help viewers remember the community that help to reimagine the possibility of the space. 

In Situ Multi Arts Festival is presented by the Small Arms Society, an incorporated non-profit organization. Our goal is to celebrate creativity and to begin public engagement around reimagining a future for this significant historic building.

Book
Golden Book 3: Pulse

Golden Book 3: Pulse accompanies MC Coble’s 2016 performance, in which the artist climbs the iconic Cinesphere at Ontario Place each day in order to repurpose it as a beacon of protest. A series of Morse Code messages are transmitted from the structure to receivers on the ground positioned throughout Ontario Place island who then relay the message on using their own light source. The transmitted messages are composed of statements and chants used in recent and current protests and fights for civil rights which will be selected from the artist’s archive as well as in collaboration with local community. This collaborative gesture of solidarity merges activist and nautical language to amplify a collective call for action.

Golden Book 3: Pulse (2016)
Author: MC Coble
Design: Lisa Kiss
Publisher: FADO Performance Art Centre
Series: Golden Books, 3rd
48 pages; 5 x 2 inches ; Print Book, English

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 7

MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
Presented by FADO in the context of Art Spin’s in/future.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 7: Ordeals
PULSE by MC Coble

In MC Coble’s Pulse, the artist climbs the iconic Cinesphere at Ontario Place each day in order to repurpose it as a beacon of protest. A series of Morse Code messages are transmitted from the structure to receivers on the ground positioned throughout Ontario Place island who then relay the message on using their own light source. The transmitted messages are composed of statements and chants used in recent and current protests and fights for civil rights which will be selected from the artist’s archive as well as in collaboration with local community. This collaborative gesture of solidarity merges activist and nautical language to amplify a collective call for action.

Coble’s Pulse fits into the MONOMYTHS journey at Stage 7: Ordeals. During this stage of the journey the heroine has come face to face with their personal challenge. In this moment they either confront death or face their greatest fear. The hope of this stage of the journey is that by confronting their greatest fear and conquering it, they can embark on a new life. Coble’s response to illuminating this stage of the journey suggests the necessity of challenging seemingly inaccessible structures and systems (social, political personal), while insisting on the interdependency of a collective effort by employing the communication of multiple bodies, versus attempting to cross this personal bridge alone. Refraining from a heroic narrative of conquering an iconic structure, the piece lends itself to chance and even possibly, failure.

PULSE is presented in the context of in/future, a festival of art and music, presented by Art Spin in partnership with Small World Music. 100+ transformative experiences re-animating the West Island of Ontario Place during this once-in-a-lifetime festival. 60+ artists including large scale installations, films, and performances. 40+ musical performances on the Small World Music stage.

Thanks to Rui Pimenta and Layne Hinton (Art Spin), Mike Hazleton (Ontario Place), and special thanks to Matthew Languay and Basecamp Climbing for their expertise and support. Thanks to Matt Seto for facilitating the climbing team who are supporting this project. 

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 6

MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
Presented in partnership with University of Toronto Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies
Physics of Blackness: Understanding Beyond Linear Time
Dr. Michelle M. Wright

FADO picks up the epic MONOMYTHS series at Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies with a talk given by (and a reading group led by) Dr. Michelle M. Wright entitled Physics of Blackness: Understanding Beyond Linear Time.

In this talk, Physics of Blackness: Understanding Beyond Linear Time, Michelle M. Wright shows how our current struggle to be diverse and inclusive in our worldview has more to do with Isaac Newton’s laws of motion and gravity than most would realize. Blackness, for example, can only be understood accurately by drawing on different understandings of time and space—specifically going beyond linear time and the myth of universal progress. Moving from discussions of 17th century physics to 3rd century Christian religions, to 21st century African travel narratives to Black European postwar histories to Black Caribbean settlement in 18th century Australia, Physics of Blackness goes around the globe through all spaces and times to show us the unexpected ways Blackness reveals and encounters itself.

Writing
Notes on CHARCO Exchange
Collaboration.

If one were asked to define the value of art in our contemporary society, you might say that art’s greatest virtue is its ability to communicate across language, culture, and context. But, communicate what? And, who (or what) does the communicating? 

For the artists engaged in an EXCHANGE Live Art “meeting laboratory”, the key ingredient in an experimental recipe for collective creation is communication across languages (spoken, body), cultures (Spanish, African, Tunisian) and contexts (urban, rural, native country, the diaspora and more). Communication is mediated through performance art actions, exercises, and proposals initiated and responded to, looped and fed back, from artist to artist over time and space (before the project actually begins in situ) and in person directly one day and one moment at a time during the working period. Communication is the precursor and the catalyst for collaboration, and collaboration is only made possible (or improbable) between the artists who are working at communicating.

The definition of collaboration is, “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” Though the word ‘collaboration’ here is a noun, even in this modest state of simply naming, it refuses to be passive. The energy of collaboration is not waiting, or hoping or wishing, it is action. (Though sometimes this action can be or can include waiting, hoping and wishing.) Collaboration is intrinsic to the discipline of performance art where artists and audiences are locked together in a perpetual exchange of doing and witnessing, seeing and being seen. The active investment of both artists and audiences in this exchange is what makes a performance possible, is what makes a work an actual thing. 

The EXCHANGE Live Art project risks failure with each iteration, because it is impossible to predict what will happen or not happen between strangers who have been asked to create something together, to merge working styles, approaches, and most of all, intentions. There is no guarantee of ease or comfort, or even of empathy. The first tendency is to normalize, to try and make it work. But what if it doesn’t? When communication breaks down, does this provide a more rich territory to work from? 

Asked to employ performance art as a strategy for the research of communication across language, culture, and context, the outcome of the project changes each time, with each new pairing. Each group finds their rhythm, pace, and manages to present something functioning as a conclusion. But, what is the conclusion? Is it a picture of a resolved way of working between strangers, now friends? Or is it a reflection of something more messy and undefined? The truth is probably found somewhere in the middle of these two options, hovering between truth and fiction, harmony and conflict, understanding and misunderstanding. Not friends, but no longer strangers either.

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 5

MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
The series is presented by FADO in the context of Progress.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 5: Belly of the Whale
Thoroughbred by Jefferson Pinder
Performed with Ravyn/Jelani Ade-Lam Wngz, Danièle Dennis, Jasmyn Fyffe, Chy Ryan Spain

In Jefferson Pinder’s Thoroughbred, four performers work themselves to exhaustion running on treadmills that are remote controlled by the artist who sits at a single controller. Pinder “skillfully exhumes a corpse of black captivity and subjugation of black bodies in America that started four hundred years ago and brings it into the foreground into our present day experience.” (Fo Wilson, The Evidence of Things Not Seen)

American artist Jefferson Pinder works in video, installation, and performance. His work explores the tangle of representations and misrepresentations, visual tropes, and myths—often referencing historical events and invoking cultural symbolism. His work portrays the black body both frenetically and through drudgery in order to convey relevant cultural experiences. 

SummerWorks, in partnership with The Theatre Centre and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including Aluna Theatre, Dancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre, Summerworks, The Theatre Centre and Volcano Theatre brings the world to Toronto with Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas from January 14–February 7, 2016.

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 4

MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
The series is presented by FADO in the context of Progress.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 4: Crossing the Threshold
Armando Minjarez

Armando Minjarez’s performance is part of his long-term international participatory art project AlieNation, which is grounded in his personal experiences as an undocumented Mexican immigrant living in the USA. AlieNation examines mass migration and the disturbing trend of dehumanizing the migrant – an alien without a home, without rights or a defined identity.

Racism and identity politics remain prevalent threads in the fabric of America, existing in a constant tension of mine vs. ours and black vs. white, a dangerous game hidden behind the veil of diversity and progress. This constant denial of a history of oppression and white supremacy has normalized a language of hate and hostility toward communities of colour throughout the USA. This performance serves as a mirror of America’s denial of self. Only through self-awareness can the process of healing begin. Armando Minjarez has traveled and conducted research on displacement and migration of people in the USA, Mexico, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. The project will eventually travel to Southern Mexico and Central America to follow the steps of displaced Central American minors. 

SummerWorks, in partnership with The Theatre Centre and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including Aluna Theatre, Dancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre, Summerworks, The Theatre Centre and Volcano Theatre brings the world to Toronto with Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas from January 14–February 7, 2016.

MONOMYTHS: Artivism Workshop with Armando Minjarez

FADO is pleased to present an Artivism workshop with Armando Minjarez. This workshop is offered as a part of the MONOMYTHS series and is presented in the context of Progress Festival. 

Migration in a Postmodern Society

Artists have historically served as agents of change, risk-takers that cross the threshold from the status quo into the vanguard. The term Artivism has been coined by artists and cultural workers to describe their creative practice aimed at creating long-lasting social change. 

This workshop will address the role of an artist as an agent of change in a postmodern western society. Participants will part-take in a process of dissemination and processing of site-specific cultural data, collected by artist Armando Minjarez through a series of interviews with community organizations in Toronto. Some of these community organizations or groups might include immigrants, refugees and native nations. 

How can artists introduce vitality, courage and innovation in social change work? The workshop will begin with a short presentation on the key elements of art in social change: Emotional, Visionary, Systemic, Popular and Bold.

Activities will be presented in a dialectic format with group discussions and sharing of personal experiences. Participants are encouraged to bring an open mind and full heart. 

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.  

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 3

MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
The series is presented by FADO in the context of Progress.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 3: Meeting of the Mentor
The Exquisite Course

Performances by Dainty Smith, Tamyka Bullen, Eliza Chandler, Zanette Singh, Ariel Smith, Johnson Ngo

The Exquisite Course, presented by the Feminist Art Gallery (F.A.G.), is an evening of short lectures by feminist and/or queer artists and creative folks from a variety of disciplines, interests, and positions. A mixture of fiction and non-fiction, The Exquisite Course collages real-life stories and performance mythologies around the microphone campfire to stitch together tales of meeting real-life mentors.

The Feminist Art Gallery is a response, a process, a site, a protest, an outcry, an exhibition, a performance, an economy, a conceptual framework, a place, and an opportunity. We host we fund we advocate we support we claim. The Feminist Art Gallery (F.A.G) is our geographical footprint located in Toronto and is run by Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue.

This event will be ASL interpreted.

SummerWorks, in partnership with The Theatre Centre and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including Aluna TheatreDancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre, SummerworksThe Theatre Centre and Volcano Theatre brings the world to Toronto with Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas from January 14–February 7, 2016. 

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 2

MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
The series is presented by FADO in the context of Progress.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 2: Refusal of the Call
What is Being Refused or Your Local Sky Tonight
By Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan

What is Being Refused or Your Local Sky Tonight is a new performance turn by Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan. Part planetarium show, part rumination on Alice in Wonderland, the nature of rabbits and heroes, Dempsey and Millan deliver an off-kilter guide to the stars tonight. Collaborators since 1989, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan were catapulted into the international spotlight with their performance and film We’re Talking Vulva (1986/1990). Their humorous, feminist, and provocative works work has been exhibited in diverse venues as far ranging as women’s centres in Sri Lanka to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. To most, however, they are known simply as the Lesbian Rangers of Lesbian National Parks and Services.

This performance will be ASL interpreted by Sage Willow.

SummerWorks, in partnership with The Theatre Centre and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including Aluna TheatreDancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre, SummerworksThe Theatre Centre and Volcano Theatre brings the world to Toronto with Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas from January 14–February 7, 2016. 

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 1

MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
The series is presented by FADO in the context of Progress.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

Nikamon Ochi Askiy (Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew): The Land Sings
Ursula Johnson, in collaboration with Cheryl L’Hirondelle 

Post Performance / Conversation Action
Maria Hupfield

Nikamon Ochi Askiy (Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew): The Land Sings is an audio-based endurance performance by Ursula Johnson created in collaboration with Cheryl L’Hirondelle, and is offered as an apology to the land for the ways in which our human impact has shifted and shaped the landscape, displacing the voices of many First Nations. 

Ursula Johnson and Maria Hupfield’s works are presented in conjunction with #callresponse, a Canada Council {Re}Conciliation initiative project. #callresponse positions the work of First Nations, Inuit and MĂŠtis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities. This socially engaged project focuses on the “act of doing” through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples. #callresponse is a multifaceted project which brings together five site-specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions, culminating in an exhibition in October 2016 at grunt gallery in Vancouver. The The fifth visitation of Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew: The Land Sings will be a part of this exhibition.

Following The Land Sings, Maria Hupfield presents Post Performance / Conversation Action, a hybrid performance and conversation with Ursula Johnson and Cheryl L’Hirondelle on how revitalization, collaboration, and the act of refusal are used in performance art to shape current dialogue on Reconciliation.

SummerWorks, in partnership with The Theatre Centre and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including Aluna TheatreDancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre, SummerworksThe Theatre Centre and Volcano Theatre brings the world to Toronto with Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas from January 14–February 7, 2016.

Series
MONOMYTHS

Conceived and curated by Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

Joseph Campbell’s influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) prescribes a common pattern to all of the world’s mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero’s journey, trials and obstacles must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell’s concept of the monomyth (‘one myth’) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports, and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine–from the get-go–would make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed. While each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience’s collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative.

The year-long MONOMYTHS project is presented in three sections starting in February 2016 and concluding in February 2017.


Part 1 (February 3–7, 2016)
Stage 1: The Ordinary World/Call to Adventure
Stage 2: Refusal of the Call
Stage 3: Meeting of the Mentor
Stage 4: Crossing the Threshold
Stage 5: Belly of the Whale

Part 2 (May 2016–January 2017)
Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies
Stage 7: Ordeals
Stage 8: Atonement with the Father/State
Stage 9: Apotheosis/Journey to the Inmost Cave

Part 3 (February 15–19, 2017)
Stage 10: The Road Back
Stage 11: Refusal of the Return
Stage 12: Mistress of Two Worlds
Stage 13: Freedom to Live
Stage 14: The Return Home

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