Yvonne Rainer, a co-founding member of the Judson Dance Theater in 1962, made a transition to filmmaking following a fifteen-year career as a choreographer/dancer (1960-1975). After making seven experimental feature films — Lives of Performers (1972), Privilege (1990), MURDER and murder (1996), among others — she returned to dance in 2000 via a commission from the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation for the White Oak Dance Project (After Many a Summer Dies the Swan). Her dances since then include AG Indexical, with a little help from H.M., RoS Indexical, a Performa07 commission, Spiraling Down, Assisted Living: Good Sports 2, and Assisted Living: Do You Have Any Money? Her dances and films have been shown world wide, and her work has been rewarded with museum exhibitions, fellowships, and grants, most notably two Guggenheim Fellowships, two Rockefeller grants, a Wexner Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship, and retrospective exhibitions at Kunsthaus Bregenz and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2012), the Getty Research Institute, L.A. and Raven Row, London (2014). A memoir — Feelings Are Facts: a Life — was published by MIT Press in 2006. A selection of her poetry was published in 2011 by Paul Chan’s Badlands Unlimited.
Somalia / Canada
Idil Mussa is a Toronto based, Somali-Canadian artist. She is most fascinated with how social and political movements inspire people to action and the ways in which those movements shape art and culture.
Natalie S. Loveless received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She also holds a PhD (History of Consciousness, UCSC) and an MA (Art History, Theory and Criticism, Tufts University). Previous curatorial projects include Participatory Dissent at Vancouver’s Western Front Society (2007) and Intervene! Interrupt! Rethinking Art as Social Practice at the University of California, Santa Cruz (2008). Also an interdisciplinary artist, her wall-drawing installations, performance actions and video works have been presented in festivals, galleries and artist-run centres in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Her son, Orion, is almost two.
Gina Miller is a visual artist who lives in Vancouver, Canada. Her recent work focuses on narratives surrounding growth: psychological, spiritual and physical. Family Tissues is Miller’s first foray into performance. Gina has a Fine Arts diploma from Capilano University (2003) and will graduate in the Spring of 2012 from Emily Carr University with her B.F.A. She is mother to thirteen-year old Hewitt, seven-year old Rupert, and six-year old Harper.
Japan / Canada
Yumi Onose was born in Japan. Yumi’s passion in traveling and learning lead to her study of visual arts and performance. She was invited to be artist-in-residence and exhibited in Poland in 2003, created art for contemporary dance piece Red Dream directed by Keiko Ninomiya in 2006, and exhibited Evolving Forms with Harvey Chan in 2007. She has performed in Something about Gender (2009), we see their work on friday and on saturday they respond to it” (2010) and 24h of butoh and it is not butoh (2010), all directed by claude wittmann in Toronto.
Bulgaria / Canada
Vassya Vassileva, performer and lecturer, is cuurrently working on her PhD in Visual Semiotics at New Bulgarian University, Sofia. Her previous studies include MA in Philosophy and Intercultural Studies, BA in Art Pedagogy at St. Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia. Since October 2004 she has been searching for the artist Friedrich Nichtmargen. Areas of interest: visual discourse and culture, contextual analysis, empathic reason, discourse ethics, mental mapping, geography of time-space formations, friedrichology, gargarisma, art as experience…
Devora Neumark’s interdisciplinary artistic practice includes live-art, durational performative interventions, sound and photography installations, public commissions and storytellings. In 1995, she initiated and co-organised (with Regine Basha) the international symposium “Visual Art and Jewish Identity: A Contemporary Experience” at the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montreal. More recently she initiated and co-organized (with Loren Lerner and pk langshaw) Public Art as Social Intervention…, a Montreal-based project held at Concordia University in November 1999, which included a symposium, artistic interventions and an extensive website. From 1995 to 1999 Neumark served as Vice President of Auberge Shalom…pour femmes, Canada’s first Kosher crisis intervention centre and shelter for women victims of conjugal violence. As a frequent lecturer, she has addressed a wide variety of audiences, speaking about engaged artistic practice, the authority of memory, formations of identity, and inter-generational violence and healing.
Kristyn Dunnion‘s dystopic Tarry This Night made CBC’s top 20 fall fiction list and Bitch’s November must reads. The Dirt Chronicles (also with Arsenal Pulp Press) was a 2012 Lambda Literary Award finalist and ALA Over the Rainbow selection. Recent fiction appears in The New Guard, Cosmonauts Avenue, and The Tahoma Literary Review. A performance artist and local musician, Dunnion’s provocative work incites critical questions about identity, justice, and power.
b. 1948, USA
Adrian Piper is a first-generation Conceptual artist and analytic philosopher. She began exhibiting her artwork internationally at the age of twenty, and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 1969. While continuing to produce and exhibit her artwork, she received a B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Musicology from the City College of New York in 1974 and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University in 1981. Adrian Piper produces artwork in a variety of traditional and nontraditional media, including photo-text collage, drawing on pre- printed paper, video installation, site-specific sculptural installation, digital imagery, performance and sound works.
b. 1985, Canada
Nadège Grebmeier Forget’s interdisciplinary practice unfolds via durational, live, live-streamed and private performances, which sometimes result in drawing, photography or installation works. In these performances, she models and hybridizes herself to defuse expectations of beauty and explore the effects (and affects) of the concerned gaze on the unfolding identity as it is observed and analyzed by others, including oneself. Seeking to confront desires and ideals (aesthetic, commercial, sexual, etc.) through an empowered and performative manipulation of her own image, she intrinsically questions the labour of making and becoming; including the ways in which performance (of self or art) can be documented, shown, disseminated or exhibited.
Engaged within both of Montreal’s visual and live arts communities—as an artist, freelance project coordinator, creative consultant or artistic director. She has participated in numerous events, festivals, panels, residencies, and exhibitions across Canada, the US, and Europe, and is the first performance artist to receive the City of Montreal’s Prix Pierre-Ayot (2019), awarded in partnership with the Contemporary Art Galleries Association (AGAC).
The duo Geneviève & Matthieu, from Rouyn-Noranda in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, started working in the late 1990s, blending visual art, performance, music and everyday life. Geneviève & Matthieu play on interdisciplinarity—happening, musical composition, performance art and installation—to create group performances and productions of social tableaux that are at times festive but always human.
Beginning in 2001, their discography includes five titles. Between the baroque, abstract expressionism and arte povera, their works have been presented over forty times in Québec, across Canada, the United States, France, Belgium and Spain. Actively involved in their community, Geneviève & Mathieu have been developing the artist-run centre Écart and the Biennale d’art performatif de Rouyn-Noranda for over 20 years.
The duo takes a critical look at past and current artistic movements: DIY culture, conceptual art and performance art. Through residencies, public dissemination and the experience of a body that bounces, transforms and blends into art, their works are constantly evolving. Propelled by the human spirit, their creative approach favours a living art that challenges usual modes of presentation through the change of the place, duration, and manner of exhibiting and performing.
Image: Jehan Roberson. Photo © Jay Bendett.
Jehan Roberson is a queer writer, scholar, artist, and memory worker using text as the basis for her interdisciplinary practice. Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Jehan’s work explores text as a site of liberation, place making, and historical intervention for Black peoples in the Americas. Her art and research have informed her previous work in archives and cultural sites such as the National Civil Rights Museum and the Center for Southern Folklore in Memphis, Kismet Productions in Chicago, and the Borges Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Jehan is a PhD student in English Language and Literatures at Cornell University. She holds a MA from NYU’s John W. Draper School of Humanities and Social Thought and a BA in English Literature with a double minor in Spanish and Journalism from the University of Missouri.
Mathieu Lacroix is a Montreal-based artist from Drummondville, Québec. He holds a BFA from UQAM in Montreal. He has recently exhibited at Clark Center in Montréal, Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges in Montréal and CIRCA art actuel in Montreal. He has performed in many locations, for example at 7a*11d, the International Festival of Performance in Toronto. His works can be found in the collection of La Ville de Montréal. Mathieu Lacroix has been invited to participate at the Off Biennale of Contemporary African Art in Dakar, Senegal, and he performed in a group exhibition at Dazibao, Montreal.
Mathieu Lacroix’s multidisciplinary practice comprises drawing, sculpture, installation and performance. The notion of the “sketch” is central to his work, employing it as both a conceptual approach and a literal technique across a spectrum of media, helping to subtly unify his wide-ranging intellectual and formal interests. He creates unusual environments borrowing from both the domestic space and the commercial. Lacroix’s interventions question the complex relationship between the individual and his environment, habits, and identity. His work touches lightly but profoundly on issues from many areas such as politics, economics, personal and collective identities, and perceptual experience.
Joe Culpepper is a magician, consultant and researcher. He is an associate researcher at Montréal’s National Circus School, is a member of London’s Magic Circle, and has adapted magic effects for Cirque du Soleil, Concordia University, and others.
Marcin Kedzior is a writer, journal editor, urban thinker, experimental dancer and educator focusing on critical theory and collaborative urban improvisations. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from Queen’s University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Toronto. He teaches interior design at Humber ITAL and architectural studies at the University of Toronto. He was on the winning team of the Nathan Philips Square revitalization and he has exhibited work at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, the Architectural Association, London and in numerous other venues. By considering both the construction and inhabitation of spaces as social performances of people and materials, Kedzior attempts to deal with the necessarily dynamic, improvisatory and contingent aspects of bodies, materials, plans and programs.
He is aided and inspired by warehouses of literary ghosts, tactical board games, scaffolding, shoelaces, John Cage’s experimental musical notation, railings, Simone Forti’s dance constructions, goat pastures, counter monuments, and shadows.
Agnes Nedregård is a Norwegian performance artist based in Scotland and Norway. Her working practice is primarily based in live performance, while exploring a bodily language in other mediums like video drawings and sculptural installations. She holds a Masters of Fine Art from the Glasgow School of Art (2005), and has since showed her work in festivals, galleries and screenings in Europe, USA and Asia. Frequently she engages in collaborative practice with other artists, among these Scottish visual artist Moray Hillary and Brazilian performer Raquel Nicoletti. She teaches performance art workshops to students of art, film, theatre and architecture in Europe. Nedregård is the editor of Nordic Tantrum, a web magazine for Nordic performance art.
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay is a Montréal-born media artist. Since 2000 his video practice has brought together song, self-reflexive performance for the camera and lyrics from pop music as vehicles for examining the singing voice, multiplicity, the untranslatability of emotions into language and the ways in which emotional expression changes shape when mediated by technology and popular culture. His work has been exhibited both in film festivals and gallery contexts across Canada, Europe and East Asia. In 2004, the Plug In ICA organized Neverending Song of Love, a survey exhibition of his video works to date.
Francisco-Fernando Granados is a Toronto-based artist. His multidisciplinary critical practice spans drawing, performance, installation, cultural theory, digital media, public art, and community-based projects. He has presented work in galleries, museums, theatres, artist-run centres and non-traditional sites since 2005. These venues include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Mercer Union, Art Gallery of York University, Gallery TPW, Trinity Square Video, Images Festival, NuitBlanche, Bunker 2 (Toronto), Vancouver Art Gallery, MAI – Montreal, arts interculturels, Darling Foundry (Montreal), the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa), MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie), Queens University (Kingston), Neutral Ground (Regina), Third Space (St. John) Hessel Museum of Art (NY), Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts at Ramapo College (NJ), Defibrillator Gallery (Chicago), Voices Breaking Boundaries (Houston) Ex Teresa Arte Actual (Mexico City), Kulturhuset (Stockholm), and Theatre Academy at the University of the Arts (Helsinki).
Image: © Johannes Zits, Working with Wood: Beaver Remnants, Pi*llOry part four, 2020. Photo by Tina Bararian.
My art invites a questioning of our preconceptions of nature that continue to be imposed by dominant histories and reductive, binaristic constructs. It is more than a passive backdrop in which we live and take from. Like the rest of nature, a tree is a responsive and creative body and should not be fixed simply in the realm of the material and sublime. To achieve more immersive conditions in my encounters with trees, I take time to observe, experience, contemplate and share. These extended moments open up spaces for reflective, as well empathetic actions and interactions.
Johannes Zits works with and combines digital imaging, collage, photography and painting to focus on the body. He received his BFA from York University in 1984. He has shown both in Canada and abroad. Zits travels widely while pursuing his art research. His extended stays in various cities include Taipei, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Shanghai, Manchester, Hamburg, Santiago, London and Berlin.
Image © Sheri Osden Nault, miina kawapamitin (until we meet again, in Michif), Pi*llOry part four, 2020. Photo by Tina Bararian.
Sheri Osden Nault is an artist of Michif and mixed European descent. Situated within personal and political contexts, their art practice and research are grounded in queer, feminist, and Indigenous world-views. They strive to elicit a sense of social and ecological responsibility and intimacy on a damaged planet, recently focusing on connections between bodies, sexuality, and nature. Recent exhibitions include: Where the Shoreline Meets the Water at the ArQuives, Toronto (2020); Shapeshifters, curated by Amanda Amour-Lynx, Toronto (2019); Off-Centre at the Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina (2019); Fix Your Hearts or Die at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (2019).
Nathan Roy is an Anishnawbe from Wikwemikong located on Manitoulin Island. Nathan was born and raised in Toronto. He has been singing for over 25 years. He is apart of a previously grammy nominated singing/drumming group called Bear Creek. Nathan enjoys traveling across North America sharing his drum teachings and his singing.
Deanne Hupfield is Anishnawbe from Temagami First Nation, Ontario, Canada. A descendant of Indian Residential School survivors, Deanne has dedicated her life to learning and preserving her culture. She learned to dance from a small age and has spent her life passing on related teachings to her community. She has taught dance for the past 15 years, including weekend classes at The Native Canadian Center of Toronto, and currently teaches virtual regalia making courses as owner of www.deannehupfield.com. As an educator she actively teaches the history of Canadian policy that affects Indigenous people. Deanne was Ironwoman, Wiki Pow Wow 2015.
John Hupfield Waaseyaabin is Anishinaabe from Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, Canada. He is a Phd Candidate in Education at York University, living and working in Toronto where he is a recognized dancer and active community member. He attended powwows his entire life but only started grass dancing in his mid-20s. He is a regular invited and head dancer at many First Nations’ and community powwows throughout Ontario. His dancing can be seen in the music video for Indian City, 2016, by A Tribe Called Red; The One Who Keeps on Giving, 2017, double channel video by Maria Hupfield; and Miigis, 2018, a production fusing contemporary Indigenous dance with athleticism by Red Sky Performance, Toronto.
Abigail Lim is a Criminology graduate from the University of Toronto. She competed for Team Canada in the 2018 World Naginata Championships. She is currently a member of the University of Toronto Naginata Club.
Lutan Lui a PhD student at University of Toronto. She has been practicing naginata at the University of Toronto Naginata Club for seven years. In 2019 Lui (along with on Abigail Lim) competed as a pair in Engi division of World’s Naginata Championship in Wiesbaden, Germany.
b. 1950, Taiwan / USA
Renowned former performance artist, and currently self-declared non-artist, Tehching Hsieh, is most recognized for his One Year performances. He has lived in a cage, he has lived by the clock, he has lived outside, and he has lived tied by a six-foot rope to a fellow performance artist, Linda Montano. Each performance lasted for one year. His fifth and final performance, Earth, the content of which remained a secret for thirteen years, was disclosed to the public with a simple statement “I kept myself alive. I passed the December 31st, 1999.” Hsieh believes that with the completion of his thirteen year piece that there is nothing left for him to accomplish in this world.
“My idea is that time becomes the main thing, how I pass the time is my main concern. It doesn’t matter what I do, I pass time.” ~Tehching Hsieh
Kristine Stiles is an associate professor at Duke University. She is a prolific writer on contemporary art theories, a multi-disciplinary artist and an academic. Her performances have been widely celebrated with such fellow artists as Yoko Ono, Francesco Conz and Sherman Flemming. Stiles co-edited Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (1996). Currently, she is working on five books.
b. 1945, Germany
Boris Nieslony has worked intensively as a performance artist, curator, archivist and independent scholar, staging various installations, interventions and artist projects since the 1970s. He is the founder of Black Market International, a performance group that meets regularly in various configurations to realize group performance projects, and ASA, a foundation for a self-organizing rhizomatic network of performance artists and theorists. Today, Boris Nieslony is recognized as one of the most prolific and significant contributors to performance art, presenting his work around the world.
Yoshinori Niwa is a physical performance artist who often incorporates animals, plants, and the environment into his work. Niwa’s aim is to explore how to live with others, especially those with different life experience (ethno-cultural, economic, etc). Some of his performances are site-specific, however is especially interested in how performances change from venue to venue and between audiences, so he is well attuned to responding to that which is around him. Niwa is a graduate of the Tama Art University Department of Moving Images and Performing Arts (Tokyo) and he has performed in Britain, Canada, China, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia. He has also undertaken artistic residences through VENT Live Art (Oxford, UK), The Asahi Shimbun Foundation (Japan), and Tou Scene (Norway). In addition to his performance work, Niwa is active as a cultural producer in Japan and he has collaborated on a range of events and projects including the 2006 Tokyo-San Francisco Arts Festival. In 2007, he coordinated an international art festival titled “Artist as Activist,” which took place in Tokyo.
b. 1976, Canada
Christian Messier was born in 1976, currently living and working in Québec City where he completed his Masters degree at Laval University. Messier’s work has been presented in exhibitions and events in Québec (Rencontre Internationale dʼart performance de Québec, Manif dʼart 3, DSM -V+) as well as internationally in Poland, Ireland, Argentina, Cuba and France.
Hope Thompson is a playwright, filmmaker and writer. She is obsessed with mystery, film noir, camp and comedy and has written and directed several award-winning short films (It Happened In The Stacks, Switch) and one-act plays (She Walks The Line, Stiff, Trapped!) in these genres. Her film, Switch, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and her recent play, Trapped! was published in the anthology, Queer/Play (2017), edited by Moynan King. Hope is currently at work on her first novel and on a play based on a night in the life of crime writer, Cornell Woolrich. Hope co-hosts the popular crime fiction reading series, Noir At The Bar, in Toronto.
USA / Sweden
Embracing unpredictability, messiness and failure MC Coble has worked with performance art for over 20 years, through this time aiming to manifest problems of bodily, societal and symbolic navigation particularly focusing on issues of injustice and normative boundaries. Recurrent themes in Coble’s work revolve around queer politics evolve around the intersection of queer politics and activism.
Coble’s work, which has been included in exhibitions such as Queer Objectivity at The Stamp Gallery, University of Maryland (Baltimore, USA); The Great Refusal: Taking on New Queer Aesthetics at theSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, USA); Lost and Found: Queerying the Archive at the Nikolaj Center of Contemporary Art (Copenhagen, Denmark); and in the internationally traveling archive re.act.feminism #2–a performing archive.
Coble has performed live as part of 13 Festivalen, Festival of Performance Art (Gothenburg, Sweden), Rapid Pulse Performance Festival (Chicago, USA), MADE Festival (Umea, Sweden); in Commitment Issues presented by FADO Performance Art Centre (Toronto, Canada), Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum of Art (NY, USA) and in Performa 05 at Artists Space (NYC, USA).
Coble is a Senior Lecturer in the Fine Art Unit, MFA Programs at Valand Academy of Art, Gothenburg University, Sweden.
Dr. Jeanne Randolph is a psychoanalyst, cultural critic, writer, and performance artist. One of Canada’s foremost cultural theorists, she is the author of the influential book Psychoanalysis & Synchronized Swimming (1991), as well as Symbolization and Its Discontents (1997), Why Stoics Box (2003), Ethics of Luxury (2007), Shopping Cart Pantheism (2015) and My Claustrophobic Happiness (2020). Randolph’s most recent exhibition, Prairie Modernist Noir: The Disappearance of the Manitoba Telephone Booth, happened in May 2020 at Paul Petro Contemporary Art in conjunction with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. She is also known for her curation and as an engaging lecturer, performance artist, and musician. Randolph has spoken on topics ranging from the aesthetics of Barbie to the philosophy of Wittgenstein in universities and galleries across Canada, England, Australia, and Spain. Parking Lot Pandemic (2021) is Randolph’s second exhibition at Paul Petro Contemporary Art, where she has also given readings and launched her last two books.
Misinformed Informants: The Lost Stompin’ Tom Song
“Folk music is not about press, resumés, schmoozing, or price tags. Its purpose is to foster authentic being-together.” – Staunton R. Livingston
For decades, Stompin’ Tom Connors has attempted to unite Canadians in song. His “The Hockey Song,” “Sudbury Saturday Night,” and “Bud the Spud” – among many others – have spoken across the rural and the urban; they have both lassoed and amplified his nation’s spirit. Although it is not often celebrated or discussed, however, there was a moment in Tom’s aesthetic development when he opened up his craft to other possibilities. “The Lost Stompin’ Tom Song”, which folklorist Henry Adam Svec has recently discovered is not the whole story of Tom’s latent tendency away from flag-waving, is a significant document for the archeological study of world-historical consciousness, which is yet to be written.
The debut performance of The Lost Stompin’ Tom Song will unfold in three parts. First, Svec will place the recording he has uncovered into historical, aesthetic, and political contexts. He will play the recording itself, which Tom made in 1974 on a four-track machine. Second, because folk music is about neither celebrities nor individuals (cf. Livingston), Svec will perform and discuss some of the other songs he has gathered on his many folk-collecting journeys. The purpose of this part of the performance will be to locate Tom, not as master craftsman or star, but as one amongst many other equally illuminating (if generally unknown) voices in Canadian folk music.
And lastly, Svec himself will perform a more accurate version of “The Lost Stompin’ Tom Song.” Although the recording Svec discovered might seem to be the best document we have of Tom’s original intention – for it is Tom singing and playing on the recording – it has been clear to many working in the fields of folklore and ethnomusicology (e.g. Altman, 1988; Rough, 2004) that the essence of a song cannot be expressed by any particular manifestation of that song. Song qua song transcends the historicity of any and all songs. It follows, then, that Tom’s recorded performance of “The Lost Stompin’ Tom Song” (although important and interesting) is not identical with itself. Drawing on very recent research, however, Svec will play what is believed to be the real guts of the work in question.
Henry Adam Svec is a songwriter, actor, and folklorist. His interdisciplinary work has also spanned performance, music, theatre, criticism, and game design. He was raised on a cherry farm near Blenheim, Ontario, and has lived in New Brunswick and Mississippi. He has traveled extensively across Canada and the United States on his many song-catching expeditions, trips on which he has documented authentic folk music and rituals. From 2006-2008 he was the resident folklorist at The National Archives of Canada; it was while working in Ottawa that he famously discovered The CFL Sessions, songs written and recorded by Canadian football players in the 1970s. He has also recorded music from the other side of the microphone, in the bands Peter Mansbridge and the CBCs and The Boy from ET. He is the author of American Folk Music as Tactical Media, a scholarly monograph, and Life Is Like Canadian Football and Other Authentic Folk Songs, a novel. He currently teaches at the University of Waterloo.
June 18, 1941 – July 31, 2020
Ruedi Schill was born 1941 in Luzern, Switzerland. He attended the Art School F+F in Zürich. He has been making Performances and Actions since 1975. Currently he resides and works in Luzern (Switzerland) and Essen (Germany). Monika Günther and Ruedi Schill have been working together in Performance Art since 1995. Their performances have been presented in Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Mexico, Canada, Belgium, Belarus, Vietnam, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Chile, Bali, Java and Greece. Since 1995, they have been teaching performance art at several art academies and schools. In 2004, they received the Art Price of the town of Luzern (Switzerland). And since 1998, they shared the artistic direction of the annual International Performance Art Turbine Giswil, Switzerland.
b. 1970, Poland / Finland
Tomasz Szrama graduated from the Fine Art Academy in Wroclaw, Poland (1998) and he currently lives in Helsinki, Finland. Since 2005, he co-organized and is the art designer of New Art Contact performance art events. In 2011 he started to co-organize and art design the Fake Finn Festival of Experimental Art and other ‘fake countries’ events which present the work of artists living outside of their home country in Finland. Szrama also documents experimental art festivals and live art events. He presently works at the Helsinki International Artist Programme (HIAP) as a producer, designer and technician.
In the artist’s words: “I do not have any fixed views. I do not believe in any system, or any absolute truth. Cosmos expands. The world is evolving. As I age, I have more doubts. My art is in a constant flux between sarcasm and sincerity, humour and melancholy, ground and atmosphere. I am frantically trying to capture the essence of a situation, a state of mind. My performances, despite the artistic discipline, and the planning going into them, cannot ever be completely finished. They are a forum, a space in time for interaction with the audience, improvisation, error, and the eventual fiasco. I contradict myself. I still naively believe that anyone, anywhere can create a phenomenon on a cosmic scale. Then I feel, it is a meaningless sacrifice of an insignificant man. I hope that in my desperate gestures viewers will identify for themselves something meaningful, even transcendent…I am fine and I’m scared to death.”
Is it still legitimate to question forms such as artists’ bios that contextualize illegitimate actions within a constellation of reputable organizations, international affiliations and other legitimized attempts to escape? Inappropriate entries such as this one invite overlooking, dismissive glances, but does one really care that the artist’s work has been shown or not shown elsewhere? There is text entered under the heading of bio, which provides information that is relevant or irrelevant to the career of the artist and/or the reader’s interest in said career. More useful yet would be a list of influences for the project. This network would show that I, the artist, have no original ideas, and could provide a list of contacts/connections that inform but support the singularity of the work in response to its particular site, time and coincidental trajectory.
Julie Andrée T.’s installations and performance works have been shown in Canada, USA, South America, Asia and Europe. She was part of Compagnie PME for several years, an experimental theatre company directed by Jacob Wren. She has collaborated with numerous artists, choreographers and directors including Benoit Lachambre, Xavier Le Roy, Dominique Porte, Martin Bélanger and the filmmaker Dominic Gagnon, as well as working with the PONI collective from Brussels as co-artistic-director in 2007. Since 2003 Julie has worked with and performed internationally with the renowned performance group Black Market International.
For Julie Andrée T., practicing art should be a reflection of daily life and the dark ages we are presently in. Body and space are the center of her research. She uses the body as a space and vehicle for metaphors and poetry. She tries to reach a place where personal identity is lost. Although this is a utopia, it might be the only way to find a common abstract language to understand what we do and who we are.
Julie Andrée T. was from 2008 to 20011 guest artist Faculty at the School of museum of Fine Arts in Boston (USA) where she was teaching performance art. An occasional curator, she is part of the programming comity of Inter/Lieu (Québec city) an artist-run centre dedicated to performance and Installation.
Anna Scott holds a BFA from the University of Manitoba and an MFA from the University of Regina. Currently employed as Gallery Coordinator at Neutral Ground Artist-Run Centre, she has exhibited her textile-based installation at various Canadian institutions since 1999. Her installations, performances, interventions, drawings, animation and web art contain a common thread of humour. She recently completed a residency at the University of Regina. Her most recent work, what we have here is a failure to, is an electronic installation that explores the concept of communication breakdown.
Iran / Canada
Born and raised in Iran, Maryam Taghavi is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist. She received her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her work includes drawing, photography, site-specific installation, and performance. Her practice is spread across social and spatial paradigms (the artist has been traveling between Iran and Canada since her graduation), and investigates the enigmatic relations between then and now, self and other, fiction and non-fiction. Examining the corporeal and psychological exchanges between architecture, domestic objects and the human body, she creates different scenarios for contemplation and forms of reception. She has participated in a number of exhibitions in Canada, Mexico and Iran.
“Fascinated by fleeting realms in social and spatial paradigms, my practice investigates enigmatic realtions between then and now, self and other, and fiction and non-fiction. I examine corporeal and psychological exchange in relation to architectural sites, domestic objects and human body to create a different scenario for contemplation and forms of reception.”
Seiji Shimoda is one of Japan’s most active, well-known and respected performance artists. He is a performer, a poet, an arts advocate, organizer, curator and lecturer at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Since graduating Osaka City University in 1977, Shimoda’s work has been presented at over 100 international festivals, conferences and galleries, in more than 30 countries across western and central Europe, North and Central America and throughout Asia. Shimoda is the Director of NIPAF (Nippon International Performance Art Festival, established in 1993) and has presented the work of over 300 international and Asian performance artists from 45 countries around the world in two annual festivals that take place in several cities in Japan. Under Shimoda’s direction, NIPAF has become one of the most influential festivals in the global performance art community and is a sought after destination for performance artists from around the world. Shimoda also organizes tours under the umbrella of NIPAF to promote art exchange and dialogue about performance art to the US, Poland, Philippines, Germany and Spain. In 2000, Shimoda was the first Asian artist to receive a prized Bessie Award (New York Dance and Performance). Shimoda’s own performance work is a combination of action poetry, performance and movement, and employing simple objects like chopsticks, a chair, a table and his physical body in unique ways.
Artur Tajber is an influential artist, curator and organizer based in Krakow, Poland, Tajber’s work reflects an interest in conceptual design and theory of art, unrestricted by disciplinary divisions. His distinguished exhibition and teaching careers have taken him to galleries, festivals and colleges in Europe, Asia and North America. He is a co-founder and the long-time President of the Association of Fort Sztuki (since 1996), as well as being the instigator and director of the Inter-Faculty Studio for Intermedia, Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow (since 2001).
Artur Tajber’s visit to Canada was made possible through the School of the Arts at McMaster University. Supporters of this venture include the Centre for Leadership and Learning through a Teaching and Learning Project Fund, the Senator William McMaster Chair in Globalization and the Human Condition, Hamilton Artists Inc., McMaster Museum of Art, transit gallery, and the International School of Loose Affiliations. Artur Tajber will also be conducting presentations and performance at transit gallery while in Hamilton.
Svar Simpson is a visual artist with a central practice in sculpture, also working in performance, film, new technology and urban art forms. The pervading theme running through the work focuses on transmutation. The human body is acknowledged as an integral contribution to the mechanics of an interdisciplinary production.
Yoshimichi Takei has developed an original performance style based on his background in Butoh dance and Japanese ‘avant-garde mime’. In his work, Takei engages in a ‘collaboration’ between his body and various electronic instruments, including light bulbs, sensors and everyday appliances. Hailed as being in the forefront of contemporary Japanese dance, Takei’s work is presented regularly in dance and performance festivals throughout Japan and has been seen in Europe and New York. BIG YAWN marks his Canadian debut.
Victoria Singh is an artist and curator based in New Zealand. Singh’s 25-year practice is dedicated almost exclusively to performance and has been widely exhibited. Her recent work focuses on ritualized and ephemeral acts of life as art, with particular attention to conscious and unconscious relations between self and Other. In addition to her artistic practice, she works as a performance art curator, most recently at Vancouver’s Western Front Society, where she wrote, edited and published Ritual in Contemporary Performance. Singh has a Master of Arts in Graduate Liberal Studies. Her son and artistic collaborator for this project, Kurtis, is eight.
TBL (TallBlondLadies) is a collaborative performance project between Anna Berndtson (Germany) and Irina Runge (Sweden), which started in 2003.
“TBL inverts female stereotypes through the composition of absurd and unexpected performative gestures, often incorporating a range of accoutrement from high-end fashion to sports gear. Their works present diametrically opposed concepts; beauty and grace are juxtaposed and diminished through brute action and athleticism, tacitly disrupting and challenging gender-based categorizations.” ~Artists Space, New York, 2007
Dainty Smith is a Toronto based Actor, Burlesque Performer, Writer, Producer, and Speaker. Dainty believes that through the art of storytelling and a willingness to be exposed that genuine human connections can be made. Her performances often tell deeply vulnerable stories regarding race, religion, sexuality and challenging social boundaries. Dainty took performing arts at George Brown College and is a powerful self taught storyteller, performer, and orator. She acted in the acclaimed theatre group Les Blues and has starred in two short films: How To Stop A Revolution, and Red Lips (Cages for Black Girls). Her diverse array of stage performances include the Mayworks Festival, Gladstone Hotel, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the Tranzac, Artscape, and Daniels Spectrum Theatre.
Over the past decade Dainty has brought her utterly raw, emotional artistry to her burlesque performances. She co-produced the performance art collective Colour Me Dragg and founded Les Femme Fatales: Women of Colour burlesque troupe, the only burlesque troupe for women of colour in Canada. Her performances have been showcased at Rock. Paper. Sistahz, the Rhubarb Festival, Harbourfront Centre, Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Haunted House conceived by Allyson Mitchell and countless venues throughout the city of Toronto. Recently, her speaking engagements have included workshops with women and youth on themes of empowerment, glamour, beauty, self love and self care as revolutionary acts. She has taught workshops at Ryerson University, University of Ottawa, and York University on radical body positivity, survival and thriving.Dainty has written for Sway magazine, Lover Magazine, About magazine, Xtra! Newspaper, Sage Blog, Shameless Magazine and The Witness Journal.
b. 1973, Israel
Meir Tati works in video and performance. Recent exhibitions have included the Moscow Biannual for Young Art (2008), and presentations at EPAF (Warsaw), ZAZ Festival (Tel Aviv) and other exhibitions and performances in Italy, Germany and Istanbul. Tati recently finished an artist’s residency in Copenhagen. This will be his first appearance in North America.
Cree / Canada
Ariel Smith is an urban nēhiyaw iskwew (plains Cree woman), a self-taught filmmaker, video artist, writer and cultural worker currently based on unceded Algonquin territory, Ottawa, Ontario. She has shown at festivals and galleries internationally including: Images Festival (Toronto), Mix Experimental Film Festival (NYC), Urban Shaman (Winnipeg), MAI (Montréal), Gallery Sans Nom (Moncton), Santa Fe Indian Market (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Solid Screens (Cairns, Australia) and Cold Creation Gallery (Barcelona, Spain).
She has written essays and articles on the subjects of Indigenous media arts as self determination and on gendered colonial violence for Concordia University, The Ottawa Art Gallery, The Ottawa International Animation Festival, Bitch Flicks, and the Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society Journal. Ariel is a programmer and arts educator for the imagineNATIVE film and media arts festival and is the director of National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC).
Ariel’s lived experiences with difference and marginalization form the basis for much of her work. Interested in the political and social forces that affect the lives of girls and women, she investigates these themes, resulting in anti-essentialist, tongue-in-cheek commentaries which embody the grotesque feminine, while at the same time challenge the negative patriarchal perception of the feminine-as monstrous.
b. 1977, Netherlands
Ieke Trinks lives and works in Rotterdam. She holds a Masters of Fine Art at AVK St Joost in the Netherlands (2008). Her performance work is often a created using instructions, observations, and live actions made with every day objects and materials (such as cups, chairs, paper, shoes, doors, wood, shirts, nails, bananas, plastic bags), combined and deconstructed, often resulting in absurd situations that play with interpretations and expectations in response to a particular written text. Ieke’s work has presented in various venues in Europe and South America. She is part of a performance collective called TRICKSTER that works with “emergent-form composition’”, and since 2009 she has co-produced PAE (Performance Art Event) in Rotterdam.
Chy Ryan Spain is a multi-disciplinary artist, performer, activist, organizer, writer, and educator originally from Philadelphia. Spain is a graduate of Swarthmore College with a degree in Education and English Literature. Since moving to Toronto in 2005, he has held positions at Parkdale Project Read as an Adult Literacy Worker, and as Youth Program Coordinator at both the Art Gallery of Ontario and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. He regularly performs with Toronto’s premiere women of colour burlesque troupe, Les Femmes Fatales, as an acrobatic pole dancer and burlesque artist under the moniker Axel Blows, and holds the inaugural title of Toronto’s Bent Beauty Supreme. In 2013, Spain was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award along with his fellow ensemble members for their work in Of a Monstrous Child: A Gaga Musical (EcceHomo). Other select theatre credits include: pool (water) (Cue6 Productions); Small Axe (Project Humanity); The Queer Bathroom Stories (Libido Productions); The Pastor Phelps Project: A Fundamentalist Cabaret (Ecce Homo); and his original, one-man performance piece The Price of Bleach (Rhubarb, 2007).
UNDO is a Canadian duo featuring Christof Migone (Toronto) and Alexandre St-Onge (Montréal). Their partnership began as a sound art collaboration in 1997. Since its inception and in its various appearances—in Montréal, New York City, London (Ontario) and Québec City—UNDO has explored the barely perceptible. The duo combines its reduction of aural space produced by reduced actions with a complementary reductive lighting. In 2000, undo released a CD on its own label, squint fucker press, and will soon release a remix of Vito Acconci’s Waterways: Four Saliva Studies (along with the audio from the original video).
Just as a performance artist uses their body as their medium, this is a fragrance composed entirely of the orange tree: fruit, leaves, bark, roots, and flowers. Artist Orange performs itself.
neroli, blood orange
fresh orange juice, petit grain
orange twig, orange seed