Curated by FADO Performance Art Centre and presented in partnership with Rendezvous With Madness
In Holler Rat, Anya Liftig’s recently published debut memoir, the writer and artist traces the many contradictions of her life—from her Appalachian childhood to her career as a performance artist, to a year-long period in which her life completely fell apart. Her story is a journey of catalysts, calamities, art-making and madness, and catharsis.
Using her own book as a performance document, in Holler Rat (the performance) Anya Liftig performs a 6-hour reading of her memoir—the typical author appearance at a book launch elongated to absurdity—while moving around and taking up various positions on a basketball court empty of players and gameplay.
FADO has invited writer Malcolm Sutton to compose a text about this performance. As this is a performance about (writing and then) reading a book, Malcolms process for writing will also take shape as a time-based activity. Malcolm will be present for the 6-hours of the performance, writing alongside the unfolding of the performance—writing an article about the reading of a book. Malcolm’s text will be “published” on this website at the conclusion of the performance. You can read it HERE.
Rendezvous with Madness, presented by Workman Arts, is the first and largest arts and mental health festival in the world. Using art as the entry point to illuminate and investigate the realities and mythologies surrounding mental illness and addiction, Rendezvous With Madness spotlights the human capacity for endurance in the face of great challenges. This year’s tagline “Mind the Gaps” considers gaps in infrastructure and the systematic “cracks” people, particularly those with lived experience of mental health and addiction, fall through. It is a call to think through what is missing and how things could be better. This year the festival takes place from October 27–November 5, 2023
Malcolm Sutton on Anya Liftig’s Holler Rat (the performance) – A Live Response
“I write ‘Anya,’ though I have not met her. I tell my students to use the author’s last name in their essays, out of respect and convention. Liftig continues to move the dolly back and forth and now pauses in the centre. Coming back to the centre. I await the sound of her breath at a mic; I anticipate she will begin reading again.”