Ayumi Goto

Image © Ayumi Goto, in sonours shadows of nishiyuu. Photo Ashok Mathur.


Ayumi Goto is a performance apprentice, currently based in Toronto, traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe, and Missisaugas of the Credit First Nations. Born in Canada, she identifies as Japanese-diasporic and often draws upon her cultural heritage and language to creatively challenge sedimented notions of nation-building, cultural belonging, and activism. Inspired by collaborative work, she also explores inbetweeness, land-human relations, and (beyond) space-time beingness. She has served as the art facilitator at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver, Traditional Coast Salish Territories. Ayumi has performed in London, England, Berlin, Germany, Naha, Okinawa, Kyoto, Japan, and within and outside of artistic institutions across this land currently called Canada. Ayumi has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies at Simon Fraser University. In her thesis, she investigated and presented a practice-based sense of collective responsibility and creative critiques of reconciliation through forming a personalized performance art training in response to the art works and lives of Cree Métis multi-media artist, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Siksika interdisciplinary artist, Adrian Stimson, and Tahltan performance artist, object maker and best friend, Peter Morin. Ayumi is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.

single use salmon plogging by Ayumi Goto

Curated by FADO Performance Art Centre
Co-commissioned by FADO and The Toronto Biennial of Art

single use salmon plogging addresses the labour required for enacting upon human responsibilities for taking care of the environment. The performance meditates upon the all too human compulsion to purchase and then discard that which is easily accessible, mass-produced, and presumably replaceable. 

In this performance, Toronto audiences are introduced to Ayumi Goto‚Äôs performance-alter ego, geisha gyrl, who is part salmon and part human. A performative shadow of Adrian Stimson‚Äôs Buffalo Boy, geisha gyrl and her team of scavenger-collectors intervene with the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and run the 42 kilometre route, collecting plastic and other debris along the way. single use salmon plogging culminates at the finish line of the marathon. 

This performance is dedicated to the Anishinaabe grandmother, activist and water walker, Josephine Mandamin, who circumnavigated the Great Lakes, covering over 17,000 kilometres to raise awareness about the pollution in the river and lake systems. The performance is also dedicated to David S. Buckel, an LGBTQ rights lawyer, environmental activist, and runner, who self-immolated in Brooklyn to protest humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels.

The route run by geisha gyrl and her team of scavenger-collectors‚ÄĒDeb Lim, Peter Morin and Soleil Launiere‚ÄĒreferences and at points overlays the site of the Toronto Biennial‚Äôs curatorial activities, located along the original boundaries of the so-called Toronto Purchase of 1805 which stretch from Ashbridges Bay to Etobicoke Creek. 

The performance begins at the starting line of the marathon and finishes when Ayumi and her team of scavenger-collectors cross the finish line. The performance will conclude in a final action a short distance away near Larry Sefton Park, which is located at the north/east corner of Nathan Philips Square.

Start time: 9:00am
Starting line: Queen Street West & University Avenue

End time: 2:30pm‚Äď3:30pm (approximate, time unknown)
Finish line: Queen Street West & Bay Street

Launching September 21, 2019, the Toronto Biennial of Art is a new international contemporary visual arts event as culturally connected and diverse as the city itself. For 72 days, Toronto and surrounding areas will be transformed by free exhibitions, talks, workshops and performances that reflect our local context while engaging with the most pressing issues of our time. The inaugural Biennial will present over 100 works by Canadian, Indigenous, and International artists installed at more than 15 sites on or near Toronto’s waterfront.

© Ayumi Goto, Rinrigaku. Photo by Yuula Benivolski.

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer