Danièle Dennis’ experiences as an African-Canadian woman inform her practice and prompt her investigation of racial, cultural and identity issues primarily through performance, material exploration and installation. She actively attempts new ways to disrupt and dismantle social norms and constructs, employing repetition and process-based experimentation to the use of everyday and often abject elements such as hair and food. Her work seeks to trigger within the viewer critical thought, self-reflection, and dialogue around uncomfortable yet relevant subject matters.
Dennis obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto Scarborough in 2015, with a Specialist in Studio Art and a minor in Art History. She was born and raised in Montréal and currently works in Toronto. Dennis is also a co-founder of Y+ contemporary in Toronto.
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.
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?