Performance
Duorama (Paul Couillard & Ed Johnson)

In 2014, FADO is celebrating a milestone – our 20th Anniversary. To commemorate we are looking back to our very beginnings, and are proud to present Duorama #114, #115, #116, #117, #119 and #120, a series of performances created by FADO’s former Performance Art Curator and founding Director Paul Couillard, together with founding member Ed Johnson. Partners in life and art, Paul and Ed have worked together on the performance art series Duorama since 2000.

Playful, beguiling and often minimalist, these pieces explore notions of relationship, and draw on collaborative and competitive tensions that underlie all partnerships. Responding to site and examining cultural attitudes toward male intimacy are key elements of Duorama. Recurring themes revolve around shifting interpretations of what is political and what is personal. Many of the works can be read in terms of the current social and political climate surrounding gay culture, offering askance references to issues such as gay marriage, HIV-status, and portrayals of gay culture. To date, 113 Duorama performances have been presented at galleries, festivals and various events in Canada, France, Poland, Croatia, Ukraine, Belarus, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, the USA, Singapore, Ireland and the UK.

Starting with Duorama #114 presented in the context of the Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (where it is rumoured Paul and Ed met for the very first time), FADO hosts a total of six new Duorama performances between February and September. 


Duorama #114
Presented at the 35th Rhubarb Festival
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street
February 12, 2014 @ 6:00pm–9:00pm

Duorama #115
Presented in the context of the LINK & PIN performance art series, LONG-TERM, which focuses on duos and long-term collaborations. Curated by Sandrine Schaefer and Adriana Disman.
hub14, 14 Markham Street
April 12, 2014 @ 2:00pm–6:00pm

Duorama #116
Presented by Offthemap Gallery | With the Counterpoint Community Orchestra
St. Luke’s United Church, 353 Sherbourne Street
June 7, 2014 @ 7:30pm

Duorama #117
Presented in the context of the exhibition Generations of Queer, curated by Lisa Deanne Smith
Onsite [at] OCAD University, 230 Richmond Street West
June 25, 2014 @ 8:00pm

Duorama #119 & #120 (plus post-performance artist talk)
Presented by Sunday Drive Art Projects in Warkworth, Ontario
August 24 & 30, 2014 @ 1:00pm
Sunday Drive Art Projects has brought together a roster of some of Toronto’s most active artist-run centres and collectives to present satellites in the beautiful village of Warkworth from August 23–September 6, temporarily transforming it into a hub of contemporary art.

Artist
Ed Johnson

Canada

Ed Johnson is a visual artist who has been creating performance art works since 1996. His solo work has often explored issues of communication/non-communication (Box, Words of Love) and of HIV status (Inquisitive/Inquisitor, Untitled “[sic]”). Currently, the focus of his work is on the landscape of male bodies and self-image, including works such as Pro tanto quid retribaumus (for so much what shall we repay). Ed Johnson is a co-founding member of Fado Performance Inc., an artist-run centre for performance art located in Toronto.

Performance
Five Holes: Touched

All of tonight’s work is being presented simultaneously; each installation is available for viewing according to a timetable negotiated between you as an audience participant and the artists involved. Some pieces, like the work of Frank Moore and Frank Green, have a specific time cycle that may require waiting and committing to going through a kind of journey. Others, like May Chan’s, have ‘peak’ times that request a captive audience for short periods of time. Still other pieces can be entered at any point and experienced for as long as your attention span lasts. Explore, Enjoy. Remember, the work is about ‘touch’.


Curatorial Statement by Paul Couillard

Five Holes: Touched is the second in a series of performances dealing with the five senses. The first part (Five Holes: I’ll be seeing you, A Space, 1995) used the device of a peep show to explore the sense of sight and the process of seeing. For Touched, artists are using the nooks and crannies of Symptom Hall to create performance installations that explore aspects of touch and our attitudes surrounding it.

Touch is arguably the most intimate and revealing of the senses, that, above all others, can moves us to ecstasy or shatter us. To touch is to ‘feel’. When we are deeply affected by something, we sometimes say we are ‘touched’. At the same time, to say that someone is ‘touched’ is to say that they are crazy. To give something one’s own ‘touch’ is to infuse it with a personal style, while to keep ‘in touch’ is to maintain contact. Human cultures are rife with taboos around the sense of touch – who, what, how, when and where we can or can’t touch – governing even the touches we give our own bodies.

The common thread among the 8 diverse performances works chosen for Five Holes: Touched include a fascination with the personal, a strong regard for the everyday – whether real or as a staged simulation – and a need to venture into the visceral in search of expression. The artists’ approaches to the sense of touch vary widely – Frank Moore’s hands-on sensual eroticism, May Chan’s handling of everyday foodstuffs in the simple act of cooking, Frank Green’s ‘scientific’ research process – yet each shares a vulnerability that seems essential to the nature of touch.

Artists were chosen both through solicitation and an open call. With the possible exception of Frank Moore – whose cerebral palsy has not doubt had an influence on his interest in touch as a vehicle of communication, expression and transformation – there was a curious lack of response from ‘heterosexual’ men. I believe this reflects how much the concerns with ‘the body’ in art and critical writing over the last 10 years, at least in North America, have in fact been the terrain of those who feel disenfranchised from what we identify as ‘mainstream’ culture. More than anything, however, I think the quality that binds all of these artists is courage. A willingness to enter and explore risky places – whether that means doing work that is quiet, physically grueling, or uncompromisingly simple – is universally evident. Performance is generally understood as a visual form, and to move to an exploration of the tactile demands a whole different approach from both the artists and the audience members who follow them on their journeys.

May Chan, a Hong Kong-born artist who lives and works in Kingston, documents her everyday reality with ‘story poems’ in which plain language is infused with a direct but affecting rhythm. In this work, May explores the associative and metaphorical meanings of touch – how, for example, by handling the foods her mother once did, she completes another link in a chain of touch that stretches back through history.

Frank Green, a U/S. artist based in Cleveland, considers how institutional structures, supposedly created to encourage our well-being, sanitize or even deny touch. The implications of this denial have profound implications for both our civil liberties and our physical and spiritual health. For this performance he is assisted by two other artists from Cleveland, Thea Miklowski and Holly Wilson, as well as several Toronto artists.

Three Toronto-based artists return from the first installment of Five Holes. Fiona Griffiths, whose work about touch reflects a background of research as performer (dance, theatre), body trainer, visual artist, surgical nurse and therapist, is on a hunt to learn the details of an internal void often triggered by touch, a touch that fails to acknowledge the one who is touched. Ed Johnson calls attention to the ‘gesture’ of touch, which begins long before contact, and how the way a touch is given and the way it is received can be entirely different things; one man’s hit is another man’s caress. Bernice Kaye continues her determined journey to strip away superflouous details – all of the bells and whistles that we usually associate with performance – to get at the essence of each individual sense.

Stefanie Marshall, also based in Toronto, has created a body of performance works that feature repetitive, ritualistic actions, obsessive use of everyday objects, and a fascination for pungent, musky materials. In this new work, she seeks to touch the silences that she cannot find the words to express – hoping, perhaps, to find language in the concrete physicality of objects.

Frank Moore – who lives and works in Berkeley with a performance ‘family’ that includes his wife, Linda Mac and student/colleague Michael LaBash – has spent a lifetime exploring the magic potential of touch. Since being “sucked into performance,” as he puts it, as, “…the best way to create the intimate community which I as a person needed and that I thought society needed as an alternative to personal isolation,” Frank Moore has become a powerful philosopher about art in general, performance art in particular, and their potential to shape reality.

Julie Andrée Tremblay (jAT) and David Johnston (jHAVE) of Montréal deal with the confusing nature of touch, understood so easily by our nervous system, but only through metaphor by our brain. The two artists will create an installation that evolves as the festival progresses, a changing passageway of sensual koans.


PROGRAMME

Sense of Touch by May Chan
My performance is about Chinese culture, about being a woman, and about living. I use sound, action and reading poem-stories. I deal with sense of touch abstractly, more in the sense of keeping in touch. Paul Simon sings, “Touch the sound of silence.” Part of the performance is about food and cooking. I come from Hong Kong, close to Canton in Southern China/ Canton is famous for its cooking. For people In Canton, cooking (eating) is important. Their sense of taste is well developed. Their art s their dishes of foods. Their art galleries are their restaurants. I keep in touch with my background – food.


Anonymous Test Site by Frank Green
With Thea Miklowski & Holly Wilson; and Michell Allard, Churla Burla, Lucia Cino, Curtis MacDonald
Since testing positive for antibodies to HIV in 1988, I have practices my art as a ritual of self-healing. I now consider myself to be cured of my dis-ease. My work differs from much of current cultural practice around AIDS in its radical refusal of victim or patient status. I have analyzed and criticized various aspects of western medical ideology through a series of self-photographs, performances, and installations focused on my own body as evidence. I am now examining the phenomenology of the test, in which parts of the body are subjected to arcane processes in laboratories inaccessible to the subject, resulting in ‘diagnoses’ that have profound social implications.


Touched by Fiona Griffiths
by….When I am touched by….a transformation occurs, a momentous infinite stop in time. Then I am nothing.


Threshold by Ed Johnson
Craving sensation, we quickly learn to set in motion whatever is needed to satisfy our expectations.


To Touch Is To Feel by Bernice Kaye
A blindfolded exploration of different textures, including living creatures.


…she said nothing waiting by Stefanie Marshall
counting
1 2 3 4
ooooooohhhhhh
touch


The Cave of the Metasensual Beast by Frank Moore
With Michael LaBash & Linda Mac
Will you let yourself be guided into the cave of passion, imagination, healing human exploring touch, and the unlimited erotic possibilities of blindness? The Beast is waiting for you!


gravity light wind thought scent by Julie Andrée Tremblay and David Johnston (jAT & jHAVE)
Does the floor touch you? Or does gravity touch you? Does wind touch? Does it ask permission? The existence of identity seems to co-exist with illusion/desire for control over what touches us: we choose our food, clothes, lovers. What are we? What do we become when we are touched? Where does touch occur? Inside the body? Where inside? Can you smell it? Paranoia and trust are the parallel poles of touch. Look: no hands, no skin; only synapes and the skin inside the skin. Invisibly touched.


Co-presented by the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art and sponsored by the Theatre Resource Centre.

Performance
SHUT UP

FADO presents SHUT UP, a series of 10 outdoor performances dealing with the themes of incarceration and wrongful imprisonment – literally, the state of being ‘shut up’. This event is the second half of a performance art exchange between Chicago and Toronto that began in 1998. SHUT UP offers a unique opportunity for Toronto audiences to sample the styles and aesthetics operating in Chicago’s performance art community in relation to performances by some of Toronto’s hottest performance artists.

The evening will feature a range of styles, from tableaux to spoken word, from interactive, participatory works to spectacle and multimedia presentations. The theme of incarceration will be approached from a wide variety of perspectives, from the highly topical and political (e.g. the recent persecution of Falun Gong practitioners) to considerations of the philosophical, psychological and emotional aspects of incarceration.

CHICAGO ARTISTS
Marlon Billups & Shannon Harris
Jeff Callen
Julie Laffin & Andrew Cook
Louise McKissick
Andrea Polli & Chuck Varga

TORONTO ARTISTS
Shannon Cochrane
Paul Couillard
Ed Johnson
Will Kwan
Louise Liliefeldt


PERFORMANCE descriptions

Untitled by Jeff Calan
Jeff Calan continues his work with storytelling using a series of intimately mechanized objects and a camera obscura, and will perform inside it. A frame in a false wall shows what appears to be a photograph, but upon closer inspection it seems to be a film or video, as it is moving, yet it is very sharp, sharper than a film. A hand is seen pulling a scrolling roll of paper, upon which is written a narrative that is full of various events, their causes and effects, and the desperation that comes from being unable to connect cause and effect. The image the audience sees is really from an old, large-format camera with a groundglass back which is behind the frame and it is pointed toward the performer who is moving a roll of paper that contains text from court transcripts of wrongly convicted people on death row. Small objects will be presented within the frame every few minutes. If an audience member walks behind the false wall, the performer takes a flash photograph of the audience member.


Eleven Cent Magic by Shannon Cochrane 
With Jennifer Rashleigh. Thanks to Andrew Pommier. For Kenneth because he invented and constructed the first ‘portable pitcher’s mound’ in 1952. Unfortunately, when it was filled with sand, it was too damn heavy to actually be transported anywhere. His father looked out the cottage window, laughed and went back to reading the paper. The research continues here. Eleven Cent Magic: an experiment to prove that time flies and birds really only float.


Blackstrap by Paul Couillard
In this tableau work, using the fitness trail apparatus, Paul’s body slowly shifts from light to dark.


Untitled by Edward Johnson
This solo tableau work (in the skating rink) considers the physical and psychological realm of confinement in all of its vastness and claustrophobia.


Untitled by Will Kwan
This performance draws links between the ‘silent’ gestures of mime performance and ‘silent’ displays of state power as exhibited through a popular form of punishment known as community service, in this case, maintenance work. The performance addresses the issue of the function of the artist in society: as performer, worker, criminal and clown.


255 by Julie Laffin & Andrew Cook
255 is not a performance. It is an actual memorial to the practitioners of Falun Gong who have lost their lives since July of 1999 when Jiang Zemin branded Falun Gong an “evil cult” and launched his campaign to erase all the Falun Gong practitioners in China by any means necessary. Falun Gong is an ancient moving meditation (Qi Gong) that was once supported by the Chinese govt. for it’s great abilities to improve health. It was banned partly because of the sheer numbers of practitioners, which before the crackdown began, far out-numbered communist party membership in the PRC. The number 255 attempts to quantify the number of human lives that have been taken (that we know of) by means of unspeakable brutality by the Chinese authorities during the deadly campaign against Falun Gong. Practitioners who would not renounce their faith were and are at this moment being tortured to death. When we began this project in May of this year, only two months ago, the number of documented deaths was 196. The number 255 does not begin to speak about the tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners now illegally detained in prisons, psychiatric facilities and labor camps. It does not speak of the rapes, torture, beatings, threats, intimidations, indignities, humiliations, unfair trials, force-feedings, forced druggings, “re-education” efforts, psychological abuses, and countless other inhumane acts against a group of people for simply asserting their right to their spiritual beliefs and peaceful practices. The number also can never represent the suffering of the families and loved ones of the practitioners that have been murdered or have had atrocities perpetrated upon them. The dress you see documents with photos and written names those Falun Gong practitioners who have been killed in police custody since the merciless crackdown began in China exactly two years ago yesterday. It is a companion dress to one that is currently in Washington, D.C. at a rally held there to bring global attention to end the crackdown in China. As citizens of the free world, we urge you to refuse to tolerate the policies of the Chinese government against Falun Gong practitioners in whatever large or small ways you can.


DEVI by Louise Liliefeldt
Devi, also known as the “Bandit Queen”, was born into a poor lower-caste rural family in the northern Indian state of Bihar. She became the subject of great fame and notoriety throughout India as the leader of a violent gang of dacoits (bandits) who terrorized authority for years until their surrender in 1983. Phoolan Devi became a popular cult figure, a vigilante liberator and a symbol of empowerment for the lower-castes of Bihar. This work is a homage to her journey and the strength for which she stands. Thanks to Derek.


I Will Cut Your Grass by Louise McKissick
Digital Video, 1:26:13, 2001
At one time, Dorothy Gaines ‘loved the wrong man’ and ended up in prison. She was put away by purely circumstantial evidence – her ex-lover, a convicted crack dealer, accused her of dealing drugs in order to obtain a reduced sentence for himself. The prosecutors found no evidence of cocaine or any other illegal drugs in her home. She was given a 19-year sentence. “I will cut your grass” is based on a letter written to the judge by Dorothy’s son, Phillip Gaines, age 11, at the time of her sentencing. A fluidly moving camera tracks youthful exuberance at the Washington Park waterslide on a Sunday afternoon, providing a counterpoint to Phillip’s words.


Untitled by Andrea Polli & Chuck Varga
Andrea and Chuck are interested in the use of sound in the establishment of power in government and the military. Their piece involves a ‘Speaker’s Corner’-style open mic, but those who try to use the forum will discover that the words broadcast are not those spoken in the microphone.


PLUS: The Ghetto by Marlon Billups & Shannon Harris

Performance
Rencontre Performance

Presented by FADO in cooperation with Le Lieu in Québec City, as a satellite event of Le Lieu’s Rencontre internionale d’art performance et multimédia. This event was organized and curated by Sandy McFadden with the support of Istvan Kantor and Paul Couillard.

ARTISTS
Paul Couillard (Toronto)
Ed Johnson (Toronto)
Istvan Kantor (Toronto)
Louise Liliefeldt (Toronto)
Richard Martel (Québec)
Julie Andrée T. (Québec)
BMZ (Hungary)
Roddy Hunter (UK)
Tari Ito (Japan)
Dziugas Katinas (Lithuania)
Gustav Uto (Romania)
Hong O Bong (Korea)
Irma Optimist (Finland)
Hortensia Ramirez (Mexico)
André Stitt (N. Ireland)

Performance
Five Holes: I’ll be seeing you

ARTISTS
Paul Couillard
Fiona Griffiths
Ed Johnson
Bernice Kaye
Sandy McFadden

Shake off the New Year’s blahs by taking in a performance art peep show. FADO combines installation and performance art in Five Holes: I’ll be seeing you, featuring new works created by members of the FADO collective. Isolated in individual cubicles, the performers will each create their own six-hour performance work that can only be seen through tiny peepholes. Twenty-five cents buys viewers a one-minute look, or for $5 you can be an audience for the full six hours.

What’s behind that curtain? There’s only one way to find out.

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