Performance
Extra-Rational curated by Gale Allen

Extra-Rational is a series of performances by emerging Canadian artists that embrace the aesthetics of popular culture and seek to recuperate/utilize these “low brow” processes of production and cognition. The artists in Extra-Rational intentionally make use of aesthetic choices and methods of production that directly challenge the rubric of high-brow vs low-brow culture. These artists use the position of the trivialized, the unmentionable, the frivolous, the carnal and the other as a means to challenge the rationalization of high culture. 

ARTISTS
Amy Jenine Ling Wong
Amy Lam
Johnny Forever
Iris Fraser-Gudrunas
Lisa Visser
Marisa Hoicka

Trust My Gut: A Drag Opera Surgery, performed by Mini Maul and Uncle Wink (two characters selected from the drag oeuvre of Johnny Forever and Marisa Hoicka) dramatizes the recent merging of home and stage on social networking sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and facebook. This eight-hour durational installation references Orlan’s televised performance art surgeries of the early ’90s. Framed by a crochet replica of a YouTube window, Mini Maul performs surgery on Uncle Wink with a pair of tailor’s scissors, crochet hooks and a sewing needle. While splayed open Uncle Wink remains gloriously conscious as Mini Maul crafts his innards, a mass of yarn and fabric, into outrageous sculptural forms that rise from his belly and spill onto the floor. From time to time patient and doctor break into lip-synced duets chosen by audience members from a nearby laptop.

Insight mixes with consumerism and pop culture to create intuitive knowledge in Iris Fraser-Gudrunas’ performance Pop Tarot. Fraser-Gudrunas divines the future and answers the viewers’ life questions using a collection of strange and unfamiliar pop bottles. Viewers are invited to blindly select 4 beverage bottles/cans from a large inventory, stored in a nondescript cardboard box. The bottles represent the past, present, future and soul of the participant. Carefully analyzing the qualities of the consumer packaging, the clarity of the labels, the visual nature of the liquid and the list of ingredients, Fraser-Gudrunas provides the viewers with insight and guidance. 

NANA by Amy Jenine Ling Wong is a four-hour durational performance that references narcissism in youth culture and questions the rise of the self-made Internet celebrity. Occupying the gallery’s street level window, Wong confronts viewers caught off guard with the image of her slowly licking a honey-encrusted monitor. Under the honey, the monitor flickers with a mirror image of herself performing various actions. NANA is an extension of Wong’s online Vimeo library, in which she plays a wide variety of characters including: a young girl offering advice on the application of Avatar make-up, a sullen woman smoking a cigarette while explaining her attempts to replicate the “real community” of the ‘60s on facebook and a teenager aimlessly video blogging about piercing her nose.

Droozle Help Me, a performance that references the comedy sketch genre, makes use of humour and high concept comedy. In this performative lecture Amy Lam plays a character named Droozle who is looking for a new roommate. She uses inappropriate props and costumes in her attempt to be persuasive. As the performance unfolds Lam creates deliberate incongruence between herself as performer, the goals of her character and the audience’s reactions. Lam’s work continues the dialogue started by female comics of the ’50s who used intelligence, wit and a fair amount of acting out to comment on contemporary culture.

We Don’t Love Each Other is a reflexive performance that investigates the female abject body. Composed of a series of simple actions and objects, Lisa Visser drinks a copious amount of hard alcohol while attaching her left arm to her right with the use of a sewing needle and thread. The performance combines contrasting images of harm and repair: what appears to be harmful (sewing) is conceptually approached as repair – or reclamation – of not just a body but everything that is given and compromised in a relationship. And the repair – drinking and drowning one’s feelings in alcohol – is actually harmful. The piece is implicitly humorous; the artist is drunk, awkward and bloody, while the audience is compelled to watch seriously and earnestly while the hour-long performance unfolds.

PROGRAM
March 8 @ 1:00pm–5:00pm
Trust My Gut: A Drag Opera Surgery by Johnny Forever & Marisa Hoicka

March 12 @ 1:00pm–5:00pm
Pop Tarot by Iris Fraser-Gudrunas

March 12 @ 7:00pm
Trust My Gut: A Drag Opera Surgery by Johnny Forever & Marisa Hoicka
NANA by Amy Jenine Ling Wong
Droozle Help Me by Amy Lam
Pop Tarot by Iris Fraser-Gudrunas
We Don’t Love Each Other by Lisa Visser

Series
Emerging Artists

Initiated in 2003 by Tanya Mars, FADO’s Emerging Artists series was created to provide a professional platform for emerging artists to develop and present a performance piece, working within a curatorial framework. FADO’s intention with this series was to nurture new work and ideas, provide direction and mentorship, and showcase the work of the city’s newest perspectives in performance art.

FADO’s Emerging Artists series was initiated in 2003 by Canada’s own performance art matriarch and educator Tanya Mars, who recognized that the best way to encourage young artists was by offering them a professional presentation opportunity. Her vision was one of mentorship, targeting an interesting mix of new and emerging artists, many of them former students, whom she commissioned to develop new works responding to a thematic context. The first event, curated by Mars, included ambient, conceptual and cabaret-style performance art gestures. This event later developed into FADO’s on-going Emerging Artists series which was designed to highlighting the work of Toronto-based emerging performance artists.

As the series developed, it became clear that this was an opportunity to nurture not only emerging performance artists, but also emerging curators, allowing FADO to encourage new curatorial voices in performance art, and introducing FADO to new communities of artists (and new artists to FADO). The series has continued to develop and change, later including the work of artists not just from Toronto, but regionally as well. This way, the series exposes local audiences to the range of performance work happening in the emerging performance scene across Canada.

The Emerging Artists series was a staple of FADO’s programming year from 2003 to 2014, and was always one of the most popular events in FADO’s performance art calendar.

2014: 11:45 P.M. | curated by Kate Barry
2013: .sight specific. | curated by Francisco-Fernando Granados
2011: Extra-Rational | curated by Gale Allen
2009: Misinformed Informants | curated by Lisa Visser
2008: Vivência Poética | curated by Erika DeFreitas
2007: Enter-gration | curated by Nahed Mansour
2005: Open Airway | curated by Elle McLaughlin
2005: Feats, might | curated by Alissa Firth-Eagland
2004: Home Repair by One Night Only
2004: Game City | curated by Craig Leonard
2003: Gestures | curated by Tanya Mars

In 2024 and 2025, the Emerging Artist series returns! Stay tuned for details.

Series Purple

An ode to FADO's history, Series Purple is composed of a collection of purple fragrance materials dating back to the Roman Empire. Dense, intense, and meandering, this fragrance tells us non-linear stories.

Top Notes

huckleberry, violet

Middle Notes

cassis, lilac, heliotrope

Base Notes

orris root, purple sage, labdanum