Bonny Stern’s Spicy Tomato Penne by Heather Rule

Bonny Stern‚Äôs Spicy Tomato Penne, a new video by Heather Rule, was inspired by W.A. Davidson‚Äôs Object Poem. Davison’s video, created during FADO‚Äôs Resolutions(s) at-home residency in 2021, was a result of a reviewing (and reworking) of a performance-for-camera work from the artist’s own performance video/documentation archive. In Rule’s video, her visual interpretation of literary form takes a cherished childhood recipe (chef Bonny Stern‚Äôs Spicy Tomato Penne) as the starting point for exploring non-traditional personal narrative through a audio recordings of the artist preparing the recipe and a “stream of consciousness” stop-motion tableaux created from images that appear iteratively throughout the artist’s body of work.

FADO‚Äôs REAL TO REEL series was screened as a complete program in Toronto on March 14, 2024. REAL TO REEL was made possible by funding from the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategies grant.

WATCH Bonny Stern’s Spicy Tomato Penne by Heather Rule below in the documentation gallery.


Gustaf Broms (Sweden)
Heather Rule (Canada)
Margaret Dragu (Canada)
MC Coble (USA/Sweden)
Simla Civelek (Canada)

Curated by Shannon Cochrane

As an immaterial practice, performance art‚Äôs relationship to documentation and the archive has always been a fraught one. On the one hand, documentation‚ÄĒand its circulation‚ÄĒis critical for an artist‚Äôs work to be discoverable to audiences and take its rightful place in the historical canon. On the other hand, as Anne Marsh writes in Performance Art and its Documentation: A Photo/Video Essay, ‚Äúthe camera‚Äôs viewfinder has no peripheral vision so it records a flattened reality… the time-based image becomes lifeless.‚ÄĚ As performative practices continue to gain popularity in galleries and museums (institutions that practice conservation) the complex relationship between ‘live’ art and its mediated image persist.

This series, Real to Reel, invites artists to activate and challenge the archive as a site for, and of, performance. The five participating artists in this series have created new digital works utilizing their own documentation from FADO’s archive collection as either the inspiration or the actual source material. The goal here is not necessarily to cut a new trailer (though reconstituting a self-history in this way is also the artist’s prerogative) rather, the hope is to upend the singular and linear lens that the archive itself implies. Here, we are not only looking back, we are moving forward at the same time, in only the way that performance artists working in the digital realm can.

The form of these new works are myriad: an experimental documentary about a 20-year old parade that happens (where else?) in a parade; a performance film made in the woods in winter using the images from a performance made in the city in spring; queer protest told through the lens of personal transformation; FADO’s own history as a container for performance history told by ceramic characters come to life through DIY animation and more.

In 2023, FADO celebrated 30 years of continuous performance artist activity in Canada, and this series is one part of our on-going love letter to performance. Real to Reel was made possible with thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategies project grant.

FADO’s REAL TO REEL series was screened as a complete program in Toronto on March 14, 2024. The individual videos are available to watch on the website (see each project link).

Heather Rule

© Heather Rule, Bonny Stern’s Spicy Tomato Penne, video still, 2024.


Heather Rule is a ceramicist, animator, and ‘zine maker based in Toronto, Canada Her work explores self-narrativization, drawing on memoir and self-portraiture to explore how we create our personal histories. Heather has participated in ceramic residencies in Santa Fe, New Mexico (2018, 2019) and most recently in Skopelos, Greece (2023) where she continued to develop her particular approach to incorporating ceramics and animation.

Artist Orange

Just as a performance artist uses their body as their medium, this is a fragrance composed entirely of the orange tree: fruit, leaves, bark, roots, and flowers. Artist Orange performs itself.

Top Notes

neroli, blood orange

Middle Notes

fresh orange juice, petit grain

Base Notes

orange twig, orange seed