Join us on March 14, 2024 for a screening of the new video works in FADO’s Real to Reel series.
Gustaf Broms (Sweden)
Heather Rule (Canada)
Margaret Dragu (Canada)
MC Coble (USA/Sweden)
Simla Civelek (Canada)
As an immaterial practice, performance art’s relationship to documentation and the archive has always been a fraught one. On the one hand, documentation—and its circulation—is critical for an artist’s 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, “the camera’s viewfinder has no peripheral vision so it records a flattened reality… the time-based image becomes lifeless.” 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.