Daydream in Toronto & Tube by Nezaket Ekici

During this residency presented in the context of FADO’s on-going IDea series, Turkish artist Nezaket Ekici, the artist creates two new video works in addition to presenting a new live performance. The images Ekici creates in her work are from the everyday environment, presented with either a theatrical sensibility or the beauty of minimalist sculpture.

“The idea, the thought, the draft form the basis of the execution of my artwork which takes form as performance and installation. Ideas and performance images come from everyday life situations, social and cultural atmospheres. In both performance and installation work, the body, alone, is the means of expression. The subjects I deal with are time, movement, space, material, body, action/interaction. I try to create works of art that create free space for associations and new possibilities for the audience. Taking a special situation from everyday life and without illustrating it exactly, one for one; I place it into a new context. I aim to create art where all of the elements are connected together to form a whole work of art (Gesamtkunstwerk).
~Nezaket Ekici

A student of Marina Abramovic (MFA, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, 2004) and a member of IPG (Independent Performance Group), Nezaket’s work has been presented at International Festivals, galleries and events around the world including Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Istanbul, Italy, Taiwan, Holland, France.

Exhibition: March 28–29, 2008 @ 12:00pm–5:00pm
Opening reception: March 28 @ 7:00pm
Live performances: March 28 @ 8:00pm & March 29 @ 2:00–4:00pm

Phalogocentrix by David Khang

FADO is pleased to present Vancouver-based artist David Khang new performance, Phalogocentrix. This performance is presented in the context of FADO’s on-going IDea series.

Phalogocentrix is a performance about language and the way it forms and informs our culture. Vancouver-based artist David Khang interrogates constructions and performativity of language that is at once gendered (phallocentric) and culturally specific (logocentric). Part calligraphy, part yoga, and part breakdancing, this syncretic ritual explores African and Asian cultural connectivities, within the theological context of a church. By bringing together traditional and contemporary cultural references, as well as trans-diasporic identities, this work is an attempt to further critical understanding of the relationships between race, gender, and language.

Co-sponsored by Vtape and the Images Festival.

Everyday life words in progress by Elvira Santamaria

FADO is proud to introduce Toronto audiences to the work of renowned Mexican artist Elvira Santamaria, who creates a new piece in-situ, working with the concept of “everyday life words in progress.” This project is presented in the context of FADO’s on-going IDea series.

For this project, Santamaria begins with the minimal idea of installing herself in a Toronto window front space and responding to the words found in two different Toronto newspapers each day. Engaged in a sensitive process of daily response Santamaria created a progressive series of actions, images and objects that speak to immediate conditions. The performance could be viewed from the street, or one could enter the space and interact with her. Starting with an 18-hour day, the performance became progressively shorter each day until the final 2-hour action on the last day.

Santamaria writes of her way of working: “I am interested in instant creation. I think that the need for real human communication demands freedom and spontaneity, far away from seeking determinate answers. Action artists are inventing new relationships among others and at the same time they are discovering and reinventing themselves.” (Source: New Moves International)

March 16 @ 6:00am–midnight
March 17 @ 6:00am–10:00pm
March 18 @ 6:00am–8:00pm
March 19 @ 6:00am–6:00pm
March 20 @ 7:00am–5:00pm
March 21 @ 9:00am–5:00pm
March 22 @ 11:00am–5:00pm
March 23 @ 1:00pm–5:00pm
March 24 @ 3:00pm–5:00pm

Somewhere Between Wakefield and Wichita by Glyn Davies-Marshall

Co-presented with Toronto Free Gallery, in the context with the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art. This performance is part of FADO’s IDea series, curated by Paul Couillard.

FADO is pleased to announce the North American debut of Glyn Davies-Marshall, hailed as “one of the great undiscovered voices of British performance art” by Andre Stitt. Davies-Marshall’s durational performance trilogy, Somewhere Between Wakefield and Wichita, is an epic three-day journey through a complex terrain of personal history, private mythology, and post-colonial politics. Developing three distinct durational performance environments, Davies-Marshall will attempt to fashion his own “multi-faceted, self-sufficient promised land,” situated somewhere between the bleak reality of rural Britain in the second half of the Twentieth Century and a mythologized North American cowboy frontier fuelled by the plaintive songs of Glenn Campbell.

Artist’s Proposition by Glyn Davies-Marshall
Somewhere Between Wakefield and Wichita – The Final Frontier

Over the last two years my practice has developed at such a speed that I have found myself mentally shelving piece after piece. There have been a couple of instances where I have had the chance to experiment with, and work through many stored concepts on a physical level. These were by no means large scale performances, more like sketches in the hope of sorting out and beginning to put some order and clarification to new issues.

From the early nineties my work has dealt with my own symbolic order, colloquialisms, the words of my father, the stigma of a Northern upbringing and a persistent habit of perceiving situations in an overly romantic fashion. There have been developments and issues that have subconsciously infiltrated my practice and train of thought that have now become fundamental facets within my work. These include Colonialism, Dictatorship, the plight of those who are seeking asylum and a recollection of a place that I once called home.

I now need to get out of my system the above issues, combining live performance, song, soundtrack, video, the ongoing construction of an installation, all under the title of; Somewhere Between Wakefield and Wichita – The Final Frontier. I shall work through many contexts allowing my audience to approach the work at many different levels, some of which may involve their participation as I create my multi-faceted, self-sufficient promised land.

Statement (May 16, 2005)

I will now create with as much detail and clarity the whole journey up to press from ‘Wakefield to Wichita’ rather than showing snap shots, instances and influences from along the way in the hope of putting some things to rest.

I have resigned myself and know full well that I can never finish this journey as I don’t believe that I will ever be able to understand the teachings and the instructions given to me by my father. ‘The Symbolic Order’ after all contradicted its self; instead the words of my father would always include the mother and her importance, along with the importance of everyone around me regardless of creed and colour.

My childhood has left me disillusioned, it has never shown me how to hate but it has instructed me on many levels how people hate. It has taught me control but never how to control others in order to succeed. Yet back then in many cultures including West Yorkshire, now and for the last three hundred years deception, repression and the power to exploit and overthrow has been a fundamental facet of progress. If we cannot have it, then we will take it. My country is an ulterior motive, I’m proud to wear its flag on my ass.

Forgive me if I am unable to find the right order in which to lay down my text. This is how the information comes to me in short snippets, like running through slides on a projector, yet they come on many levels, sometimes the information is not too clear and although the actions or objects seem very random, they fit, but I don’t know why.

Wakefield is a place in West Yorkshire. I was beaten there. My Grandfather died in the mines there raising money for stately homes. My father lost his sight there but it was never dealt with, not properly. Wichita is a place mentioned in a Glen Campbell song. Its Sunday afternoon, I’m small, Dad’s been working, I can smell the plaster on his clothes.

Part 1: Palamino
October 24, 2006 @ 6:00–10:00pm

Part 2: Number 33
October 25, 2006 @ 4:00pm–10:00pm

Part 3: The Wichita Line Man is Still on the Line
October 26, 2006 @ 6:00pm–10:00pm

ndn wars are alive, and…well? by Aiyyana Maracle

FADO is pleased to feature the world premiere of a new performance by award-winning artist Aiyyana Maracle. Join us in the ravine of Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park on the evening of October 22 when Maracle presents ndn wars are alive, and … well?, a multimedia performance with video projections. This performance is presented in the context of the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art.

Inventive, passionate and multi-talented, Maracle is known for her eloquent actions that assert the ongoing struggle for aboriginal presence and title in this country, particularly in her ongoing “peace piece” series. She is also recognized as a key contributor to Vancouver’s vibrant First Nations performance art scene.

Maracle provides this pointed commentary about her new work:

“The ndn wars: Canada’s Indigenous people remain resistant to the perpetuation of an unjust colonial relationship with ‘the Crown,’ and within Canadian society. The Crown, by its own actions and inactions more so than its words, continues to show its resistance to entering into a new era of an equitable, respectful, peaceful relationship between our cultures and peoples. Canada the meek; Canada, the world’s peacekeeper. Can there be peace in this world while this country remains so willing to, yet again, engage in violent repression of the Indigenous people of this land?”

Masks by Aiyyana Maracle
Video by Aiyyana Maracle and La Mathilde

In Search of Friedrich Nichtmargen by Vassya Vassileva

In Search of Friedrich Nichtmargen / From Uncreative Travel Book XXII [Surface Area 510,100,934 KM2 196.950.168 miles2] (short title: In Search of Friedrich Nichtmargen) will unfold as a series of talks (public and personal), actions, lectures and installations situated around the city, and a presence that aims to establish an ontological framework for the IDea of Friedrich Nichtmargen. Vassya Vassileva invites Toronto audiences to meet with her at the end of each day at Toronto Free Gallery. At that time she will share the daily results of her research through conversations, displays of the evidence she uncovers, and field trips to various local sites of interest.

Vassya Vassileva has been in search of the artist Friedrich Nichtmargen since Thursday, 4 Nov 2004 14:42:37 -0800 (PST). Upon losing him, Vassileva cancelled her engagements in order to search for all vestiges of evidence of his existence. According to Friedrich Nichtmargen, every declared identity is misleading, unhelpful and irrelevant – a pure diagnosis. In explaining her reasons for believing she might find traces of Friedrich in Toronto, Ms. Vassileva sent this fragmentary message:

“I was informed by the artist Hermann Hessler that Friedrich intended to go to the Canadian woods in relation to the ‘indispensability of measuring the distance between certain kinds of trees.’ I decided at once that the next geographical locality of my quest shall be Canada. During my stay in Toronto I will search for Friedrich Nichtmargen. In order to prefigure his local appearance, I shall strictly follow his own rules of mathematical formalization while scrutinizing geographical twists and measuring the distance by my own…”

Sponsored by Toronto Free Gallery and presented in the context of the 7A*11D International Festival of Performance Art

Additional performance: October 19 @ 8:00pm
XPACE Cultural Centre, 303 Augusta Avenue, Toronto

Melting Point: An Amusement by Warren Arcand

FADO presents a new performance by Warren Arcand. Melting Point: An Amusement is a reflection on Aboriginal experience in Canada early in the 21st Century. Melting Point is presented as part of the Drake’s Notes from the Underground series and is a part of FADO’s on-going IDea series.

Melting Point: An Amusement offers a set of actions regarding desire and identity, a body in heat, a pantomime of becoming—combining elegant, cynical wit with an extra-strength dose of hopeful persistence. Pulling together disparate threads of historical, political and cultural theory, the performance plays out through a vaudeville of hilarity tinged with monstrousness. Filtered through the perspective of “the Abo experience within the idea of Canada,” this performance is, in the artist’s words, “. . . an Amusement regarding nations, naming, the making or modelling of an individual, what it is or isn’t—and maybe finally arriving at an appreciation that much is at stake at making Individuals because it entails making a claim on the world—a potentially totalitarian reproduction.”

Sponsored by The Drake Hotel

Bonus Performance: The Chair by Warren Arcand
January 27, 2006 @ 8:00pm
The Drake Hotel Yoga Den | 1150 Queen Street West, Toronto

Egalitarian by Louise Liliefeldt

FADO presents Egalitarian, a new work by Louise Liliefeldt, one of Toronto’s premiere performance artists. This work is the first in a major new cycle of performances by the artist entitled DEADICATIONS: A Collection of Live Art Works, as well as being the latest instalment in FADO’s IDea series.

In Egalitarian, influences of pop culture and personal memories intersect as Liliefeldt creates the first in a series of “portraits shaped by ritualistic actions.” This special midnight performance takes place in the artist’s home, revealing a selection of her most private acts in an “intimate, honest, awkward and thoughtful” performance. Egalitarian will unfold through a series of images that respond to a specific set of popular songs. Liliefeldt explains: “I am interested in creating actions that respond to the pace and overall mood of each song while also representing ideas that until now I seemed unable to communicate within my artistic or social practices. They have something to do with deep and very personal opinions and emotions that have long been suppressed.”

Liliefeldt notes her deep connection to those who have influenced her work:

DEADICATIONS takes its inspiration from a handful of individuals whose life on earth was spent dedicated to the same things I believe in. I was profoundly affected by the dedication of these selected individuals, expressed through their chosen lifestyles and the messages they communicated—whether through the lyrics they professed, their various art forms, or the statements made through life altering actions. All were motivated, inspired by or had no choice but to act with all they had, which in some cases was their life. They were all passionately driven by issues related to the politics of race and class. They are artists, writers and musicians who have given me the inspiration and will necessary to become the individual I am today, and the individual I have always been, as I realize little has changed when reflecting on who and what I am as well as why I am. These individuals are physically dead, but the essence of everything they stood for continues.”

Fashion Plate by Cindy Baker

Cindy Baker invites you to get designing and turn her into a Fashion Plate. This two-week interactive performance, presented at and sponsored by The Drake Hotel (Toronto), is the second performance project in FADO’s IDea series.

For Fashion Plate, Cindy Baker will set up a sewing machine and various fabrics and pattern samples at Toronto’s The Drake Hotel. Audience members can drop in daily to meet with Baker and design an item of clothing – or perhaps an entire outfit – for her. Visitors are asked to take the process as far as cutting out the fabric, and then Baker (or her assistant) will finish the sewing job, with the results to be shown at a clothing launch on the last day of the performance.

For Baker, this process is about asking audience members, “to think about a large woman’s body, about someone else’s body, regardless of size, about that body in relation to their own and in relation to fashion, (a visual translation of society’s rules or standards about bodies).”

Baker goes one to write:

“One of my interests with this project is in examining the dance people will do between wanting to create something that will fit (and look good) on my (relatively enormous) body, while avoiding creating something so large as to be farcical… This project asks the viewer to look at me not as a performance artist but as a model—they are the artist/designer, so there are many possible layers of awkwardness.

Fashion Plate is about taking categorically/traditionally/predictably disappointed expectations, culminating in nervous-viewer-meets-nervous-artist, and trying to come up with small solutions. What interests me about disappointed expectations is finding the truths hidden within: set up an unrealistic task, and map the strategies used in trying to achieve the task to reveal something real.

I usually take on these tasks to learn more about my limitations, but this project sets out to present small tasks to others who are willing—and I will share with them in return. For this to work, we must both be willing to be a bit vulnerable. It’s a negotiation; the more they share, the more I can share, and the more information changes hands, the more interesting (and perhaps wearable) the end product.

The Sun is Crooked in the Sky; My Father is Thrown Over my Shoulders by Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa

FADO’s IDea series begins with The Sun is Crooked in the Sky; My Father is Thrown over my Shoulders, a continuous 100-hour performance by Guatemalan-born Canadian artist Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa.

The Sun is Crooked in the Sky; My Father is Thrown over my Shoulders is a visceral, searching visual and action-based exploration of aspects of the artist’s personal history. In his notes for the performance, Ramirez-Figueroa writes:

“The artist’s family, like many other Guatemalan – and Latin American – families, has dealt with common, though taboo issues of class and race differences that have affected the family dynamic. In the case of Ramirez-Figueroa there is a history of indigenous women having the children of whiter men, men who become fathers unwilling to recognize the children as their own. By using metaphorical elements of his childhood – like powdered milk – and through sleep deprivation, Ramirez-Figueroa will push the limits of his endurance with the purpose of reaching an altered state of consciousness through which to meditate upon a genealogy of absent white fathers.”


Curatorial Statement by Paul Couillard

Issues of identity are at the centre of IDea, FADO’s multi-year international performance art series. Chris Barker writes that cultural politics are about “the power to name; the power to represent common sense; the power to create ‘official versions’; and the power to represent the legitimate social world.” These powers speak to identity in a territorial, institutionalized framework, but performance practices offer the possibility of turning their presumed weaknesses—contingency, ephemerality and aterritoriality—into strengths, by offering a potentially decolonized, non-institutional forum.

The concept of identity has been at the forefront of art discourse since the 1980s. Performance artists have been particularly concerned with how our various identities are constructed, how they mark us and how they influence self-understanding. At the same time, artists have also used performance tactics to problematize and transform their identities. In recent years, the debate has shifted to examine identity issues in subtler, less didactic ways, using the territory of identity as a ground for complex and often ambivalent readings of subjectivity, hybridity and representation. IDea draws from this growing body of work.

The series considers a broad range of identity labels, including gender, skin colour, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, familial role, economic status, political affiliation and profession, to name a few of the more obvious possibilities. In blunt terms, the series will circulate around an underlying set of interrelated questions. How do we accept or resist these multiple identities? Which do we choose to embrace, and why? What identity labels are misleading, unhelpful or irrelevant, and in what ways? How do these labels intersect with one another? How do they determine the nature and quality of our lives? How do they contribute to a sense of belonging or alienation?

While these questions inform the series, they are only a contextualizing lens, not a prescription for how individual projects should or will be structured. IDea is not about representation, or the politics of difference, which is to say that the intention is not to assemble a collection that presents one of each kind. We are not encouraging strident political statements (though there is certainly room for them), but rather, featuring works that reveal something about how the creators understand and situate themselves. Along the way, we also hope to track how artists use performance tactics to circumvent prescribed attitudes and behaviours around identity.

IDea seeks to consider a range of bodily identities—physical, social, political, emotional, and spiritual. To provide further context for the series, commissioned critical that respond to each of the performances. These texts will come from an interdisciplinary variety of thinkers in the realms of philosophy, religion, politics and science.

The IDea series presented 12 performance projects between 2005–2007, and was curated by Paul Couillard.

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