Artist
Irene Loughlin

Canada

Irene Loughlin uses multiple mediums including performance art, video art, sound art, writing, drawing and brush painting to comment on and imagine a place of presence and future hope within a normative, extinction-driven culture via neuroatypical interventions.

She has studied at the Ontario College of Art and Simon Fraser University, and has attended the NSCAD studio program in Tribeca, New York. In 2005 she was awarded the Lynch Staunton Award for mid-career work in the interdisciplinary category. Her work has been presented in various national and international contexts including: Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Klaus Steinmetz Gallery (San Jose, Costa Rica); The Western Front, Grunt Gallery, Xeno Gallery, Gallery Gachet, The Society for Disability Art and Culture (Vancouver); Centre for Art Tapes (Halifax), Projet/Projo – Studio 303 (MontrĂ©al); and FADO Performance Art Centre and 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art (Toronto). She is based in Hamilton, Ontario.

Performance
Performance Home: to embrace the sky by Irene Loughlin

Irene Loughlin’s home—where she spent the 2nd Covid-19 lockdown of 2020, and continues to live—is a small one bedroom apartment she shares with one other person. This 20th floor remnant of rent control is a tall building on the Hamilton escarpment, a concrete monument to the 70’s. Loughlin’s apartment contains an enclosed glass balcony that she has converted into her studio. From there, during the first part of her Performance Home residency, Loughlin is working on a series of experimental video performances using her body to reach and sustain contact with the “outside,” extending her arms through windows to establish a personal choreography with the sky and clouds, changing weather and birds; and through various actions such as ‘embracing the building’ in gratitude for shelter.

Alongside this corporeal research practice, Loughlin is mining her performance documentation archive. Observations written during her entry level job in the film industry in the midst of the pandemic are included. Her writing and drawings contain references to the first lockdown when she lived alone, and the film industry shut down. She spent most of the first three months of lockdown on CERB (as did many privileged persons living in Canada), deriving mental and spiritual sustenance from walking in the forest. By walking outside—breaching government recommendations in the first weeks and months of the pandemic—she sought to preserve her ‘sanity’ as a neuroatypical person living through the first pandemic announcements. These walks were generally devoid of human presence, and she took solace in the company of emerging deer, hawks, and other animals, as well as plants, trees and waterfalls. The first lockdown in the forest mirrored her experiences as a child confused in the company of others and seeking relief in the natural world. Sources are translated into pen and ink drawings, juxtaposed with writing that comments on her experiences as a performance and visual artist. The work comes together in a newly self-designed literary hybrid—a performance art graphic novel—that combines past objectives with the emotive and ecological crisis of our current moment specifically from Loughlin’s neuroatypical perspective.

Performance
Five Holes: Matters of Taste

ARTISTS
Tejpal S. Ajji
Jess Dobkin
Gyrl Grip
Irene Loughlin

FADO presents four performance environments dealing with the sense of taste in this final ‘gustatotry’ component of the Five Holes series.

Taste is perhaps the most ‘personal’ of all the senses. It is both primal—providing the impulses that drive consumption—and individualized: one person’s desire is another’s poison. While the word ‘taste’ is often associated with the concept of aesthetic discernment, Matters of Taste places its emphasis on a specific, visceral definition of taste: the perception of flavour and texture that takes place inside our mouths.

This series explores the implications of a sense that operates through the placement of foreign material inside one’s body. Matters of Taste is not concerned with the familiar social terrain of banquets and dinner parties so much as the links between physical sensation, unconscious/conscious drives, and our mouths as a point of contact with the external world. How does one orchestrate a performance for another’s mouth? What are the dynamics that seduce, persuade or convince others to put things in their mouths? What are we or aren’t we willing to put in our mouths? What intentions are bound up in the impulse to stimulate one’s taste buds? What does our sense of taste reveal about our internal desires and external projections?

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