Artist
Isabel Le贸n

Isabel Leo虂n, CHARCO Exchange, 2015. Photo Soufia Bensai虉d.

b. 1974, Spain
www.isabelleon.com
www.exchangeliveart.com

Isabel Le贸n lives in Granada. She is an artist, independent cultural manager and teacher. She holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University (Valencia), European Erasmus Scholarship in Athens (Greece) and Valencia Polytechnic University Scholarship in La Habana (Cuba), and a Master in Art Production and Research from the Granada University (Spain).

Her work has evolved from photography and video to performance art, a practice that she has been almost exclusively dedicated to since 2007, taking part in numerous performance festivals, events and residences, including Exchange Suomi (Finland, 2014), Exchange Espa帽a-Norge (Oslo, 2014), Abierto de Acci贸n (Cartagena, 2014, Ja茅n, 2013, Murcia 2011), Art贸n (2012/11), PoesiAcci贸n! (Instituto Cervantes de Berl铆n, 2011), Festival Cabezabajo (Granada, 2011), NauEstruch (Barcelona, 2010), Art d 虂acci贸 (Valencia, 2010), Acci贸n!MAD (Madrid, 2011/09), La Muga Caula (Girona, 2008/09), Sinergia (Girona, 2008).

Her passion for performance art pushes her to promote the practice of performance through organizing meetings and events both locally and internationally. She combines her artistic and management activity through teaching, giving workshops in different contexts, such as art centres, universities and independent spaces. Currently she is an active member of Enclave Contemporary Creation in Granada, and she is co-founder of the project EXCHANGE Live Art with artist Ana Matey, a series of residences, laboratories and art meetings, which use action art as a research tool to investigate communication.

Writing
Notes on CHARCO Exchange
Collaboration.

If one were asked to define the value of art in our contemporary society, you might say that art鈥檚 greatest virtue is its ability to communicate across language, culture, and context. But, communicate what? And, who (or what) does the communicating? 

For the artists engaged in an EXCHANGE Live Art 鈥渕eeting laboratory鈥, the key ingredient in an experimental recipe for collective creation is communication across languages (spoken, body), cultures (Spanish, African, Tunisian) and contexts (urban, rural, native country, the diaspora and more). Communication is mediated through performance art actions, exercises, and proposals initiated and responded to, looped and fed back, from artist to artist over time and space (before the project actually begins in situ) and in person directly one day and one moment at a time during the working period. Communication is the precursor and the catalyst for collaboration, and collaboration is only made possible (or improbable) between the artists who are working at communicating.

The definition of collaboration is, 鈥渢he action of working with someone to produce or create something.鈥 Though the word 鈥榗ollaboration鈥 here is a noun, even in this modest state of simply naming, it refuses to be passive. The energy of collaboration is not waiting, or hoping or wishing, it is action. (Though sometimes this action can be or can include waiting, hoping and wishing.) Collaboration is intrinsic to the discipline of performance art where artists and audiences are locked together in a perpetual exchange of doing and witnessing, seeing and being seen. The active investment of both artists and audiences in this exchange is what makes a performance possible, is what makes a work an actual thing. 

The EXCHANGE Live Art project risks failure with each iteration, because it is impossible to predict what will happen or not happen between strangers who have been asked to create something together, to merge working styles, approaches, and most of all, intentions. There is no guarantee of ease or comfort, or even of empathy. The first tendency is to normalize, to try and make it work. But what if it doesn鈥檛? When communication breaks down, does this provide a more rich territory to work from? 

Asked to employ performance art as a strategy for the research of communication across language, culture, and context, the outcome of the project changes each time, with each new pairing. Each group finds their rhythm, pace, and manages to present something functioning as a conclusion. But, what is the conclusion? Is it a picture of a resolved way of working between strangers, now friends? Or is it a reflection of something more messy and undefined? The truth is probably found somewhere in the middle of these two options, hovering between truth and fiction, harmony and conflict, understanding and misunderstanding. Not friends, but no longer strangers either.

Performance
CHARCO Exchange

FADO is pleased to be facilitating the LIVE ART EXCHANGE’s Canadian edition: CHARCO EXCHANGE. Presented in partnership with DARE-DARE, Link&Pin, and Rats9 in Montr茅al; and VideoFag in Toronto, CHARCO EXCHANGE happens between two cities from May 11鈥30, 2015.

The first phase takes place in Montr茅al from May 11鈥23, and will culminate in a public sharing in where works in progress/creation will be presented. The duos working together (who have already started the process before meeting in person through email, writing, Skype etc.) are Sofia and Ana; and Isabel and Olivier. In the last week of the project, the four artists move to Toronto where they continue their research, with a final sharing of the work produced will take place on Saturday May 30, in an event that will include live specimens, lectures and exhibition of the process carried out.

ARTISTS
Ana Matey (Spain)
Isabel Le贸n (Spain)
Serge Olivier Fokoua (Cameroon/Canada)
Souf茂a Bensa茂d (Tunisia/Canada)

LIVE ART EXCHANGE is a process-based research and creation project initiated by Ana Matey and Isabel Leon in 2012, and has realized projects with dozens of artists in Spain, Finland and Norway. 

LIVE ART EXCHANGE is an on-going research project on communication and interpretation of messages between individuals, using performance and action art as the basis for this research. LIVE ART EXCHANGE is interested in collective creation and believes that artistic creation is a live act, without boundaries or limits. The project manifests in a variety of proposals including meetings, residencies, workshops, talks and other outcomes including photography, video, and performance working with artists and creative people from different disciplines, backgrounds and origins. LIVE ART EXCHANGE proposes focusing on artistic process and the artists themselves, rather than the outcome or production of specific works. In this project, the research around ideas of 鈥嬧媍ommunication-interpretation and the process of creation itself goes beyond the outcome of the play itself.

DARE-DARE supports research and valorises emerging practices. Its members are interested in the context of creation and answer the need of exchange and collaboration. DARE-DARE is a flexible, open space devoted to research, experimentation, risk and critical inquiry. The artist-run centre manifests a sustained interest in exploration and in the diversity in the modes of presentation.

LINK&PIN is an international performance art series based in Montr茅al, Canada. It is organized and curated by Adriana Disman along with a huge amount of support from the local performance art community. It holds a constantly changing mission in an effort to stay relevant. Currently, L&P strives to support artists who are in some way marginalized and engages with thinking through anti-disciplinarity and the politics of arts funding.

RATS9 est un espace positif et inclusif o霉 il est possible, 脿 travers l鈥檃rt, d鈥檈ngager une conversation 脿 propos des enjeux f茅ministes, post/d茅-coloniaux et queer. Notre mission est d鈥檕ffrir un support 脿 la cr茅ation et 脿 la diffusion d鈥檃rtistes dont le travail aborde les probl茅matiques li茅es 脿 l鈥檌dentit茅 sexuelle, ainsi qu鈥檃ux pratiques anti-oppressive. Rats9 strives to be a positive and inclusive space where it’s possible, be through art, to engage in conversations about feminism, post-/de-coloniality, and queerness. Our mission is to offer support for the creation and diffusion of artists whose work addresses issues related to sexual identity, as well as anti-oppressive practice.

VIDEOFAG is a storefront cinema and performance lab in Toronto’s Kensington Market, dedicated to the creation and exhibition of video, film, new media, and live art. The space is run by Jordan Tannahil and William Ellis, who converted the space from an old barbershop in October 2012.

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