Artist
Gyrl Grip

USA

The Gyrl Grip is driven by the desire to reveal, and de-veil challenging issues that exist within postmodern life and society. Their goal is not to provide answers, but to expose the difficult questions hidden behind cultural taboos and media spectacle, and to provide a forum for dialogue (internal and external) through the performative act. The core members of the Grip are co-founders of the Portland, Oregon based 2 Gyrlz Performative Arts, Lisa Newman and Llewyn Måire (with their associated Avatars). 

Since forming in 1998, the Gyrl Grip has manifested over 25 public showings. Notable performances include: the Proud to Put Out text-based performance series hosted in Portland by 2 Gyrlz, participation in the 2002 Black Sun Festival in Washington State, Full Nelson 5 in Los Angels (2003), FluXconcert PDX (2003), and street performances throughout the Pacific Northwest. Boot Camp, which explores violence against transpeople through live action and media, was presented in Helsinki and Turku, Finland in 2004 as part of Studio LĂ -Bas’ Space Contentions festival, as well as in Victoria, BC, Segue was performed at Lewis & Clark College’s annual Gender Symposium in March of 2006.

Artist
Tejpal S. Ajji

Canada

Tejpal S. Ajji is a Malton, Ontario-based artist whose ongoing investigations of the “invisible structures” of genetics, gravity, airborne disease, and government bureaucracy have led to an interest in social engineering processes. Development in government subsidized housing, immigration integration and colonial policy are explored from personal and broader cultural experience.

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.

Artist
Jess Dobkin

USA / Canada
www.jessdobkin.com

Jess Dobkin has been a working artist, curator, community activist, mentor and teacher for more than 25 years, creating and producing intimate solo theatre performances, large-scale public happenings, socially engaged interventions and performance art workshops and lectures. Her practice extends across black boxes and white cubes, art fairs and subway stations, international festivals, and single bathroom stalls. She creates intimate solo theatre performances, large-scale public happenings, playful subversive interventions and engaging performance art workshops and lectures.

Her creative endeavours have received wide support and recognition, including repeated funding from the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art and the Astraea Foundation, and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council. Her work has toured North America, and has been presented at renowned avant-garde venues in New York, including P.S.122, The Kitchen, LaMama, Dixon Place, Judson Memorial Church, and the WOW Cafe. In Toronto, her work has been presented at the Rhubarb! Festival, SPIN Gallery, the Inside/Out Festival, the Hysteria Festival, and other venues. Jess is currently (2022) Curator of the Performing Archives stream of a multi-year SSHRC Partnership Grant entitled, Hemispheric Encounters: Developing Transborder Research-Creation Practices.

© Jess Dobkin, How Many Performance Artists Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb? (For Martha Wilson), 2015. Photo by Tania Anderson.

Performance
Five Holes: Matters of Taste

ARTISTS
Gyrl Grip
Irene Loughlin
Jess Dobkin
Tejpal S. Ajji

Curated by Paul Couillard

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?

PROGRAM INCLUDES

Kobe by Gyrl Grip
Liquid Skyline by Irene Loughlin
Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar by Jess Dobkin
The Oral Projects by Tejpal S. Ajji

Series
Five Holes

Curatorial Statement by Paul Couillard

Five Holes foregrounds our bodies by examining aspects of the five basic human senses. The presence of bodies—the performer’s body and the audience members’ bodies—is an essential element of performance. We ‘perform’ when we bring our bodies into relationships with an audience in time and space. Five Holes considers some of the ways in which sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste allow us to perceive. At the core of this project is a concern with our bodies as a root aspect of humanness. The presence of bodies—the performer’s body and the audience members’ bodies—is an essential element of performance. We ‘perform’ when we bring our bodies into relationships with an audience in time and space. Five Holes foregrounds our bodies, considering some of the ways in which sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste allow us to perceive.

Civilization has constructed a worldview where ‘virtual’ reality has become a tantalizing ideal – a desired end point that will offer our consciousness and imagination a new beginning and a new territory to explore. At the same time, cultural theory has come to consider our bodies as something separate from our selves – referring to an objectified Other, ‘the body’, sometimes understood as a ‘text’, and sometimes considered as one ‘site’ among many to be inhabited. Our bodies are now subject to interrogation on multiple fronts, particularly in the realm of performance – from Stelarc’s assertions that “the body is obsolete” to Orlan’s surgical remodeling of her physical appearance. It seems that we are following an inevitable path, guided by RenĂ© Descartes’ oft-quoted maxim, “I think, therefore I am.” We are in a headlong rush to abandon our bodies – our imperfect, traitorous physical forms that suffer, wear out and eventually die. We seek immortality and omnipotence, two qualities that our ‘minds’ can imagine but that our ‘bodies’ can never attain.

But where and how are knowledge and imagination generated? For me, the answer lies in the daily struggles and resistances that my body undergoes. I am motivated by imperatives – survival, empathy, a search for fulfillment – that are bodily driven. Learning does not come from having my thoughts fully realized the moment that I think them; learning comes from experience, which is another way of saying that it develops through the process of making my thoughts manifest in physical form. Learning happens as I go about trying to reconcile my theoretical ideal with the exigencies of physical laws and available resources. To ‘do’ inevitably brings a deeper, more nuanced understanding than to ‘imagine’. This is not a simple or straightforward process: it brings pain as well as pleasure, and often what I discover seems neither fair nor friendly. Nevertheless, I am not so eager to leave behind my cross-eyed, bow-legged body. I love this life, and I am certain that what I have to learn or discover can only be manifested through my body.

We define our living bodies in multiple ways: as material (flesh, blood and bone); as process (respiration, circulation, electrical impulses); and as vessel (of experience and consciousness). It could be argued that our senses are what constitute our bodies. We associate our senses most directly with ‘sensation’, the domains of pleasure and horror, but our senses also play a larger role in connecting us to the world and shaping our identities. They are how we apprehend the world—the points of intersection between our individual consciousnesses and the actuality of time and space. It is through our senses that we undertake and negotiate our relationships to each other and our surroundings. Human senses have developed over time. Each sense provides us with a different set of information, evolving, if we believe Darwin, according to what best allows us to survive and prosper as a species. As conditions change, and as our bodies adapt in other ways, presumably our senses could also change. Five Holes provides artists and audiences with an opportunity to test their senses as they are now, informed by both history and imagination.

Five Holes brings us together in this time and this space to see, touch, smell, hear and taste. These varied projects are united in their search for the possibilities—not only for pleasure, but also for knowing – that the senses have to offer.


Five Holes was a multi-year, multi-event series curated by Paul Couillard. Spanning the years 1995–2006, each iterative event highlighted one of the body’s five senses.

Five Holes: I’ll be seeing you (1995)
Five Holes: Touched (1997)
Five Holes: reminiSCENT (2003)
Five Holes: Listen! (2004)
Five Holes: Matters of Taste (2006)

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