Performance
Moving Bodies by MC Coble

Single channel video with sound, 6:45

Beings climbing, clinging, crawling, reaching and searching. Bodies moving in various tempi, on multiple structures and surfaces and through natural elements like wind and water. This video montage creates subtle connections between small everyday observations connecting them beyond the binaries of human/non-human, wilderness/domesticity, familiar/monstrous. In motion, always in process, the potential for new interactions between species, things, and bodies.

Special thanks to Shannon Cochrane and Mike Hoolboom for footage of the Cinesphere, shot in 2016 during PULSE (Toronto), a 10-day live performance by MC Coble. PULSE (Toronto) was presented as part of the year long series MONOMYTHS; conceived and curated by Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane; and commissioned by FADO Performance Art Centre. The Cinesphere is the world’s first permanent IMAX movie theatre, designed in 1971 by Eberhard Zeidler at Ontario Place, Toronto, Canada. It is a 35-metre-wide triodetic-domed, with a 19-metre outer radius.

FADO‚Äôs REAL TO REEL series was screened as a complete program in Toronto on March 14, 2024. REAL TO REEL was made possible by funding from the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategies grant.

WATCH Moving Bodies by MC Coble video below in the documentation gallery.

Series
REAL TO REEL

ARTISTS
Gustaf Broms (Sweden)
Heather Rule (Canada)
Margaret Dragu (Canada)
MC Coble (USA/Sweden)
Simla Civelek (Canada)

As an immaterial practice, performance art‚Äôs relationship to documentation and the archive has always been a fraught one. On the one hand, documentation‚ÄĒand its circulation‚ÄĒis critical for an artist‚Äôs 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, ‚Äúthe camera‚Äôs viewfinder has no peripheral vision so it records a flattened reality… the time-based image becomes lifeless.‚ÄĚ 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.

FADO’s REAL TO REEL series was screened as a complete program in Toronto on March 14, 2024. The individual videos are available to watch on the website (see each project link).

Artist
MC Coble

USA / Sweden
https://www.mccoble.com/

MC Coble (they/them) seeks to make visible the hidden/ignored histories and contemporary urgencies of marginalized communities, informed in part, by their own experiences as a non-binary trans* artist, activist and educator. Photography, performance art, video and recently drawing form a material foundation for their critical and intersectional approach to thinking along with queer & trans* feminist politics, investigating the power of play and the potential of failure as methods. Often working site-specifically, research-based and collectively are integral to Coble’s ways of working. Coble’s artistic activities not only involve creating performances and other art works, but also leading and engaging in workshops, making publications, and community organizing.

Coble has recently published the book Things Change Anyway (in collaboration with their partner, art historian Louise Wolthers), which won the Swedish Photobook Prize 2024. Through photos, drawing and text, it imagines metamorphosis such as non-binary gender affirmations, menopause and aging as well has non-human connectivity and queer kinship. Coble lives and works in Gothenburg, Sweden and currently has a two year working grant from the Swedish Arts Council.

Book
Golden Book 3: Pulse


Golden Book 3: Pulse accompanies MC Coble’s 2016 performance, in which the artist climbs the iconic Cinesphere at Ontario Place each day in order to repurpose it as a beacon of protest. A series of Morse Code messages are transmitted from the structure to receivers on the ground positioned throughout Ontario Place island who then relay the message on using their own light source. The transmitted messages are composed of statements and chants used in recent and current protests and fights for civil rights which will be selected from the artist‚Äôs archive as well as in collaboration with local community. This collaborative gesture of solidarity merges activist and nautical language to amplify a collective call for action.

Golden Book 3: Pulse (2016)
Author: MC Coble
Design: Lisa Kiss
Publisher: FADO Performance Art Centre
Series: Golden Books, 3rd
48 pages; 5 x 2 inches ; Print Book, English

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 7

MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
Presented by FADO in the context of Art Spin’s in/future.

MONOMYTHS¬†invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell‚Äôs conception of the hero‚Äôs journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons‚ÄĒboth inner and outer‚ÄĒin consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 7: Ordeals
PULSE by MC Coble

In MC Coble’s Pulse, the artist climbs the iconic Cinesphere at Ontario Place each day in order to repurpose it as a beacon of protest. A series of Morse Code messages are transmitted from the structure to receivers on the ground positioned throughout Ontario Place island who then relay the message on using their own light source. The transmitted messages are composed of statements and chants used in recent and current protests and fights for civil rights which will be selected from the artist‚Äôs archive as well as in collaboration with local community. This collaborative gesture of solidarity merges activist and nautical language to amplify a collective call for action.

Coble‚Äôs Pulse fits into the MONOMYTHS journey at Stage 7: Ordeals. During this stage of the journey the heroine has come face to face with their personal challenge. In this moment they either confront death or face their greatest fear. The hope of this stage of the journey is that by confronting their greatest fear and conquering it, they can embark on a new life. Coble‚Äôs response to illuminating this stage of the journey suggests the necessity of challenging seemingly inaccessible structures and systems (social, political personal), while insisting on the interdependency of a collective effort by employing the communication of multiple bodies, versus attempting to cross this personal bridge alone. Refraining from a heroic narrative of conquering an iconic structure, the piece lends itself to chance and even possibly, failure.

PULSE is presented in the context of in/future, a festival of art and music, presented by Art Spin in partnership with Small World Music. 100+ transformative experiences re-animating the West Island of Ontario Place during this once-in-a-lifetime festival. 60+ artists including large scale installations, films, and performances. 40+ musical performances on the Small World Music stage.

Thanks to Rui Pimenta and Layne Hinton (Art Spin), Mike Hazleton (Ontario Place), and special thanks to Matthew Languay and Basecamp Climbing for their expertise and support. Thanks to Matt Seto for facilitating the climbing team who are supporting this project. 

Performance
Commitment Issues curated by Jess Dobkin

Commitment Issues presents the work of five artists and one collective who use their bodies as primary source material to investigate qualities and dimensions of commitment‚ÄĒto ideas, to performance, to audience and to the artists themselves. Through play, risk, intimacy and sexuality, these artists transcend fixed social, psychological, physical and spiritual notions of commitment.

Further confounding the interplay of fixed notions of commitment, the venue for Commitment Issues is Oasis Aqualounge, home to Toronto’s preeminent swinger’s club. Performance sites will include the outdoor heated swimming pool, steam room, hot tub and locker room. Audiences are invited to stay late and enjoy all of Oasis Aqualounge’s amenities that also include a sauna, two bars and multiple lounges. Locker and towel service provided. Bring your bathing suit or birthday suit. Admission restricted to patrons 19+ years of age.

ARTISTS
Cassils (Montréal / USA)
MC Coble (USA / Sweden)
Alicia Grant (Toronto)
Dominic Johnson (UK)
Dana Michel (Montréal)
The Pole Club (Toronto)

Processing: Artist’ Panel & Reception
Studio Theatre, Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, 4 Glen Morris Street
November 17, 2011 @ 7:30pm

The panel is co-sponsored by the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama at the University of Toronto and the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto.

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