omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est by Simla Civelek

Inspired by her own works presented previously at FADO, in this new video for the REAL TO REEL series, Simla Civelek reflects on the fragmented performance body.

omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est
video, 5:55 minutes

This video began by thinking about how fragmented body parts can be recorded at different times in different places. I became curious how this differs from the body, as a whole, performing in space at a specific time. What is the relationship between those various body parts moving simultaneously, yet performing a non-action? In which particular moment does an opportunity appear; in decisiveness or through hesitation and slowness? I am not sure of anything at any time yet decisions are still made as time moves in circles. 

Simla Civelek

FADO’s 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 omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est by Simla Civelek below in the documentation gallery.


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

Curated by Shannon Cochrane

As an immaterial practice, performance art’s relationship to documentation and the archive has always been a fraught one. On the one hand, documentation—and its circulation—is critical for an artist’s 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, “the camera’s viewfinder has no peripheral vision so it records a flattened reality… the time-based image becomes lifeless.” 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).

Simla Civelek

© Simla Civelek, White Open, 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, 2014. Photo by Henry Chan.

Turkey / Canada

Simla Civelek is a performance artist based in Toronto, Canada. Her work has been presented at FADO Performance Art Centre, 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, SAVAC, and Nuit Blanche in Toronto; Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops; Circa in Montréal; Art Nomade in Chicoutimi; Regart in Lévis; Glasshouse Art Life Lab in Brooklyn and Experimental Action Performance Art Festival in Houston, USA; and OPEN Performance Art Festival in China, among other venues.

“I don’t want realism, I want magic.” I came across this quote recently, once again, years after reading A Streetcar Named Desire for the first time. Things feel inherently different now. An outside world in turmoil and an inner world with angst, fear, and weariness. Blanche makes more sense, or rather, I understand her need. When I have the cynical question of “why make performance,” I also have the inclination to start from the present moment to find an answer, or rather, to look for an answer. As realism can never be a match for magic.

Simla Civelek
Artist Orange

Just as a performance artist uses their body as their medium, this is a fragrance composed entirely of the orange tree: fruit, leaves, bark, roots, and flowers. Artist Orange performs itself.

Top Notes

neroli, blood orange

Middle Notes

fresh orange juice, petit grain

Base Notes

orange twig, orange seed