Artist
Devora Neumark

Canada
www.devoraneumark.com

Devora Neumark’s interdisciplinary artistic practice includes live-art, durational performative interventions, sound and photography installations, public commissions and storytellings. In 1995, she initiated and co-organised (with Regine Basha) the international symposium “Visual Art and Jewish Identity: A Contemporary Experience” at the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montreal. More recently she initiated and co-organized (with Loren Lerner and pk langshaw) Public Art as Social Intervention…, a Montreal-based project held at Concordia University in November 1999, which included a symposium, artistic interventions and an extensive website. From 1995 to 1999 Neumark served as Vice President of Auberge Shalom…pour femmes, Canada’s first Kosher crisis intervention centre and shelter for women victims of conjugal violence. As a frequent lecturer, she has addressed a wide variety of audiences, speaking about engaged artistic practice, the authority of memory, formations of identity, and inter-generational violence and healing.

Performance
One Stitch at a Time by Devora Neumark

One Stitch at a Time is presented in the context of FADO’s ongoing Public Spaces / Private Places series and begins with an artist talk in Toronto. The project then continues, over several weeks in residency with three separate families.

This project follows upon and works with the tradition of the itinerant seamstress, who once moved into the homes of the people whose clothing she made. For One Stitch at a Time, over the course of several weeks, Devora Neumark will take up residence with three separate host families for as long as it takes her to stitch (crochet or embroider) a personalized object for a family member or the home.

One Stitch at a Time honours intimate spaces as a means of community engagement. It is an invitation to share and explore daily life and issues of the heart through personal storytelling and stitching. This participatory process is a key component, as the work is not meant primarily as a viewing experience. In the deliberate blurring of roles – invoking a question of who is the audience and who are the performers – is a statement about the capacity for each and every one of us to be authorizing agents of individual and collective memory and history.


ARTIST STATEMENT

To date my projects have included durational performative interventions on street corners, in subway stations and bus terminals, private homes and outdoor parks; place-mats inserted into restaurants; postcards; photographic works installed as memorial structures in public gathering places; stone markers, storytellings, sound pieces, and community based collaborations.

Working within seemingly ‘ordinary’ frames of action (peeling beets, crocheting, singing, telling stories, making dough, sweeping flour, walking the landscape), the contexts that I create for my work are in many ways a (re)negotiation of daily dwelling practice — attempts at rewiring both self and society in the aftermath of violence and trauma. Performative rather than performance, the work has been characterized by a direct sharing and exchange with the individuals who come across it (mostly incidentally) and who choose to approach / witness / participate.

I have been concerned with the authority of memory, social agency in the memorial form(s) and the negotiation of control and authority inherent in historical and cultural constructions and their representations. I place a particular importance on the continuum between the private and public spheres (the individual and the social body) and on the nexus between public(s) and community(ies).

Devora Neumark, 1999

The artist wishes to thank The Canada Council’s Inter-Arts Program and SKOL, a Montreal-based artist-run centre, for their support of this project.

Series
Public Spaces / Private Places

Public Spaces / Private Places was a 3-year long international performance art series featuring 22 projects, created by 26 artists, from Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. The series explored the elements that turn neutral ‘space’ into meaningful ‘place’ through performances that examined the degrees of intimacy, connection and interaction that mark the dividing line between public and private. The series was particularly focused on performances created for intimate audiences. Some projects featured site-specific or installational environments that invited participants into a sensory or experiential journey. Others were process-oriented, involving public intervention, intimate gestures, or actions that were, by their nature, nearly invisible. Above all, the series explored the points where identity and geography intersect to generate meaning.

The series took place in Toronto in various locations, from 2000–2003, and was curated by Paul Couillard.


2002–2003
Walking and Getting Rid of Something by Kirsten Forkert
Promenades by Sylvie Cotton
The Rootless Man by Iwan Wijono
Disposition by Adina Bar-On

2001–2002
Talking to my Horse by Archer Pechawis
A Gathering for Her by Reona Brass
Mettachine (Sequence 1) by Louise McKissick
Feu de Joie by Randy & Berenicci
Open Surgery by Oreet Ashery & Svar Simpson
Remembrance Day by Johanna Householder
Disclosure by Undo
Meridian by Marilyn Arsem
One Stitch in Time by Devora Newmark

2000–2001
The Addmore Session by Istvan Kantor
spoken house by Otiose
Public Web by Tagny Duff
Numb/Hum: A Subterranean Metropolitan Opera by Christine Carson
Between Us by Jerzy Onuch
Ethel: Bloodline by Louise Liliefeldt
where do I go from here? by Stefanie Marshall
Urban Disco Trailer by Jinhan Ko
Evanescent Rumour by Tony Romano

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