Artist
Svar Simpson

Svar Simpson is a visual artist with a central practice in sculpture, also working in performance, film, new technology and urban art forms. The pervading theme running through the work focuses on transmutation. The human body is acknowledged as an integral contribution to the mechanics of an interdisciplinary production.

Artist
Oreet Ashery

b. 1966, Israel / England
https://oreetashery.net/

Oreet Ashery is artist based in London, UK. Her work encompasses live art, video, sound and photography and has shown internationally in various contexts. Oreet is interested in the slippage between art and life and further mutations of current art practices. Her work uses politics of the body in relation to culture and location.

Performance
Open Surgery by Oreet Ashery & Svar Simpson

FADO presents Open Surgery, an interactive live art installation with British artists Oreet Ashery and Svar Simpson. This is the latest instalment in FADO’s ongoing Public Spaces / Private Places series. Presented with support from the British Council and London Arts.

Surgery (Concise Oxford Dictionary)
2) a place where a doctor, dentist, lawyer or other professional person gives advice or treats patients;
3) the occasion of this

Open Surgery is a playful investigation of notions of ‘self-improvement,’ with references to psychiatry, psychoanalysis, alternative therapies and ‘self-help’ industries. Ashery and Simpson look for ways to address notions of isolation and alienation while exploring the role of the artist as communicator, activist and magician.

Open Surgery kicks off on Sunday, August 19 with an opening party in the Waiting Room, an installation space where the general public is invited to play. The Waiting Room will be open every day from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. At the opening, ten lucky individuals will be invited to book an appointment in the Consultation Room, where the artists will work with the visitor to identify the participant’s sense of their own physicality and difference. A Treat-Meant will then be proposed.

Join us after Open Surgery hours on Thursday, August 23 at 8:00pm for an artist talk with Oreet Ashery and Svar Simpson. The exhibition closes with a feedback party on Sunday, August 26, 2001.

The Treat-Meant may involve, for example, text, photography, creating body-prosthetics, breathing, touch, self-prescribed herbal remedies, food, juice, sense-stimulation, clubbing, and so on. We might propose to cook a dinner for the visitor, or make a toy for them/with them….We’re addressing the ‘confessional’ and notions of ‘true/fictional/performed-self’ in relation to confession. Open Surgery is interested to act out a common obsession to know-and-better-oneself, especially in relation to our bodies, our differences, and our sense of identity/identities. We want to investigate and develop models of shared intimate experiences.

Oreet Ashery & Svar Simpson

ARTIST STATEMENT by Oreet Ashery and Svar Simpson

Open Surgery will take place in two rooms. The first room will act as a Waiting Room open to the public throughout the duration of the piece. Entrance into the Consultation Room will be by appointment only, for participants who have booked a session. Participants/visitors come for a first one to one/two consultation with the artists. This initial session will combine various methods of communication, like: conversation, questionnaires, touch, the use of websites and ‘gadgets’, art-making, etc. We work together with the visitor to identify an aspect of the participant’s sense of their own physicality and difference.

Combining our ‘life-experiences’ (as a move away from using notions of ‘expertise’) the two of us then create a Treat-Meant for the participant, which than becomes a Treat-Meant proposal. The Treat-Meant may involve for example text, photography, creating body-prosthetics, breathing, touch, self-prescribed herbal remedies, food, juice, sense-stimulation, clubbing and so on. We might propose to cook a dinner for the visitor for example, or make a toy for them/with them.

The participants come for their second meeting, where we present them with our Treat-Meant Proposal, and then they can commission us to go ahead and treat them, which we do. At the end of the piece, participants are invited to a feed-back party/dinner/ meeting.

Open Surgery is working with and critiquing institutions like psychiatry, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, new-age/alternative/art-therapies, methodology of conventional science, western medicine, ‘self-help industries’. Therefore, the relationship between us and the participants attempts to mobilize some of the power-structures and epistemologies embedded in institutions such as those mentioned above, and offer a channel for shared communication in ways that re/address notions of isolation, alienation, a disturbing sense of difference, displacement, feelings of lack of attention/time. We offer a treat!

We are interested in acknowledging the artist as communicator, activist, magician, shaman, alchemist, cook, visual performer, as a friend and as a stranger. We’re addressing the ‘confessional’ and notions of ‘true/fictional/performed-self’ in relation to confession. Open Surgery is interested to act-out a common obsession to know-and-better-oneself, especially in relation to our bodies, our differences, and our sense of identitiy/ies. We want to investigate and develop models of shared intimate experiences.

Although the project is performative, it’s intentions are by no means cynical. The process involved intends to be experimental, experiental, expanding and playful by nature.

Open Surgery also plays with notions from the art -world like ‘commissions’ and ‘open surgeries’ [a term sometimes used in the British art system for art crits], as a way of exploring the slippage between art and general strategies of survival and expansion.

© Oreet Ashery & Svar Simpson, Open Surgery, 2001. Photo Paul Couillard.

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