we imitate sleep to dream of dissent by Emily DiCarlo

With the participation of: Jacqui Arntfield, Ellen Bleiwas, Simon Fuh, Chris Mendoza, Dana Prieto, Matt Nish-Lapidus, Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh, St Marie φ Walker
Guided by five themed prompts, each dreamer-participant engaged at their own pace with short readings, various media and creative exercises that steered their performative responses. Intended to function as alternative embodied approaches to traditional research, each participant was encouraged to trust their intuition, lean into play and follow their feelings to experiment with the ephemeral and dream of alternatives to our current position. The project commenced in a collective action of rest in Toronto’s Queen’s Park, a historic site of protest and strikes. 

The findings of each participant will be collected, collated and transformed into an alternative publication in the form of a field guide as a tool for score-based self-practice. Coming in September 2022.

Exercise On Experiencing Ephemerality

The following performance exercise is by Marilyn Arsem. You can find it on page 192 of the new publication about Arsem’s work entitled Responding to Site: The performance work of Marilyn Arsem.

Exercise On Experiencing Ephemerality

In a course on documenting ephemeral work, I being by examining the reasons that we try to hold onto the past, as well as the ways that our memories are fluid and elusive. Early in the course I give this task:

  1. Chose a place nearby that you have always wanted to visit and see, but have not yet gone.
  2. Go there, taking as much time as you wish to explore and experience the place.
  3. Before you leave, choose one object to bring back as a souvenir. Only one.
  4. And finally, you must agree never to return to that place again.

Initially this exercise appears mundane, until the final stipulation of never returning is added. The most revealing part of the process is each student’s debate on where they will go, knowing that they can’t return. The ones that choose the place they most desire have the most intense experience, and those that play it safe and choose a place that has minimal significance for them have the least meaningful experience.

I designed this exercise in an effort to replicate the experience of making a performance or other ephemeral work, and the profound feeling of loss that can occur when it is over. In particular, I am interested in pointing out that this kind of work is not unlike one’s own life, in that you cannot return to the past, but only—and if you are lucky—save a relic or memory of it.

Performance Resolution(s)

a firm decision to do or not to do something.
the quality of being determined or resolute.
the action of solving a problem.
the process of reducing or separately something into its components.
the smallest interval measurable by an optical instrument.
the conversion of something abstract into another form.

Cindy Baker
David Bateman
Kate Barry
lo bil
Kiera Boult
Alexis Bulman
Ulyssess Castellanos
Chipo Chipaziwa
Keith Cole & Jeanne Randolph
W. A. Davison
Emily DiCarlo
Claudia Edwards
Vanessa Dion Fletcher
Serge Olivier Fokoua
Marie-Claude Gendron
Moynan King
Hélène Lefebvre
Tess Martens & Holly Timpener
Roy Mitchell
Laura Paolini
Diana Lopez Soto
Jordyn Stewart
Clayton Windatt

Performance Resolution(s) is FADO’s 2021/2022 at-home residency series. Participating artists were chosen from a Canada-wide open call for submissions inviting artists to propose performance-based research projects that engaged with the theme of ‘resolution.’

It goes without saying that 2020 changed everything. The world is now a very different place than before. (We resolve never to say, “it goes without saying” again.) For artists working in live art and performance, events were cancelled and festivals postponed. What happens to embodied practice when the bodies can’t be together irl? With dizzying speed, we were compelled to bring performance to the tiny back-lit screen as an alternative. Sometimes that worked. Without being able to gather in large groups, sometimes we leaned on old tricks (what performance artist doesn’t know what it’s like to perform in a half-empty theatre?) to shoehorn our work into the current context. More often than not, to keep moving, we stuck with the script—over producing and addicted to presentation.

But thankfully the new year brings with it fresh starts, new directions and an opportunity to reflect. We make promises in the form of new year’s resolutions—a private or public personal commitment to change. Most resolutions dissolve by the end of March, or sooner. If 2020 taught us anything, it taught us that transformation comes slowly. The real breakthroughs are still in the (social) distance, but a seed has been planted.

Our inspirations for Performance Resolution(s) are the hope for a better 2021 for all, and a profound performance exercise designed by Marilyn Arsem that we think about from time to time. Read Marilyn’s exercise below.

Some of the projects in this at-home residency series will have tangible outcomes; many will not. The point was not to find to way to support artists through replicating old ways of doing things by keeping the hamster wheel of production going. Instead, we encourage a slowing down and a deep dive into what it means to have resolve, even if you don’t have the answer. 

Watch this space for updates on various projects and research contributions as they reveal themselves over the 2021–2022 programming year.

OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT by Marie-Claude Gendron

“Well, our age is one of those fires whose unbearable burning will undoubtedly reduce many works to ashes! But for those that remain, their metal will be intact […] One can no doubt wish, and I wish it too, for a softer flame, a respite, a stopover conducive to daydreaming.”

Albert Camus, The Artist and His Time (lecture), 1957.

OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT is a furtive, political, symbolic and poetic work conceptualized by Marie-Claude Gendron. Involving the artist and many members of the MontrĂ©al action art community, the group will feed a fire—daily, stealthily and anonymously—keeping the fire burning continuously over the course of the last two weeks of January. Up to 40 members of the community of fire keepers will be culled on invitation by the artist. Those who choose to participate in the project will receive a detailed map of the route to find the exact location of the fire. 

OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT is an attempt to revive the invisible link that unites us through the practice of action art. Confined, for the most part, to the home, Marie-Claude Gendron’s wish is to propose an outside simple manoeuvre that involves the participation of artists in whatever way is possible given their respective means and motivation. The resolution is to foster being together, even in an abstract and active way in the imagination.

With the participation of fire-keepers: Alexis Bellavance, Laurence Beaudoin-Morin, Catherine Bodmer, Caroline Boileau, janick burn, Sylvie Cotton, Anne Florentiny, Pierre Gauvin, Léo Gaudreault, Stéphane Gilot, stvn Girard, Katherine-Josée Gervais, k.g. Guttman, Michelle Lacombe, Frédérique Laliberté, arkadi lavoie lachapelle, Julie-Isabelle Laurin, Helena Martin Franco, Diyar Mayil, Rhonda Meier, François Morelli, Florencia Sosa Rey, François Rioux, Jacqueline Van De Geer, Stephanie Nuckle.

The closing event for OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT is a co-presentation with VIVA! Art Action.

© Marie-Claude Gendron, OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT, 2022. Photo Manoushka Larouche.

Re-Solutions by W. A. Davison

RE-SOLUTIONS is a collection of 6 performances for video by W. A. Davison, created in the context of FADO Performance Art Centre’s Performance Resolution(s) at-home residency in 2021.

These six informal performance experiments re-interpret the theme “resolutions” as “re-solutions,” meaning, new solutions to problems that have already been solved.

Over the past few years, I’ve been engaged in a number of creative projects that involve exploring, and making use of, material from my archive of past work—finished pieces, documentation, sketches, ideas, etc., accumulated over several decades of artistic activity. The idea of finding new solutions to problems I’ve already solved, i.e. finding new ways to approach, develop, and execute creative problems and premises from my past, is an intriguing concept and ties in nicely with my recent archive-based work.

Working alone in my studio, I conducted a series of performance experiments which were documented on digital video. In these experiments, I examined a selection of finished works from my archive—visual art, writing, film and video, audio, past performances, etc.—determining the basic premise/problem in each one, and then, through an informal, organic, and intuitive process, found new ways in which those problems might be solved. Since the residency is focused on performance practice, these “re-solutions” took the form of performative actions/events/situations. I was particularly interested in what happens when I attempt to translate ideas from other media (drawings, collages, films, audio pieces, etc.) into performance. This was challenging at times but, almost without fail, led to interesting work. The project was process-oriented so I was not necessarily looking to create new performances for an audience. These are, literally, experiments, most geared toward helping me gain insight into my past work, as well as find new and interesting directions for future work. 

Is a work of art ever “finished” or an idea used up? “Re-Solutions” helps answer that question.


Dead Horse DĂ©rive (07:10, video slideshow, 2021) is based on a multimedia drawing/painting from 2009 called Wasteland 2. I took one of the main elements of the painting, a dead horse, and traced the contours of it. I then superimposed this simplified contour drawing over a map of downtown Toronto. Finally, on the afternoon of July 10, 2021, I made a dĂ©rive (a type of psychogeographic exploration of the urban environment) on bicycle, following as closely as possible the route indicated by the drawing on the altered map. I documented the dĂ©rive by photographing streets, intersections, laneways, and whatever caught my eye during the bicycle trip. The final form of the piece is a video slideshow. 

Floating Orb (08:09, video performance, 2021) is based on an untitled collage from 2016. The collage features a spherical object floating in front of a desert landscape. For my “re-solution” I came up with a simple action involving a ball being tossed (from off camera) in front of a number of photographs that were taped to the wall of my studio.

Eye Projections (01:34, video performance, 2021) is based on an untitled sculptural assemblage from 2016. For this “re-solution” I took one of the main features of the assemblage, namely the cloth projecting from the doll’s eye sockets, and interpreted that as a performative action for the camera

Red Branches (02:01, video performance, 2021) is based on a series of sound/radio art pieces from 2020 called RE/CYCLING. In the RE/CYCLING series, I constructed a number of textured platters that were placed on a record player and amplified with a contact microphone. My “re-solution” was to make myself the revolving, textured surface, brushing against amplified tree branches.

R.P.M. Redux (01:23, video performance, 2021) is based on a super-8 film called R.P.M. that I made in 1991, in which I put a super-8 camera on a record player, and filmed while it spun around. For this “re-solution” I did exactly the same thing, this time with a video camcorder, the difference being my presence in the film/performance. I sat next to the record player and appear once every revolution.

Object Poems (11:25, video performance, 2021) is not based on a specific work. Instead, I chose to base the work on one of the techniques I use frequently in my poetic writing, namely stream-of-consciousness or surrealist automatism. The technique involves an unedited flow of words, free from rational control. In my “re-solution” I substituted found objects from around my studio for words in a poem, constructing an improvised, visual poem by juxtaposing objects next to each other or otherwise interacting with them.

Tiger Beat by Roy Mitchell

SPOILER ALERT: Hasting Highland eventually got their bylaw, but you don’t want to miss a (Hybla) minute of the whole story.

In response to FADO’s Performance Resolution(s), at-home residency project call for submissions, Roy Mitchell’s tongue-in-cheek proposal was to go to Algonquin Big Cat Adventures, a roadside zoo about 15 kilometres from where he lives, and “take a tiger away. And then another.”

At the time, Mitchell was preoccupied with so-called ‘big cats’ because of this roadside zoo, that had set up business in his community and Mark Drysdale, the owner of the zoo, was exhibiting lions and tigers without a permit. Soon after learning of Drysdale’s plans to open this zoo in Hastings Highlands, Roy Mitchell started a group—Citizens for a Safe and Humane Hastings Highlands—with the express purpose of lobbying for an exotic animal bylaw in the municipality. 

So began a very long journey for Mitchell and members of his community. Much of it is documented as a part of Mitchell’s art practice—in writing, on podcasts and as content for his journalism-cum-art talk show, the Hybla Minute. The story, and Mitchell’s part in it, even made the CBC news. Is Mark Drysdale Ontario’s own Tiger King? Not if Roy Mitchell has anything to say about it.

This incredible tale covers lions, tigers, and much much more, OH MY!

Read They Fought a Zoo by Joan Webber and then listen to The Doc Project’s audio documentary, Of Towns and Tigers, featuring Roy Mitchell to get the full scoop on this incredible story.

The beginning, the middle and the end. In that order! Roy’s Side of the Story. There will be guests, there will be mud flung on Instagram Live. You can ask questions. It’ll be very interactive!

Instagram Live @roybruno

When: November 2 @ 5pm
Topic: The Beginning
Content: Background and how we found out about the zoo coming to town. 
Guest: Julie Woodyer, Zoocheck

When: November 3 @ 5 pm
Topic: The Middle
Content: Organizing, Drama on Council and the bylaw comes to town
Guest: Nate Smelle, local journalist

When: November 4 @ 5 pm
Topic: The End
Content: The Bylaw, the Drama, Cops and what next and can Politics be Art
Guest: Shannon Cochrane, FADO Performance Art Centre Director

BONUS MEDIA: DOWNLOAD The Lion Ate His Tiger by Grant LaFleche, Toronto Star (2022)

Attempting Togetherness by Hélène Lefebvre

The pandemic postponed many activities. Earlier this year, I was limited to circulating in my local Ottawa neighbourhood, as well as my backyard, which became the sight of my auto-residence; my investigative space. This led me to (re)evaluate the notion of disorientation. Thus, my shadow became a measuring tool, an extension of self, a sensing body enabling discovery.

The danger is invisible; using my intuition I would like to give it a name. If I can identify it, then I can articulate it, open it up, present it and share it. To reach this point of understanding—to identify the object of my intuitive obsession—this was my starting point: non-defensive conscious-raising, definitely the potential of the imaginary.

Thus, I explored my neighbourhood with the help of my shadow, faithful companion heretofore ignored. To evaluate, maybe (re)establish contact, guided by its potential contours. My perception defining a renewed space. My imagination, in a sensorial quest of the site, found itself nourished by connections, memories, awareness and realities. As a result, I discovered a close connection to nature. 

High Tea with Keith Cole and Jeanne Randolph

On September 26, 2021, twenty-six Toronto artists (of a certain generation), on the invitation of Keith Cole, assembled at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto for a High Tea. The guest of honour? Dr. Jeanne Randolph. One of Canada’s foremost cultural thinkers, Randolph is a mercurial character. She is a psychoanalyst, curator, critic, writer, musician, and a performance artist. HIGH TEA with Keith Cole and Jeanne Randolph was, what some theorists or academics might call a work of “social engagement.” For Cole, Randolph and the audience / participants assembled, the jury is out still on whether or not it was even a performance. Perhaps it would be more accurate to think of that afternoon as an event of community (rather than a ‘community event’). The people gathered in the room formed a snapshot of the Toronto arts community from a particular moment, a bit out of focus and dispersed, but collectively felt. Being in the room meant acknowledging the performance of time, of memory and of community. Pinkies up!

Image (above) © Keith Cole, High Tea, 2021. Photo Henry Chan.
Image (below) © Keith Cole, 2021. Image courtesy of the artist.

Resolution(s) by Cindy Baker

Over several months in 2021, I created performances for people I know, using their yards and/or the spaces outside their windows as my stage and source of inspiration, creating small intimate experimental performances with no preconceived themes or ideas. 

For this residency supported by FADO, I resolved to begin to claw back the things I’ve lost over the past year, in small and incremental gestures.

I resolved:
to perform for live audiences rather than virtual ones.
to see other artists and close friends (if only through a window).
to spend more time outside to work with the weather rather than against it or in spite of it.
to have intimate encounters.
to go to friends’ homes.
to make new performances, to experiment, to learn, to move, to think, to feel.

My practice has tended to focus on issues of identity and corporeality as they relate to gender, queerness, fatness, and disability. The work has always come from personal experience but focuses on universal themes. As my work has evolved, my practice has focused more and more on the deeply personal. It’s less concrete, literal, and intellectual than it once was and has shifted gradually to work which is more poetic. The process is still relatively new territory to me, but I’m navigating it through experimentation, into a place that includes concepts and ideas that are more ephemeral, and less visible or less concerned with public access/interpretation of the “meaning” than before.

As an artist that has generally been most comfortable with a working method that privileges research, planning, writing, making, and gathering, performance is usually the culmination of months or years of labour. Recently I’ve started to shift to a more intuitive style of performance as a way of creating new knowledge; as a way to exercise and increase my flexibility and responsivity. For this residency, I forefronted intuition, putting planning not just on the back burner, but leaving it out of the recipe altogether (as much as that’s possible.) 

This project demonstrates a commitment to a deeper exploration of process than I’ve engaged in the past, using myself as subject, object, and, in many ways, the primary audience. Elaborating on a larger exploration of memory, bodies, and trauma via intensely intimate experiences, I’m pursuing the goal of deep affective experience. I want to be changed by my work, and to examine that change so I can better understand myself and become a better artist.

Queer Lines (For Agnes) by Kate Barry

In the spring of 2021, I was given the opportunity to make a video performance through an at-home residency from where I reside in Vancouver through FADO Performance Art Centre’s at-home residency series, Performance Resolution(s).

Queer Lines (For Agnes) is a performance for the camera that marks pandemic time through the abstraction of the Pride Flag. I use my body in various unexpected ways to paint acrylic washes on an unstretched canvas on the ground. I have developed an “embodied painting” approach that combines performance art actions with mindfulness strategies to create a work that balances form and content, emotions, and ideas. A soundscape made from this process of embodied painting compliments the video work.

This process of investigation concentrates on the subject-object binary through an embodied practice. I use my own body in my performances to experience and blur the tension between myself as both a subjective and objective body. To do this, I employ paint brushes I make from my own hair, paint, a straw I use to reenact prehistoric cave painting methodologies by blowing paint onto the canvas and toothbrushes as some of the items to work with to paint the canvas.

Primarily, Queer Lines (For Agnes) takes art historical cues from abstract painter Agnes Martin, utilizing an abstraction of the horizontal lines found in her later work. Inspired by her resistance to Patriarchal norms realized in both her painting and her writing, I find her contributions to a definition of queering conventions provocative and see this work as working from her queries, evoking new strategies and questions for the future. The work is about queer survival during a global pandemic by creating a ritual for protection for all members of the LGBTQAI2S+ communities.

Thanks to FADO, Lisa G for editing and Kage for the soundscape and all your support.

Queer Lines (For Agnes)
video, 18:30, 2021
Distributed by Vtape, Canada

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