How to explain performance art to my teenage daughter by Rachel Echenberg

Doors Open Toronto comes to The Commons @ 401 Richmond on May 26, for a day of film and video screenings. As a part of this program, FADO Performance Art Centre is excited to screen the world premiere of How to explain performance art to my teenage daughter (2018, video, 6:00) by Montréal-based artist, Rachel Echenberg.

How to explain performance art to my teenage daughter was originally a performance (2015) that was later remade as a video and photo series. The work references Joseph Beuys’ well-known 1965 performance, How to explain pictures to a dead hare, in which he explains his exhibition to a dead hare with his head covered in honey and gold. In Echenberg’s version, mother and daughter embrace the difficult intricacies of explaining art by simultaneously covering each other’s heads with honey and gold leaf. Absurdity and intimacy merge to reveal understanding as a sensory activity.

Echenberg’s work will be screened alongside a selection of works curated by our colleagues in The Commons @ 401, including: Alexandra Hickox’s Just Like You Do presented by Vtape; Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival presents A Cello in the Subway by Iven Tu; Wakening by Danis Goulet is presented by imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival; and The Mountain, Les Invisibles by Amshu Chukki is presented by South Asian Visual Arts Centre.

The 19th annual Doors Open Toronto, May 25–26, 2018, presented by Great Gulf provides an opportunity to see inside more than 130 of the most architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city. This year’s theme, “Film: The Great Romance” explores the city’s film and television industry. With more than 1,400 on-location film, television and digital media productions taking place in the city each year, Toronto is North America’s third largest screen-based production centre and the heart of Canada’s film and television sector. The Doors Open Toronto program features historic cinemas, film and television studios, post-production houses, digital media studios, artist-run centres and film training schools. The program also highlights buildings that have been featured in film and television, many of which are often not open to the public.

Rachel Echenberg

© Rachel Echenberg, At Home, 2012. Photo Henry Chan.


Rachel Echenberg is a visual artist who works in performance, sculpture, photo and video. Since 1992 Echenberg’s work has been exhibited, performed and screened across Canada as well as internationally in Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States. Her videos have been represented by Vidéographe Distribution since 2002. Rachel Echenberg is vice-president and programming member of the biennale performance art festival VIVA! art action as well as a board member of Optica, centre for contemporary art. She is a teacher in the Fine Arts department of Dawson College in Montréal, Canada.

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