Series
REAL TO REEL

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

As an immaterial practice, performance art‚Äôs relationship to documentation and the archive has always been a fraught one. On the one hand, documentation‚ÄĒand its circulation‚ÄĒis critical for an artist‚Äôs 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, ‚Äúthe camera‚Äôs viewfinder has no peripheral vision so it records a flattened reality… the time-based image becomes lifeless.‚ÄĚ 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).

Artist
Heather Rule

Canada
www.uselessceramics.com

Heather Rule is a ceramicist, animator, and ‘zine maker based in Toronto, Canada Her work explores self-narrativization, drawing on memoir and self-portraiture to explore how we create our personal histories. Heather has participated in ceramic residencies in Santa Fe, New Mexico (2018, 2019) and most recently in Skopelos, Greece (2023) where she continued to develop her particular approach to incorporating ceramics and animation.

Artist
Jordan King

Canada

Jordan King is an artist, curator and writer engaged in archival research of performance and intergenerational dialogue. Her formative years were spent immersed in nightlife culture which continues to influence her work. Her practice is rooted in performance, archival research and intergenerational connectivity. 

Artist
Margaret Dragu

© Margaret Dragu, NEW NORMAL an embodied novel: dusk 2 dark, 2019. Photo Henry Chan.

b. 1953, Canada
https://margaretdragu.com/

Margaret Dragu works in video, installation, web/analog publication & performance art. Spanning relational, durational, interventionist, and community-based practices, she has shown her work in Canada, USA and Europe. Dragu was the recipient of the Governor General‚Äôs Award for Visual and Media Arts (Canada Council for the Arts, 2012); the designation of √Čminence Grise at the 7A*11D International Festival of Performance Art (Toronto. 2012); and in 2000, she was the first artist featured in FADO Performance Art Centre’s publication series, Canadian Performance Art Legends. Margaret celebrates 50+ years as a working artist. Her favourite art-making material is still the body despite or because of her bionic status as a grateful owner of two hip replacements.

Artist
Gustaf Broms

© Gustaf Broms, Pentagram, 2013. Photo Henry Chan.

b. 1966, Sweden
www.orgchaosmik.org

Gustaf Broms is a Swedish visual artist working in performance, video and photography. His performance work has presented work across Europe, Asia and North America. His practice is engaged with the exploration of the nature of consciousness, the dualistic concept of “I,” as the biological reality of being in the BODY, and being MIND, as the perceived experience of the flow of phenomena. He is a co-founding member of REVOLVE Performance Festival in Uppsala. He was the subject of 2016 film, The Mystery of Life ‚Äď An Art Apart: Gustaf Broms by Carl Abrahamsson.

To use the time in this predicament as a way to explore the nature of consciousness. Trying to make a translation of the flow of life into a condensed symbol, as a tool for understanding. Spending the last few years looking into the dualistic concept of ‘i’, in terms of association with the idea of BEING NATURE, as the actual biological reality this body goes through, and BEING MIND as a very direct experience of REALITY. Since 2009 I live in the forest of Vendel and work on a series of ‘movements’ that explores why THE DANCING ATOMS OF THIS BODY are not merging with the dancing atoms surrounding it?

Gustaf Broms
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