Artist
Cheli Nighttraveller

© Cheli Nighttraveller, Untitled, 2003. reminiSCENT. Photo Miklos Legrady.

Canada / Little Pine First Nation

Cheli Nighttraveller, born in Saskatoon, explores her identity as a person of mixed cultural heritage (Métis) through performance and video. She was active in Saskatchewan’s contemporary Aboriginal arts community before moving to Montreal in 2001. She has participated in artist residencies and performance festivals across Canada, including the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art (Toronto), Latitude 53’s VisualEyez Festival (Edmonton), Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective (Regina) and grunt Gallery (Vancouver).

Artist
Clara Ursitti

Canada / Scotland
www.claraursitti.com

A Canadian artist based in Glasgow, Clara Ursitti has worked with organic and synthesized fragrances for the past ten years. Collaborating with Dr. George Dodd, an olfactory scientist and aromatherapist, her series of olfactory portraits, sniffing videos, a dating service based on body odour, Pheromone Link, a performance utilizing smell-tracking police bloodhounds, as well as a number of pungent installations have delved into the psychological and social aspects of scent. Exhibiting throughout Europe and the British Isles, and in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, her work has been featured at the ICA in London and in the Venice Biennale.

Artist
Helen Paris & Leslie Hill

UK
https://archive.iarp.wisc.edu/parishill/about.html

Helen Paris and Leslie Hill are London-based artists working in performance, video and digital arts, known for their edgy, humorous interrogations of contemporary culture and politics. Their company, curious, was formed in 1996 and has been supported by institutions such as the Arts Council of England, the National Endowment for the Arts (USA), the National Center for Biological Sciences, India and the Australia Council. They recently received a Franklin Furnace commission to make three short films in New York in 2004. The company’s work has been exhibited internationally and featured in a wide variety of publications. Their book, Guerilla Performance and Multimedia, was published by Continuum in 2001.

Artist
Millie Chen

b. 1962, Taiwan / Canada / USA
www.milliechen.com

Millie Chen and Evelyn Von Michalofski have collaborated since 1990 while concurrently pursuing individual practices. Their performative interventions—situated in retail stores, an ethnological museum, and sight-seeing meccas—engage olfactory, tactile and gustatory materials in the context of examining notions of history, tourism, the body and cultural difference.

Chen has exhibited widely in Canada, the U.S., the Netherlands, Japan and Mexico. She teaches at the State University of New York at Buffalo and explores associations between the sensual and symbolic qualities of common yet potent materials such as bread, hair, rice and spices. 

Artist
Evelyn Von Michalofski

Millie Chen and Evelyn Von Michalofski have collaborated since 1990 while concurrently pursuing individual practices. Their performative interventions – situated in retail stores, an ethnological museum, and sight-seeing meccas – engage olfactory, tactile and gustatory materials in the context of examining notions of history, tourism, the body and cultural difference.

Evelyn Von Michalofski’s work has been included in exhibitions throughout Canada as well as the U.S., the Dominican Republic, the Netherlands and Spain. She focuses on the alchemical transmutation of materials, especially in regard to the food, drug and cosmetic industries. She resides in Belleville, ON and curates at the Museum for Textiles.

Artist
Lois Weaver

USA
www.split-britches.com/lois/

Lois Weaver is an artist, activist and part time professor of Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary, University of London. She was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theater, WOW and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop in London. She has been a writer, director and performer with Peggy Shaw and Split Britches since 1980. Works includes: Miss America (2008); Lost Lounge (2009) and RUFF (2012). Split Britches’ collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by City University of New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American Theater and Performance Community.

Her experiments in performance as a means of public engagement (publicaddresssystems.org) include the Long Table, the Library of Performing Rights, the FeMUSEm and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot. Tammy collaborated with senior centers in NYC on What Tammy Needs To Know About Getting Old and Having Sex which premiered at La MaMa ETC, NYC in November 2014. Lois was named a Senior Fellow by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in 2014. She is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and a Wellcome Trust Engaging Science Fellow for 2016-2018.

Performance
Five Holes: reminiSCENT

Curated by Jim Drobnick and Paul Couillard

ARTISTS
Cheli Nighttraveller
Clara Ursitti
Helen Paris & Leslie Hill
Millie Chen & Evelyn Von Michalofski
Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan

reminiSCENT, is the third instalment in FADO’s performance series, Five Holes, which examines the significance of the body and the senses. 


PROGRAMME

Pull Up To The Bumper by Clara Ursitti
Street intervention: September 18, no set times
Exhibition and limo tour: September 20 @ 6:00-9:00pm
Karen Schreiber Gallery, 302-25 Morrow Avenue, Toronto

Pull Up To The Bumper, by Clara Ursitti, occurs in a white stretch limousine, the acme of celebrity display and mobile partying. For selected performance-goers and chance passers-by, an intimate conversation and olfactory experience awaits as they cruise the streets of Toronto. The limo’s sensuous, private interior, complete with refreshments and other luxury comforts, is a chamber redolent with the spirit of seduction. In this gender reversal, a woman holds the balance of wealth, status and sexual agency as the artist inquires into the dynamics of stardom and urban prowling.


On The Scent by Helen Paris & Leslie Hill (with guest artist Lois Weaver)
September 19–21, please register to experience this performance
168 Simcoe Street, Toronto

On The Scent by Helen Paris and Leslie Hill, in collaboration with Lois Weaver, reconfigures an apartment with olfactory performances and interventions. Visitors journey through a series of visceral encounters that infuse the residence with heightened experiential potential. A trail of scents leads to stories and confessions wafting unexpectedly through the space and secreted away in compartments and corners. Reflecting upon the significance of smell in everyday life, this aromatized environment intensifies the role scent plays in identity, emotion, place and memory. Each performance lasts 30 minutes and is performed for 2 audience members. Please reserve your spot, there are a maximum of 40 participant spots in total.


Untitled by Cheli Nighttraveller
September 20 @ 12:00pm
Berczy Park, Front Street, Toronto

Cheli Nighttraveller’s untitled performance addresses racism operating at the level of the body and hygiene. Since the era of first contact, the so-called “odour of the other” has served as a pernicious means by which European colonizers stigmatized First Nations peoples. Reflecting at the edge of a fountain in Berczy Park, Nighttraveller recalls an episode in the life of Quannah Parker, the last chief of the Comanches, who once caused a stir by bathing in a public fountain. The artist will satirically confront the misconceived but persistent fiction of “cultural stench.”


The Seven Scents by Millie Chen & Evelyn Von Michalofski
September 20–21 @ 12:00pm–4:00pm
Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto

Inspired by the legendary exoticism and adventure of The Seven Seas, Millie Chen and Evelyn Von Michalofski provide an occasion for virtual travel with The Seven Scents. Cruise ship deck chair recliners face the waters of Lake Ontario and invite bystanders to lie back, relax, listen to a series of soundscapes and inhale the ambiance of distant locales. Like spa therapists, the artists will gently facilitate each lounger’s sensorial reverie. Distilling together sound and scent, romance and reality, the piece evocatively contemplates the fantasies of escape and the economic actualities of tourism.


Scentbar by Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan
September 20 @ 6:00pm
Karen Schreiber Gallery, 302-25 Morrow Avenue, Toronto

Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan’s Scentbar promises unique, personalized scents scientifically tailored to each client’s memories, anxieties and desires. Trained technicians will tally the answers to visitors’ scent-questionnaires and concoct custom-made perfumes in their laboratory cum parfumerie. Drawing from a top-secret odour palette, their potions transcend the use of scent for fashion or flirtation. These one-of-a-kind distillations connect the wearer intimately and olfactively to the complexities of the contemporary world—they are fragrances for troubled times.

Artist
Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan

MONOMYTHS artist portrait, 2016. Photo by Henry Chan.


Canada
www.shawnadempseyandlorrimillan.net

Collaborators since 1989, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan are among Canada’s best-known performance artists. They were catapulted into the international spotlight in their 20s with the performance and film We’re Talking Vulva. Since then, their live work and videos have been exhibited in diverse venues as far-ranging as women’s centres in Sri Lanka to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This Winnipeg-based duo has created installations (such as Archaeology and You for the Royal Ontario Museum) and books (such as Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World, Arbeiter Ring Press). To most, however, they are known simply as the Lesbian Rangers of Lesbian National Parks and Services. Their humourous, feminist and provocative works have been acclaimed as “one of the high-points of contemporary Canadian artistic production” (Border Crossings Magazine). Performance documentation and artifacts are held in the collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian History Museum, the DIA Centre and numerous university libraries across North America.

Series
Five Holes

Curatorial Statement by Paul Couillard

Five Holes foregrounds our bodies by examining aspects of the five basic human senses. The presence of bodies—the performer’s body and the audience members’ bodies—is an essential element of performance. We ‘perform’ when we bring our bodies into relationships with an audience in time and space. Five Holes considers some of the ways in which sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste allow us to perceive. At the core of this project is a concern with our bodies as a root aspect of humanness. The presence of bodies—the performer’s body and the audience members’ bodies—is an essential element of performance. We ‘perform’ when we bring our bodies into relationships with an audience in time and space. Five Holes foregrounds our bodies, considering some of the ways in which sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste allow us to perceive.

Civilization has constructed a worldview where ‘virtual’ reality has become a tantalizing ideal – a desired end point that will offer our consciousness and imagination a new beginning and a new territory to explore. At the same time, cultural theory has come to consider our bodies as something separate from our selves – referring to an objectified Other, ‘the body’, sometimes understood as a ‘text’, and sometimes considered as one ‘site’ among many to be inhabited. Our bodies are now subject to interrogation on multiple fronts, particularly in the realm of performance – from Stelarc’s assertions that “the body is obsolete” to Orlan’s surgical remodeling of her physical appearance. It seems that we are following an inevitable path, guided by René Descartes’ oft-quoted maxim, “I think, therefore I am.” We are in a headlong rush to abandon our bodies – our imperfect, traitorous physical forms that suffer, wear out and eventually die. We seek immortality and omnipotence, two qualities that our ‘minds’ can imagine but that our ‘bodies’ can never attain.

But where and how are knowledge and imagination generated? For me, the answer lies in the daily struggles and resistances that my body undergoes. I am motivated by imperatives – survival, empathy, a search for fulfillment – that are bodily driven. Learning does not come from having my thoughts fully realized the moment that I think them; learning comes from experience, which is another way of saying that it develops through the process of making my thoughts manifest in physical form. Learning happens as I go about trying to reconcile my theoretical ideal with the exigencies of physical laws and available resources. To ‘do’ inevitably brings a deeper, more nuanced understanding than to ‘imagine’. This is not a simple or straightforward process: it brings pain as well as pleasure, and often what I discover seems neither fair nor friendly. Nevertheless, I am not so eager to leave behind my cross-eyed, bow-legged body. I love this life, and I am certain that what I have to learn or discover can only be manifested through my body.

We define our living bodies in multiple ways: as material (flesh, blood and bone); as process (respiration, circulation, electrical impulses); and as vessel (of experience and consciousness). It could be argued that our senses are what constitute our bodies. We associate our senses most directly with ‘sensation’, the domains of pleasure and horror, but our senses also play a larger role in connecting us to the world and shaping our identities. They are how we apprehend the world—the points of intersection between our individual consciousnesses and the actuality of time and space. It is through our senses that we undertake and negotiate our relationships to each other and our surroundings. Human senses have developed over time. Each sense provides us with a different set of information, evolving, if we believe Darwin, according to what best allows us to survive and prosper as a species. As conditions change, and as our bodies adapt in other ways, presumably our senses could also change. Five Holes provides artists and audiences with an opportunity to test their senses as they are now, informed by both history and imagination.

Five Holes brings us together in this time and this space to see, touch, smell, hear and taste. These varied projects are united in their search for the possibilities—not only for pleasure, but also for knowing – that the senses have to offer.


Five Holes was a multi-year, multi-event series curated by Paul Couillard. Spanning the years 1995–2006, each iterative event highlighted one of the body’s five senses.

Five Holes: I’ll be seeing you (1995)
Five Holes: Touched (1997)
Five Holes: reminiSCENT (2003)
Five Holes: Listen! (2004)
Five Holes: Matters of Taste (2006)

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