Serena Lee


Serena Lee is an artist and researcher from Toronto. Layering forms, she maps power, perception, and belonging through polyphonic models. Serena practises, presents, facilitates, and collaborates internationally; she works in education and holds an MFA from the Piet Zwart Institute in the Netherlands and an Associate Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.


Conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin
Presented by FADO Performance Art Centre, in association with The Theatre Centre

MONOMYTHS Stage 10: The Road Back
Rise and Fall by Serena Lee

Rise and FallĀ is a performance and collective exercise on the desire for inevitability, on how theĀ returnĀ is narrated. A mutant reading group: we will create a model by weighing thingsā€“thoughts, images, and otherwise.

The first part is calledĀ Exposition.
Here, the key idea is introduced, the character established, giving us the main melodic line, the voice to follow. We set out along the path of its making.

The second part is calledĀ Development.
Here, we find ourselves getting lost, having followed the voice, the key idea, as it veers off into unpredictable territory: shadowy undergrowth, tangled density, change to a minor key, etc. A narrative device to create tension and interest, verging on dissolution.

The third part is calledĀ Recapitulation.
Here, we have regained our orientation and found our footing in the familiar. The compounded tension yields the reward of resolution, now that we have cleared the unknown and are following the path that, we expect, will take us home.

Some things to consider:

  • Because it feels good to know where you’re going or, at least, to look like you know.
  • Conventional models of societal collapse include theĀ runaway train,Ā the house of cards, the dinosaur.Ā 
  • With circular narratives we expect to be familiar with the unexpected, we expect to come home. How does desire arrange history?
  • Referring to paths, wayfaring, weaving:Ā Lines: A Brief HistoryĀ (Tim Ingold, Routledge: 2007).
  • Hannibal used vinegar to break through rocks, traverse the Alps and take on Rome.
  • To dress a table or a body – let’s say, with a heavy polyester banquet table linen or a sheet ofĀ  silk – you must be familiar with how fabric works in relation to the forces acting upon it, how it was made, how it reacts. You must anticipate how it falls, how it feels.

We will not call itĀ progress. How to describe the movement?

MONOMYTHSĀ invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbellā€™s conception of the heroā€™s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demonsā€“both inner and outerā€“in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration. Ā 

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