Performance
CHARCO Exchange

FADO is pleased to be facilitating the LIVE ART EXCHANGE’s Canadian edition: CHARCO EXCHANGE. Presented in partnership with DARE-DARE, Link&Pin, and Rats9 in Montréal; and VideoFag in Toronto, CHARCO EXCHANGE happens between two cities from May 11–30, 2015.

The first phase takes place in Montréal from May 11–23, and will culminate in a public sharing in where works in progress/creation will be presented. The duos working together (who have already started the process before meeting in person through email, writing, Skype etc.) are Sofia and Ana; and Isabel and Olivier. In the last week of the project, the four artists move to Toronto where they continue their research, with a final sharing of the work produced will take place on Saturday May 30, in an event that will include live specimens, lectures and exhibition of the process carried out.

ARTISTS
Ana Matey (Spain)
Isabel León (Spain)
Serge Olivier Fokoua (Cameroon/Canada)
Soufïa Bensaïd (Tunisia/Canada)

LIVE ART EXCHANGE is a process-based research and creation project initiated by Ana Matey and Isabel Leon in 2012, and has realized projects with dozens of artists in Spain, Finland and Norway. 

LIVE ART EXCHANGE is an on-going research project on communication and interpretation of messages between individuals, using performance and action art as the basis for this research. LIVE ART EXCHANGE is interested in collective creation and believes that artistic creation is a live act, without boundaries or limits. The project manifests in a variety of proposals including meetings, residencies, workshops, talks and other outcomes including photography, video, and performance working with artists and creative people from different disciplines, backgrounds and origins. LIVE ART EXCHANGE proposes focusing on artistic process and the artists themselves, rather than the outcome or production of specific works. In this project, the research around ideas of ​​communication-interpretation and the process of creation itself goes beyond the outcome of the play itself.

DARE-DARE supports research and valorises emerging practices. Its members are interested in the context of creation and answer the need of exchange and collaboration. DARE-DARE is a flexible, open space devoted to research, experimentation, risk and critical inquiry. The artist-run centre manifests a sustained interest in exploration and in the diversity in the modes of presentation.

LINK&PIN is an international performance art series based in Montréal, Canada. It is organized and curated by Adriana Disman along with a huge amount of support from the local performance art community. It holds a constantly changing mission in an effort to stay relevant. Currently, L&P strives to support artists who are in some way marginalized and engages with thinking through anti-disciplinarity and the politics of arts funding.

RATS9 est un espace positif et inclusif où il est possible, à travers l’art, d’engager une conversation à propos des enjeux féministes, post/dé-coloniaux et queer. Notre mission est d’offrir un support à la création et à la diffusion d’artistes dont le travail aborde les problématiques liées à l’identité sexuelle, ainsi qu’aux pratiques anti-oppressive. Rats9 strives to be a positive and inclusive space where it’s possible, be through art, to engage in conversations about feminism, post-/de-coloniality, and queerness. Our mission is to offer support for the creation and diffusion of artists whose work addresses issues related to sexual identity, as well as anti-oppressive practice.

VIDEOFAG is a storefront cinema and performance lab in Toronto’s Kensington Market, dedicated to the creation and exhibition of video, film, new media, and live art. The space is run by Jordan Tannahil and William Ellis, who converted the space from an old barbershop in October 2012.

Artist
Serge Olivier Fokoua

b. 1976, Cameroon
www.fokouaolivier.blogspot.se

Serge Olivier Fokoua lives and works between Cameroon and Gatineau, Canada. He received his artistic training at the University of Yaounde, and through workshops organized by Renc’art studio of the Yaounde Spanish Embassy. He also attended advanced training on cultural management in Institut für Kultur Konzept in Hamburg, Germany.

Working mainly in installation and performance, Serge Olivier Fokoua’s work has been presented in numerous art exhibitions, performance events, and projects in Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Canada and Finland. In 2011, he presented his work at le Lieu Centre en art actuel (Québec City), and le Grave (Victoriaville). In 2013, he was awarded a residency fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center (USA).

Fokoua is a co-founding member of Les Palettes du Kamer collective and since 2008 he has been the Artistic Director of the Biennale RAVY: Yaoundé Visual Art Encounters. Since 2006 he has been a member of IC Zone, an international network of festivals and art centres and has invited over 20 artists and international curators to Cameroon. Currently, he is actively working on multiple platforms for artistic exchange between Cameroon and several countries.

Performance
International Visiting Artists: Ruth Belinga, Michel Bitimbhe & Serge Olivier Fokoua

FADO Performance Art Centre is pleased to co-present Ruth Belinga (performance), Michel Bitimbhe (video) and Serge Olivier Fokua (performance) from Cameroon in the context of FAAS: À Qui? Sudbury’s 6th Fair of Alternative Art (October 24–26, 2018) and in collaboration with AXENÉ07 and RIAP. 

Every two years since 2008, the Fair of Alternative Art in Sudbury (FAAS) has occupied and transformed a public space in the nickel city’s downtown. Invited artists are challenged to complete new works over the course of the festival and according to each edition’s concept and theme. 

PRESENTING PARTNERS of FAAS: À Qui?
Aboriginal Curatorial Collective
AXENÉ07
BRAVO
Centre Bang
Dare-Dare
Debajehmujig Creation Centre
FADO Performance Art Centre
Gallery 101
Galerie Louise
Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario
Galerie Sans Nom
ImagoL’Écart lieu d’art actuel
Myths and Mirrors
Perte de signal
RIAPRuben Cohen
Voix visuelle

INVITED ARTISTS: Martin Beauregard (Montréal), Ruth Belinga (Cameroon), Michel Bitimbhe (Cameroon), Mathieu Boucher Côté (Moncton), John Court (Finland), Quill Christie-Peters (Canada), Raven Davis (Canada), John Deneuve (France), Marika Drolet-Ferguson (Moncton), Anyse Ducharme (Sturgeon Falls), Serge Olivier Fokoua (Cameroon), Patrick Harrop (Sudbury), Jérôme Havre (Toronto), Terrance Houle (Calgary), Camille Larivée (Canada), Salifou Lindou (Cameroon), Geneviève Massé (Montréal), Laurie McGauley (Sudbury), Joseph Muscat (Toronto), Yanie Porlier (Ottawa), Les Poulpes (Chicoutimi, Montréal and St-Émile-de-Suffolk), Rah (Toronto), Cora-Rae Silk (Sudbury), Cheryl Rondeau (Toronto), Laura Taler (Toronto), Camille Usher (Canada), Jean-Ambroise Vesac (Rouyn-Noranda), Clayton Windatt (Canada) and many others!


Image © Ruth Belinga, FAAS, 2018. Photo Camille Tremblay Beaulieu.

Writing
Notes on CHARCO Exchange
Collaboration.

If one were asked to define the value of art in our contemporary society, you might say that art’s greatest virtue is its ability to communicate across language, culture, and context. But, communicate what? And, who (or what) does the communicating? 

For the artists engaged in an EXCHANGE Live Art “meeting laboratory”, the key ingredient in an experimental recipe for collective creation is communication across languages (spoken, body), cultures (Spanish, African, Tunisian) and contexts (urban, rural, native country, the diaspora and more). Communication is mediated through performance art actions, exercises, and proposals initiated and responded to, looped and fed back, from artist to artist over time and space (before the project actually begins in situ) and in person directly one day and one moment at a time during the working period. Communication is the precursor and the catalyst for collaboration, and collaboration is only made possible (or improbable) between the artists who are working at communicating.

The definition of collaboration is, “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” Though the word ‘collaboration’ here is a noun, even in this modest state of simply naming, it refuses to be passive. The energy of collaboration is not waiting, or hoping or wishing, it is action. (Though sometimes this action can be or can include waiting, hoping and wishing.) Collaboration is intrinsic to the discipline of performance art where artists and audiences are locked together in a perpetual exchange of doing and witnessing, seeing and being seen. The active investment of both artists and audiences in this exchange is what makes a performance possible, is what makes a work an actual thing. 

The EXCHANGE Live Art project risks failure with each iteration, because it is impossible to predict what will happen or not happen between strangers who have been asked to create something together, to merge working styles, approaches, and most of all, intentions. There is no guarantee of ease or comfort, or even of empathy. The first tendency is to normalize, to try and make it work. But what if it doesn’t? When communication breaks down, does this provide a more rich territory to work from? 

Asked to employ performance art as a strategy for the research of communication across language, culture, and context, the outcome of the project changes each time, with each new pairing. Each group finds their rhythm, pace, and manages to present something functioning as a conclusion. But, what is the conclusion? Is it a picture of a resolved way of working between strangers, now friends? Or is it a reflection of something more messy and undefined? The truth is probably found somewhere in the middle of these two options, hovering between truth and fiction, harmony and conflict, understanding and misunderstanding. Not friends, but no longer strangers either.

Writing Blue

Writing Blue is the smell of interpretation. Composed of materials that many "know", blueberry candy offers a flicker of nostalgia. Grounded in blue cypress like a hunch that comes from speculation, it is the lavender that offers overwhelming explanations.

Top Notes

blueberry candy

Middle Notes

lavender, mens shaving cream

Base Notes

hyacinth, blue cypress