Documentation
omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est by Simla Civelek
Performance
omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est by Simla Civelek

Inspired by her own works presented previously at FADO, in this new video for the REAL TO REEL series, Simla Civelek reflects on the fragmented performance body.

omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est
video, 5:55 minutes

This video began by thinking about how fragmented body parts can be recorded at different times in different places. I became curious how this differs from the body, as a whole, performing in space at a specific time. What is the relationship between those various body parts moving simultaneously, yet performing a non-action? In which particular moment does an opportunity appear; in decisiveness or through hesitation and slowness? I am not sure of anything at any time yet decisions are still made as time moves in circles. 

Simla Civelek

FADO’s REAL TO REEL series was screened as a complete program in Toronto on March 14, 2024. REAL TO REEL was made possible by funding from the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategies grant.

WATCH omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est by Simla Civelek below in the documentation gallery.

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’s relationship to documentation and the archive has always been a fraught one. On the one hand, documentation—and its circulation—is critical for an artist’s 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, “the camera’s viewfinder has no peripheral vision so it records a flattened reality… the time-based image becomes lifeless.” 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
Simla Civelek

© Simla Civelek, White Open, 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, 2014. Photo by Henry Chan.

Turkey / Canada
www.simlacivelek.com

Simla Civelek is a performance artist based in Toronto, Canada. Her work has been presented at FADO Performance Art Centre, 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, SAVAC, and Nuit Blanche in Toronto; Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops; Circa in Montréal; Art Nomade in Chicoutimi; Regart in Lévis; Glasshouse Art Life Lab in Brooklyn and Experimental Action Performance Art Festival in Houston, USA; and OPEN Performance Art Festival in China, among other venues.

“I don’t want realism, I want magic.” I came across this quote recently, once again, years after reading A Streetcar Named Desire for the first time. Things feel inherently different now. An outside world in turmoil and an inner world with angst, fear, and weariness. Blanche makes more sense, or rather, I understand her need. When I have the cynical question of “why make performance,” I also have the inclination to start from the present moment to find an answer, or rather, to look for an answer. As realism can never be a match for magic.

Simla Civelek
Performance
Performance Home: from Toronto to Turkey by Simla Civelek

In a sense, the idea for my residency formed in the summer of 2019 in Turkey before the pandemic and before I even knew about the possibility of a residency. While I visited my home city of Istanbul after a 13-year hiatus, I unknowingly germinated the urge to move back there for a year.

Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic put a hold on my half-realized plans. My urge, fortified by powerlessness, transformed into a craving, an itch, a determination to explore the hunger I felt for Turkey.

This year, 2021, started with a concept of making a video in my childhood home in Istanbul. The apartment is uninhabited, complete with old furniture from 80s and 90s, covered with dusty white sheets, with shutdown old windows and blinds, dull musty air and perhaps old spirits. A time capsule from the last lived day of 1994 before our Canadian emigration.

What would be like to go back and record a walk-through of this space, like an audience-less performance, like a home movie of a ghost of a home? The camera as all-seeing eye, from my apartment in Toronto to our apartment in Istanbul, through a distance of 8,196.58 kms?

While I am creating this video in my mind (for now,) walking through the space in my memory, I am also creating actual videos for my day job of auditioning for commercials, film, and TV. Countless of takes for a 30-second footage of pretending to eat a salad or some chips while scolding my imaginary children, acting like a senator or a Middle Eastern engineer, suggesting organic rice to my neighbour, gardening with a surprised look on my face, reading a bowl of cereal like a crystal ball, drinking from a river, thanking the public for being vaccinated and waking up happy in bed…

So now I’m thinking about the absurdity of the correlation of these two notions in video. The manufactured actions of commercial acting and the archival footage of home, stacked together like a building.

There is a video somewhere.

Like the end of Covid, it is unhurried, throbbing, reluctant and eager.

Performance
Pi*llOry Part 3 and Part 4

Pi*llOry is an event for Queer, BIPOC and Feminist performers to show case their work, focusing on trauma. Pi*llOrists are examining how we personally and politically dismantle heteronormative hegemony and engage in healing that puts an end to the repetition of communal trauma. Pi*llOry’s performers are liberating queer bodies as a primary agency that can harness the transformative power of presence, space, politics, shame and (dis)/ability while refracting their infinite incarnations. Pi*llOry’s artists renounce the binary and traditional gender roles, they not only create new ones for themselves, but give space for others to create their own as well. Through oral, visual and visceral mediums, Pi*llOry explores the depths of fragmented gender/queer identity, pushing beyond labels and classifications. On the edge of complete uncertainty, with only the already structural, limited and bound ways of description and discrimination of queerness, Pi*llOrists arm themselves with the unknown to disrupt inherited historical trauma invoking a lasting communal cultural healing.

ARTISTS
Sadie Berlin
lo bil
Simla Civelek
Nicole Lynn Deschaine
Madeleine Lychek
Tess Martens
Sheri Osden Nault
[ field ] (Coman Poon & Brian Smith)
Randa Reda
Amber Helene Müller St. Thomas
Holly Timpener
Johannes Zits

Pi*llOry would like to thank FADO for their sponsorship and support of Pi*llOry Part 3 and 4.

Pi*llOry on Instagram
Pi*llOry on Facebook


You can now read Holly Timpener’s publication on the full Pi*llOry series, below!
Publication includes thesis dissertation, plus interviews with artists from the series:

Aisha Lesley Bentham, Amber Helene Müller St. Thomas, B Wijshijer, Brian Smith, Claudia Edwards, Coman Poon, David Frankovich, Enok Ripley, Holly Timpener, Johannes Zits, Leena Raudvee, lo bil, lwrds, Madeleine Lychek, Matthew Moir, Nicole Nigro, Racquel Rowe, Raki Malhotra, Randa Reda, Sadie Berlin, Santiago Tamayo Soler, Sheri Osden Nault, Simla Civelek, Sophie Traub, Speranza Spir, Tess Martens

Performance
Ghost Days by Terrance Houle with Simla Civelek

Created and Performed by Terrance Houle
In collaboration with Simla Civelek

Presented at SummerWorks in partnership with FADO Performance Art Centre

Evoking our colonial and non-colonial histories that exist in the light of night as in the darkness of the day, GHOST DAYS awakens a collaboration with artists, audience, and spirit. Internationally celebrated performance artist Terrance Houle will work in residence overnight at the Theatre Centre throughout the festival, culminating in a final performance that combines video, performance, photography, and music to conjure spirits and ghosts as audience and collaborators.

Terrance Houle is in residence at SummerWorks as part of the SummerWorks Lab–a place for exploration, experimentation, and process, allowing us to support work in early stages and create connections between audiences and artists.

SummerWorks is Canada’s largest curated performance festival of theatre, dance, music, live art and interdisciplinary forms. This year’s 11-day Festival features 52 unique projects, as well our SLIP series of artist workshops, a collection of new performance experiments in the SummerWorks Lab, and nightly parties. Festival runs from August 3–13, 2017.


© Terrance Houle, Friend or Foe #7 (Toronto), 7a11d International Festival of Performance Art, 2014. Photo Henry Chan.

Performance
Performances by Alice De Visscher and Simla Civelek

FADO Performance Art Centre is pleased to present an evening of new solo performance works from Alice De Visscher (Belgium) and Simla Civelek (Turkey / Toronto).

This event invites a local artist and an international artist to present new solo performance works created for the same space on the same evening. The artists and the audience come together to experience side by side the work of peers from different parts of the world. Each artist will present two short works in alternating sequence.

PROGRAM
Sesame Blanc by Alice De Visscher
Untitled One by Simla Civelek
Queue De Cheval II by Alice De Visscher
Untitled Two by Simla Civelek

© Alice De Visscher, Sesame Blanc, 2013. Photo Henry Chan.

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