Sylvie Cotton


Sylvie Cotton is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in MontrĂ©al. She has studied literature, arts and museology. Her work, which includes installation/situation and performance, focuses on the relation between social and individual identities, and between public and private spheres. Her projects take place in the street or other public spaces, including galleries and festivals. Sylvie Cotton is also an author of narrative texts and critical articles and has written for esse Arts + Opinions, a QuĂ©bec art magazine, among others.

Pas de Traduction curated by Eric LĂ©tourneau

FADO is pleased to present Pas de Traduction, a series of street actions featuring MontrĂ©al- and QuĂ©bec-based performance artists. The performances will take place in the Queen Street West and Alexandra Park area. A program detailing the exact locations and nature of the performances will be available on the day of the event from weewerk Gallery located at 620-A Queen Street West, within walking distance of all of the activities.

Pas de Traduction is the first in a new series of events by FADO that examines the work of various Canadian performance art communities, defined culturally, regionally, ethnically, or aesthetically. This inaugural series focuses on the city of MontrĂ©al. Pas du Traduction focuses on the ways interaction between performer and public can take place in site-specific contexts. The title (“no translation”) refers light-heartedly to the traditional tensions between English and French Canada. More importantly, however, the title reflects how the practice of performance privileges direct action and shared presence as a way of expressing ideas and moments that are ephemeral and essentially untranslatable. Pas du Traduction dances among the ambiguities of what needs no translation, what cannot be translated, and what we refuse to translate, focusing on the interpretation process between artist, audience and location.

Pas de Traduction Round Table | Moderated by Sonia Pelletier & Johanna Householder
July 13, 2003 @ 11:00am
Metro Hall (meeting room 308), 55 John Street, Toronto

Promenades by Sylvie Cotton

From February 19 to March 1, 2003, MontrĂ©al-based artist Sylvie Cotton will undertake a residency project as part of FADO’s on-going Public Spaces / Private Places series.

Promenades is a socio-artistic experiment featuring one-one meetings between the artist and selected participants, taking place between February 21–28, 2003. Participants will agree to spend between 3 to 8 hours with the artist, either in silence, or looking after the artist while she is temporarily blindfolded.


Sylvie Cotton, Art Action and Performance Artist, seeks participants to share with her (individually) in a day of either silence or blindness. Apart from maintaining a mutual respect for the moral and physical integrity of the other, each meeting will have only one condition: to be together in silence; or to be responsible for the temporarily blindfolded artist, or vice versa.

Each meeting will be unique. The activities that unfold will be decided in advance or as the day goes on according to an agreement reached by the artist and participant together in a preliminary telephone conversation.

The project will be documented by drawings made by the artist after each meeting. An evening bringing together all the participants will take place at the end of the project so that they can exchange their impressions of this socio-artistic experience based on trust, instinct and intuition, a divergence form our normal methods of communication, and also on chance.

Artist Talk: Sylvie Cotton & Kirsten Forkert
February 26, 2003
Women’s Art Resource Centre, 122-401 Richmond Street West, Toronto

© Sylvie Cotton, Promenades, 2003. Photo Paul Couillard.

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