The Two Gullivers

Albania / Canada

Flutura Preka and Besnik Haxhillari (a.k.a The Two Gullivers) are an artist-couple originally from Albania and currently living in MontrĂ©al, Canada. In 1997 they began calling themselves ‘The Two Gullivers’ in reference to their nomadic trajectory across Europe. Their work has been exhibited and performed throughout Canada and Europe including The Second Beijing International Art Biennale (2005), Colours of Albania in the World at the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana (2004) and the 48th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale (1999).

“As an artist couple, as a family, as individuals, we attempt to represent ourselves in a world moving at the speed of information and communication technologies, in a world that constantly redefines the body. We try to produce a work, which through different modes of expression, might activate the space between ourselves and the public, making it an intellectual and physical stimulant between the imaginary and the real, a path that can be followed in different ways, in fiction or reality, offering others the power to feel both here and elsewhere. Art proposes identities to us, and identities enable us to live life otherwise.”
~The Two Gullivers

Territoires de Langue

Collette Jacques
Suzanne Joly
Stefan St-Laurent
The Two Gullivers

Curated by Paul Couillard

FADO Performance Art Centre, in collaboration with La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario and the Toronto Free Gallery, is pleased to present Territoires de Langue. For this project, five francophone artists have been invited to undertake interventions that respond to the question: To what extent does language determine experience? The artists will work in two distinct environments, Toronto and Sudbury, spending a week in each location engaging in street actions and public “manoeuvres.” Join us for a bilingual public presentation in which the artists will share the results of their Toronto research through performances and discussions.

Does each of us have a “place,” a spot where we belong? When we enter space, do we become a part of that space, or do we simply confirm our irresistible, insurmountable isolation? To what extent do we become place by being in place? To what extent does a place, by containing us, become us? What does it mean when we bring particular languages to particular surroundings? To what extent does language determine experience? Is the Francophone “Nouvel-Ontario” different from the Anglophone “Northern Ontario,” for example? Does language cut across regional difference? Can it transcend the divide between a large urban centre like Toronto and a more rural northern community like Sudbury?

Performance gestures offer the potential for psychic (that is, emotional, psychological and spiritual) affect, as well as social and physical effect. For this series, five French-language artists will develop site-specific performance gestures for both Toronto and Sudbury, using tactics that explore the idea of “putting in place.” These gestures—whether or not they utilize spoken word—constitute forms of language, ones that are no doubt inflected by the artists’ native tongue. How translatable will these gestures be? How will these artists use the language of performance to make space for themselves, to “belong?

Paul Couillard
Diaspora curated by Sonia Pelletier

FADO is pleased to present Diaspora, a performance art event that examines the experiences of dispersed and exiled populations. The event will feature five performances followed by a public discussion. Diaspora presents artists from various cultures, now living in Canada, whose performances consider their ‘foreignness.’ Developed by Montréˆal curator Sonia Pelletier and touring with support from CALQ, Diaspora features performances modified from an initial event presented in 2003 at Galerie Clark in MontrĂ©al. A fifth project featuring local artist Vessna Perunovich will be included for this Toronto version of Diaspora.

Constanza Camelo
Kinga Araya
Myriam Laplante
The Two Gullivers (Flutura & Besnik Haxhillari)
Vessna Perunovich

Sonia Pelletier writes in consideration of the project:

Performance art [is] surely the most immediately expressive way to depict survival, resistance and the accommodation of differences. This commingling, driven by the artists’ concerns with identity issues, leads us to consider how the precarious state of the artist in a foreign land reverberates on one’s own culture, as well as the status of the artist in general…
A major portion of the project is devoted to reflection, with a focus on the identity issues of cultural transformation, hybrid cultures, belonging and cultural transference. …We are also attempting to refashion and re-view the word ‘Diaspora.’ Performative acts convey cultural evidence, but to what extent can one assert one’s belongingness in a world so polarized between Western and non-Western culture? And in the art world, haven’t the concepts of globalization and internationalization gotten confused as well?

Presented in cooperation with Blank Slate with support from the Conseil des art et des lettres du Québec.

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