Victoria Gray is an artist and practice-led researcher. She has presented work in galleries and performance festivals in the UK, USA, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain. Alongside Nathan Walker, she is co-director of Oui Performance (York, UK), an artist-led organization advocating practice, discourse and education of performance art in the UK. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London. Victoria Gray’s work is supported by the Artists’ International Development Fund, awarded by Arts Council England and the British Council.
FADO Performance Art Centre is proud to present new solos performance works by Victoria Gray (UK) and Dorothea Rust (Switzerland) in the context of the on-going International Visiting Artists series. Dorothea Rust and Victoria Gray’s appearances in Toronto are presented in partnership with VIVA! Art Action, the next stop on the artists’ tour. Established in 2006, VIVA! Art Action is an international performance and live art festival presented once every two years in Montréal.
Ballast by Victoria Gray
“An action may be gentle, but it is not benign.” ~Victoria Gray
Often durational, Victoria Gray’s performances utilize slowness and stillness, in conjunction with performing unsighted, bringing a cellular-attention to kinesthetic sensations. Integrating affect studies, process philosophy, political theory, and somatics, her work aims to bring dormant psychosomatic memory to consciousness. Specifically, that which subsists at the sentient level of the bones, muscles, organs, fluids, glands and nerves. This cellular-attention aims to disturb “common-sense” hierarchies of sensory organization, activating the political potential of a body that is intimately attuned to affective experience. Each work is highly contingent upon the audience’s particular presence and the specificities of each performance space. In this sense, like time, affect becomes a material in performance, it is “shaped” moment-by-moment in an immediate exchange between performer, audience and site.
Übung / Exercise No. 6 – Gender – Render by Dorothea Rust
My (our) languages is (are) (long ago already) ramified: expanding to technological documentation and medias of expression, onto the handling with objects, including music, sound, text and movement/choreography and probably more to come. Thus constantly throwing another (new) light onto the relationship and my (our) being with others present or absent in a (different) space/place, be it audience, visitors, co-performers.
I don’t consider performance as an ephemeral, singular event, disappearing like a soap bubble. I see it as a space and a ‘milieu’ [The term ‘milieu’ refers to Jean-Luc Nancy in: Sybille Krämer: Medium, Bote, Übertragung – Kleine Metaphysik der Medialität, 2008 , pages 54 – 66], me (us) moving in it, being part of a flow, of a social, cultural environment, hence performance an incident, an intervention, a disturbance, a time/moment in a process …
Any kind of preparation and processing before and after – such as script, notation, documentation, narration, photos, video, audio – can function as a possible trace which can become again a script and material for the next performance, a new intervention, disturbance etc., like Ariadne’s thread in a labyrinth with many exits, which is picked up not only by me, but by others. Thus the performance doesn’t belong to me, it’s part of a ‘milieu’, others as much belonging to it and being part of it as me.
Image © Dorothea Rust, Übung / Exercise No. 6 – Gender – Render, 2015. Photo Henry Chan.
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?
yellow mandarin, mimosa
honey, chamomile, salt
narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer