The Mountain Talks
M:ST 5.5 Making Way was a series of performative workshops hosted by M:ST. These activities were developed to educate and support the growing performative arts community in Southern Alberta. Now come gather ‘round, drink some coffee and listen to the participants of these workshops discuss their engaging emerging practices.
Mutopia 7 was a five-day workshop held at the Banff Center this June. Part of M:ST 5.5, Mutopia 7 was the latest in a series of workshops facilitated by John Grzinich (Estonia) using strategies to enrich art-making processes inspired by a variety of disciplines and other fields of social and cultural research. Throughout the five days at the Banff Centre, the town of Banff and the surrounding landscape the participants collected and grew a documentation archive of exercises and experiences. The Mutopia 7 collective did not strive to produce finished “pieces”, rather developed a series of trials and actions that lead to a greater understanding of self, group, place and site.
90 kmh Economy Drive
October 15 - December 27
EPCOR CENTRE's Ledge Gallery
October 21, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Southern Alberta Art Gallery
601 3 Avenue S, Lethbridge
October 21, 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Spearheaded by Dick Averns, the 90kmh Economy Drive is a slow driving movement that creates a more sustainable community among motor-vehicle users. It proposes a mass performance art project that deploys an art ‘multiple’ — a green maple leaf decal affixed to the rear of one’s motor vehicle — to demonstrate a commitment to reduced highway driving speed, and with it, reduced fuel consumption and pollution. This project is registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, which trademarks services including psychogeography and autoethnography, and dovetails with the content of Averns’ practice that investigates the commodification of space: probing how spaces are bought, sold, exchanged, valued and contested. …
Between One and Another
Sandra Vida, Pauline Cummins
Where else could we begin? The body. That which so obviously belongs to us. But this personal and yet inevitably public site has historically and politically been under siege, in question, up for grabs, discussed and dissected. As women artists, with a fraught history of indignities, constraints, and projections upon our persons, where else does the work of deconstruction begin? — but with the body. With our own lived experience, inhabiting these bodies. And we continue to re-imagine an enhanced, improved, adjusted terrain to inhabit. This is our project as artists. We engage in a daily making and re-making of the world. Our first collaborative work, The Autonomous Eye, was our response to the debates surrounding the female body in the 1980s and 1990s. …
The Shoe Collection of Hortense Muriel Walker and The Other
Kay Burns’ current exhibition at TNG, like much of her work in all media, involves a somewhat elastic approach to the inclusion of fact and fiction. For several years she has explored ideas related to the creation of and enactment of alternative identities. Many of her performance art projects have been undertaken as an alternative persona, Iris Taylor, ethnographer and historian. Underpinning her performance work as Iris are questions of identity — what constitutes identity, how identity evolves, the malleability and flux of identity, and the interplay between her own identity and that of her fictional ‘other.’ …
Burden is an interactive performance installation that explores intimacy through sensory deprivation, the ingesting of secrets and the sharing of weight.
Chun Hua Catherine Dong
Hourglass is a rice-based performance that explores “deterritorialization” and “disessentialization” in the Taken‐for‐Granted world. …
In 1874, Joseph Glidden patented an invention that would forever change the face of the landscape — “devilʼs wire”. Legend states that his wife had encouraged him in her yearning to grow a garden — a paradise that would be preserved by walling in that which is desired and walling out “undesirables”. This wire has been used in every military engagement since. Yet in terms of tensile strength, steel is surpassed by silk. …
Working with an accumulation of mechanical and electronic music players, Zorbar adjusts the standard operation of these devices to place these machines into conversation with each other, transforming them by creating new relationships between the mechanical components. In these projects, Zorbar establishes a precarious balance of machines and music, objects and sound. The works have an ephemeral quality as many last just as long as the side of a record, a cassette tape or sometimes just the length of a song. There is also a poignant charm to these installations, creating a romantic anthropomorphic quality with the machines he plays with. …
W.O.R.K.S Among the Easels
Paul Woodrow, Clive Robertson, Johanna Householder, Matt Rogalsky, Terrance Houle
W.O.R.K.S — WE.OURSELVES.ROUGHLY.KNOW.SOMETHING was an international performance art festival and publishing collective based in Calgary from 1972 –5. Their historically-acclaimed curatorial performance, audio and artist television projects include: First World Festival of W.O.R.K.S (1972); A Conceptographic Reading of World Thermometer, a six one-hour artist television series on performance (1973); LIVE LICE — satire Cable TV community news program (1974); VOICESPONDENCE — an audio art cassette magazine (1974);W.O.R.K.S. Plays Cricket (1975); and w.o.r.k.s.c.o.r.e.p.o.r.t (Beau Geste Press, 1975).
My Moral Compass (Nîso)
My Moral Compass was inspired by Leona Makokis’ article “Disordered Dependencies: The Impact of Language Loss and Residential Schooling on Indigenous Peoples”. In it she articulates that the Cree language creates a framework of boundaries and spiritual guidance, thus, the language becomes a collective and individual moral compass. I hail from a lineage of multi-lingual (Cree, French, Michif) speakers. Through the various processes of assimilation, this multi-lingual tradition has been lost, along with the moral values embedded in the language(s). English is my only fluent language, and in speaking it, I hide my aboriginal identity, whether I intend to or not. This performance is an attempt to reconcile my relationship with my native language(s), in an attempt to find, and reveal, my lost self.
Amy Malbeuf would like to thank Daniel Cardinal for the Cree translations of My Moral Compass.
This will be my third visit to the City of Calgary. My first encounter was when, as a young child, I was driven there from Winnipeg by my Mother and her boyfriend, on a vacation to see my aunt and uncle. My second experience was, as a vagrant hippy teenager, briefly hitch-hiking through town on a road trip to attend a party in Vancouver.
For M:ST, I offer three short vignettes re-creating these memories.
The performance is a personal history, based on the concept of ‘Home’, my background and my relationship with home.
When my mother was in her last stage of life in the hospital, a doctor told us that her condition, despite 90 years old, was sodium deficiency and it meant that she had to take regular salt in order to keep on living.
Another story was told by an old friend who used to live in the mountain, about when he was lost in the jungle, and he has not taken any salt for several days, which made him weak and nearly die. For all of us salt is an important chemical for our body, salt keeps our blood flow, keep our thought brighter, and our vision clearer, and keep our soil richer, etc. …
Contemporary Indigenous Performance Art — Where it’s been, Where it’s at and Where it’s going…
As part of M:ST 5.5: Making Way, featuring participants: Natasha Alphonse, Rob Charger, Sarah Christensen, Allison Crop Eared Wolf, Victor Day Chief, Christopher Grignard, Michelle Hogue, Amy Malbeuf, Jolie No Runner, Corinne Thiessen-Hepher, and Jaime Warn.
In partnership with the University of Lethbridge and Trap/Door Artist Run Centre, M:ST presented a workshop by Adrian Stimson (Saskatoon) and Rebecca Belmore (Vancouver) that engaged participants in critical discourse on contemporary Indigenous performance art theory and praxis.
A Levitation for Calgary & Circles of Confusion
Amanda Couch, Kyle Whitehead
A Levitation for Calgary is part of the wider project, (A) Play of Three Magic Particles: Light, Dust, and Photographic Grain, in which Couch investigates matter, mediation and duration through performance and the body, photography, and drawing. The project explores futility, failure, and success through what is lost and gained in making and re-making, interpretation, misinterpretation and translation. The works often utilised the conceptual and physical construct of the pinhole camera and camera obscura, to create images that are often transient, elusive, and inverted, yet very physical. …
Performing Cultural Transformation
Chumpon Apisuk, Dick Averns, Mary Babcock, Chun Hua Catherine Dong
Panel discussion moderated by David Plouffe.
Witness is a performance by interdisciplinary performance artist Allison Wyper for one audience member at a time. In Witness the viewer is configured as an accomplice to the performance event, a ritual in which the tenuous mantle (or blindfold) of power is borrowed, trafficked, and stolen. Within intimate encounters we are challenged to acknowledge our participation in acts of torture, violence and exploitation, and to confront our responsibility for the other. Then, we are charged to act. …
Posing in the form of an artist talk, Autoselections layers together various autobiographical strata relating to my art practice, philosophy, and personal history. The work is a performance that moves amongst demonstration, documentation, and fiction, adopting chance-based systems that devolve structure to audience influence. The result is a variable experience of my own art practice, that reveals how my work has repeatedly attempted to move away from systems, while simultaneously retreating back into them.
The SEERious Sideshow
Experience M.E.D.I.U.M. and explore commodity spiritualism through divination, witchery, and magic. Be spirituality bound to a doppelganger poppet by Char Latan. Tour Frater Tham’s mysterious collection of oddities, including clear evidence of otherworldly anomalies. And visit Madame Symona, freshly back from a tour of Serbia with an 18th century gypsy caravan.
Les Fermières Obsedees
Imagined as a series of tableaux which will show off a power play, competition clashes and sports tournaments, Vile Fights is a metaphor of power struggles associated with political and economic issues. The F.O. will manage this game as a devoted plan; where at first, only they know the rules. They will display a strategy game that will decline in several successive actions and vanity tables and hysteria of the performance at large.
Gerry Morita, Lin Snelling, Shawn Pinchbeck, Patrick Arès-Pilon
Duplex is an ongoing investigation of spaces, and the people who exist, coexist, or who have previously existed within them. By dancing the space as if it were a duplex where walls barely separate existence, emotion, longing, remembering, and motion, how much do we consciously or subconsciously affect each other? How much does our space determine what we do and how we feel?
Performance Master Class Workshop
Pauline Cummins (Ireland) is an artist whose work explores the human condition from a feminist perspective. Her interest lies in performance and video work where she examines identity, gender and socio-cultural relations connected to different communities in the society. Her examination of locations questions how the self is constituted and how people act within a group either chosen or determined in social situations such as work, education, leisure time “social activities” or the basic structure of the family. …
The Archivist’s Visit
In conjunction with the two photo-based installations Kay Burns (Canada) has concurrently at TNG, this performance draws on the idea of the role of an archivist. The works in the exhibition are presented as collected documentation and materials of an anonymous archivist. The archivist is an ageless, nameless, genderless, timeless, institution-less, individual. We know nothing about the archivist other than what appears in the selection of presented materials. Through these projects broad questions surface regarding the impetus collect, archive, annotate, and scrutinize the lives of others and to make them public in a curious way. The archivist is fictional, as are many aspects of the content of the installations themselves, alluding to questions of who defines the truth within museum and archival contexts. …
Karly Mortimer & MacKenzie Boyle, Jaime Warn, Emily Promise Allison, Desiree Nault & Jake Klein-Waller, Björn Neukom, Sarah Christensen
M:ST presents the work by artist participants in the M:ST 5.5: Making Way workshop series.
Notes on Camping
Notes on Camping is a performance in which I will be using camping equipment to transform my body in an exploration of gender. I will be dressed in a flannel shirt, jeans, and hiking boots, and I will be using a tent, sleeping bag, camping chair, tarpaulins, rope, and other assorted camping gear to transform my body by wearing, draping, wrapping, stretching and otherwise interacting with them to change the shape of my body, restrict my range of motion, or create extensions of my body. The actions that I will perform will not be predetermined, but will be responses to the way each object transforms my body, and the effect those transformations have on me, so that so that each action triggers the next in a constant feedback loop. The process of creating the work is all about fluidity.
FELICITACIONES (Congratulations) is a performance that is part of an investigation into the relationship between body / city. This research is guided by questions about the corporality that are built to live in the city and its public spaces. The starting points of this creative process on the one hand were: drunkenness, understood as the broad spectrum of body changes that affect the body by consuming different substances; And elsewhere: vice, understood as a repetition of an action that involves intensity and produces wear. The dialogue between the body intensity in states of intoxication, and repetitive and exhausting of vice, has resulted in the structuring of actions that make the piece.
Jesse Altura, Jack Bride, Rosemary Brown, Sarah van Sloten, Yules Wai, Christina Mayder
M:ST presents the work by artist participants in the M:ST 5.5: Making Way workshop series.
In early July 2012, following the Summer Solstice, six Calgary artists participated in a performance workshop by Montreal collective TouVA. As Calgary celebrated 100 years of Stampede, this workshop percolated two stories underground, cultivating new forms of awareness as each individual came closer to his and her performative nature. The group bonded under challenges and exercises throughout the week, establishing a powerful momentum and blossoming their new realities in public. Jack Bride, Christina Mayder, Rosemary Brown, Jesse Altura, Sarah van Sloten and Yules Wai have had the changing of seasons to allow their workshop experience to soak into their skin, muscle, bone and marrow.
A summit is described as a meeting of heads of state or government. In our performance we evoke this idea in order to engage with the theater of current and past politics. The work that we are proposing comprises of an on-going performance intervention which would start on our way to Calgary. Once there, we will engage in everyday performative actions which will speak to and about the current political, military, social, and economic issues. We will do this in ‘costume’ which will mimic both the men’s power suite and a military uniform. Our “dictator-drag” intervenes in symbolic politics and also speaks to the fact that females are rarely seen in political, military, or economic platforms. Our work proposes to operate with two basic images — the image of the politician/dictator and that of a political/ economic summit. As such these two images evoke everything from the current violence of the Syrian regime, to the G20 Summit, political elections, or the corporate boardroom. All such images are based in power, and we choose to play with it.
Into the Vaults
If one has an aversion to making objects, then what does one make? Does one therefore make (or do) performance? Is performance an object? Something temporal can occupy space. Although so often the temporal elements are looped or even frozen. Can performance be collected? If so, how? Can something be collected if it is not an object? What exactly constitutes an object?
Moustache: Performing Masculinity
Karilynn Ming Ho, Kay Burns, Pauline Cummins, Wednesday Lupypciw
This panel is dedicated to the memory of Jasmine Valentina.
Where Where There There
Karilynn Ming Ho
Where Where There There is a video installation based on Gertrude Stein’s play Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights. Drawing from the themes found in Stein’s play, the work incorporates traces of the original text interwoven with other found “texts” such as interviews, documentary footage, and videos on YouTube. The found texts are used as a secondary “script” from which a multiplicity of roles, scenes, and narratives emerge. The work addresses the reiteration of performance through various structural tropes (cinematic and theatrical) and the relationship between performance and the camera.
Work From Nowhere Work For No One
This work came from an interest in weaving, or rather, an interest in how artists and consumers who can afford it really love the intense amount of labour involved in handicrafts like weaving, to the point of fetishization. I became depressed when I realized that I normally just can’t afford the time to craft, as much as I can’t afford the time to sift through the ideas and ideals around crafting. So I took it upon myself to hastily and permanently reverse the whole textile making process, and strip it of any utopic impulses.
Looking further, this work could reference Luddites and the fabulously destructive potential of political movements. WORK FROM NOWHERE WORK FOR NO ONE is a gigantically negative act that rejects the crafting traditions from which I come from, or maybe just as much, it’s a positive gesture that inaugurates and invites people into a new craft guild of fuck ups, mischief makers, and bad asses.