Latitude 53 presents Visualeyez 2017, the seventeenth edition of Canada's annual festival of performance art, from September 26–October 1, exploring the theme of awkwardness

lance mclean reflects…

Posted by Karen on September 20th, 2011

text by: lance mclean

I have been thinking a lot about “pre intentions” and what it would be like to let go of them when performing. Years ago I say a guy with a shirt that said: “No expectations, no disapointments.” It made me laugh when I first say it but as I kept thinking about it it started to make me think differently about understanding the beauty of life as it is not as we may want it to be.

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todd janes

Posted by Karen on September 20th, 2011

todd, visualeyez wouldn’t be here without you. we love you, we thank you, we wish you long life.

michael dudeck – in conversation

Posted by Karen on September 20th, 2011

photo courtesy the artist

a conversation cannot replace a performance. i was not able to see michael dudeck perform, and so, as a second best, we met for breakfast so i could attempt to see deeper into this generous and articulate person.

what i saw was an artist who has an ardent desire to create a world to inhabit. you could say this is what drives most artists, however in dudeck’s case i would wager this desire incorporates a love.

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emilio rojas performs – again

Posted by Karen on September 20th, 2011


photo by catherine kuzik

no one. no one is listening more intently. no one knows the modulations in the voice, the pacing of the words, the catches in the breath more than she. she who when called answers, “si mi amor.” (“yes my love.”)

the “mother” who has travelled by ferry to sit at this table in the daughter of a friend’s house. to be there. for her son. to listen to him. this son who has invited her into his life in this particular way. a performance. a performance of speaking confessions. one from him to her. or two. how will she know when he is speaking his confession? will she know? should she know? does she know already that he is speaking all the confessions, all the confessions pass through his voice to her.

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amy malbeuf performs

Posted by Karen on September 20th, 2011

photos by catherine kuzik

performance art in public space can be tricky. you never really know how the work will be received – security might be called or the police alerted because any unknown or unusual activity can be deemed ”suspicious.”

often the safest bet for the artist is to act “as if” the authority resides in them, “as if” this activity is completely normal and they are just “doing their job.” and this is exactly what amy malbeuf did. she arrived on the scene, she performed her task, she left. perfectly normal. except, amy malbeuf was dressed in a silver leotard that completely covered her body. her body…and her head. no eyes, no nose, no mouth, no skin, no hair was visible. all we see is a body encased in silver. the task performed involved walking in a circle and spreading some colourful substance with a “golfgreen” fertilizer spreader. (more…)

danny gaudreault performs – again

Posted by Karen on September 19th, 2011

photos by lance mclean

danny gaudreault made us laugh. for real.

with an “oh whatever” surrender into the pathos of his situation, danny gaudrault rose to take his place. lowering his naked ass onto the knees of his subjects he crossed his legs and managed a royal wave.

but lets go back to the beginning.
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sitting with helene vosters day six

Posted by Karen on September 18th, 2011

i want you to know. there is a woman. a woman who is unmaking. returning to thread a cloth. returning to thread a cloth that was made. returning to thread a cloth that was made to be cut into a pattern. returning to thread a cloth that was made to be cut into a pattern to be sewn into a uniform to be worn by a human being to mark this human being as belonging to an army. i want you to know there is a woman who is unmaking this uniform and returning it to thread. so we can begin again. we can start over again.

let us start over again.

morning meeting day five

Posted by Karen on September 18th, 2011

today we meet inside. the weather has turned windy and cold. again there is a circle, but no table between. we discuss work that is not gallery specific. emilio rojas’ relational ritual and aimée henny brown’s revival walk. the fact that both these works break with the standards of both gallery viewing and theatre creates challenges and unique opportunities. also, with emilio’s work being relational every person present was the “keeper” of their own unique experience. there was no right or wrong in the telling of how the work affected each person. there was also an incredible sense of generosity that came forward today where support was offered in a way any artist (or person for that matter) loves to hear…”we will be there for you.” this being with each other and for each other, is in a sense what these two works are grappling with. the question is as old as time and will i suspect, always be relevant.

sitting with helene vosters day five

Posted by Karen on September 18th, 2011

delicate work. the cloth held between the hands. one hand holding cloth, one hand pinching thread to draw it out from the cloth. the sound of one thread being drawn through the length of the cloth. like a wave. one thread at a time. one wave at a time. i become lulled as if i am watching the waves roll in on a beach.

i am amazed at the tranquility engendered by watching helene vosters engage in her self-appointed task. i wonder if i am projecting some desire for maternal care. helene vosters sitting with cloth in hand reminds me of how my sons would come to me with their stuffed animals for me to repair. this posture of sitting, hands engaged, head bowed, this attentiveness to detail, to cloth – is this reparation?

today i do not feel sadness, nor do i think about war, rather i allow the serenity of this scene to flow over me.

emilio rojas performs – the day after

Posted by Karen on September 18th, 2011

performances that are one with one are quite magical. every person who experiences the performance experiences their own unique response. what is so nice about the structure at visualeyez is the opportunity for each person to share their experiences with the group. and this is what we did. the differences in our reactions spoke as much of us as our relation to emilio and the ritual. many people spoke of feeling blessed, of having a feeling of calmness after the ritual. and of becoming acutely aware of the noise and distractions of the “outside” world.

we spoke of the sense of surrender and pleasure of being “led” into this alternate space. but also of trust and bodies. we discussed responsibility, both the audiences and the artists. and the fluidity or rigidness we could impose or not on the structures we had created. how to invite someone into a created space, and likewise how to invite them to leave.

again this performance was presented as a work in progress, as an opportunity to workshop in the real. and again i want to stress the value in allowing these spaces to exist within the framework of a festival. that a work does not have to be closed off and polished in order to be presented to a group.  that in doing together we learn together.

 

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