Posted on September 25th, 2015
My laptop’s charging in the AC stand and my cell phone’s daisy chained to the USB port, both hungry for power after a week of labour. A BBQ pork steamed bao works its way down my gullet. People mill about the airport, wandering from gate to gate, towing children or luggage or time. I just said goodbye to Guadalupe and Luciana, who’re heading back to Van city for the Live Biennale. The other artists have already left, their homes spread across the wide expanse of this nation. My flight’s in an hour or so. All of a sudden the festival’s over, I can feel it in my bones.
After a madcap marathon of breakfast symposia, afternoon performances, midday jaunts, evening performances, group dinners, parties, karaoke, drinks, and late night hotel hangs — all the while carving out a few threadbare minutes of solitude here and there to dash together a representative bundle of words — after this non-stop cavalcade of performance and caffeine-fuelled writing, I recognize the dull ache of purpose evaporating from my frame. In this moment of disintegration, the group of people brought together for Visualeyez 2015 are once again disparate points on a map of Canadian art.
Rachel sharing pneumatic pressure in Montreal; Mathieu rambling around Moncton; Guadalupe activating the bones of Vancouver; Julie hunting the wolf through Montreal; Ming churning up the detritus of Winnipeg; Steven tiny and articulate within Montreal; Luciana a warbling weft for Vancouver; and Christian, the ambiguous, heartfelt ghost of Montreal.
All of them expanding and collapsing, in their turn.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to rap wise about these performances, for the chance to rub elbows with these artists, and for the slice of Edmonton I’ve been lucky enough to experience. Thank you, one and all.
I also want to thank everyone at Latitude 53: Todd, Adam, Megan, Karen, Sara, Sarah, and Allison for putting this show together, making it run like a Swiss watch, and helping everyone feel at home during our stay.
And thank you, readers, for checking out these texts and participating in Visualeyez 2015, no matter where you are.
My plane scuds above the earth. Below, the shield rolls by, punctuated by lakes, bogs, and rock. I munch on a bag of flax corn chips and sip a broad plastic tumbler of orange juice. My brain slowly congeals as I watch A Fistful of Dollars, the baby napping on his mother beside me, and the black mirror of my deactivated in-flight console screen. I shuffle in my seat, cross my legs, and close my eyes. I’ve done enough watching for a while.