Posted by Adam on December 29th, 2016
At last year’s Visualeyez festival, the students of University of Alberta professor Natalie Loveless’s Fall 2016 seminar course “Ephemerality and Sustainability in Contemporary Art” (ArtH 456/556) responded to performances at the festival.
Montreal-based artist Christine Brault describes her practice as interdisciplinary and performance based research art creation. Utilizing relational aesthetics via site-specific interventions that rely on people, environments and contexts Brault seeks to “create an intercultural dialogue” through her own performative language which has developed through ongoing poetic and political research. Anchoring itself to Brault’s engaged and feminist practice in facing social inequities and aberrations of today’s world, she uses this language to evoke ritual related relationships to earth, human beings, their languages and transformations.
As I entered Latitude 53 Brault greeted me with a warm handshake and a “hello.” She explained to me loosely what her performance, Let Me Wash This Off Your Hands was going to be: she was simply going to wash people’s hands. We agreed to have a chat after the performance and left Latitude 53 to head to her location, a few short blocks away at Beaver Hills House Park or Amiskwaskahegan on 105th Street and Jasper Avenue. Amiskwaciy or Beaver Hills is Cree for the rolling upland region in Central Alberta, just east of Edmonton; Amiskwaskahegan or Beaver Hills Park is home to The Aboriginal Walk of Honour, and exists as a kind of oasis—the only green space along that section of Jasper Avenue. As Brault describes her work as site-specific and reliant on context, the placement of this piece is no accident and is in fact very important to how the content of this work is read.
Posted by Adam on September 6th, 2016
Latitude 53 is pleased to announce the festival line-up for Visualeyez 2016: Kindness, with: Christine Brault (QC), Chun Hua Catherine Dong (QC), Linda Rae Dornan (NB), Alexandria Inkster (AB), and Johannes Zits (ON).
This year’s Visualeyez festival, taking place in and around Latitude 53 in downtown Edmonton, September 19–24, brings together five artists to explore the theme “Kindness”. Curated by Todd Janes, this year’s festival emphasizes personal exchanges of care and self-care, and the material traces these leave behind. The festival’s week-long scope includes a space for collaborative development by the artists, followed by three celebratory days of public performance over the weekend of September 22–24.
This year’s performances include both staged, public actions, and one-on-one gestures, as well as longer process works that develop over the festival, becoming visible during the final weekend.
Within kindness is the belief in generosity and reciprocity, where artists will extend out offers, seeking little personal benefit except the willingness to exchange moments. Both Alexandria Inkster and Christine Brault will perform publicly, meeting passersby in fleeting intimate moments. Inkster folds paper into a gift as long as eye contact with another is maintained while Brault washes participants hands and uses the water to write their name manifesting the rituals of care. Linda Rae Dornan will also work throughout the week re-animating found objects during regular walks with participants, bringing value and narratives to disregarded objects—creating a kind of installation, echoed in that constructed by Johannes Zits in the gallery for his durational performance.
As always, Visualeyez provides multiple points of entry for audiences, welcoming members of Latitude 53’s community to discuss the artists work over the festival, participate in one-on-one performances, and watch staged performances together. Visualeyez also includes an important online component, as the Festival Animator records the events in writing and uses the blog platform at visualeyez.org to expose the festival to audiences who cannot view it firsthand—and deepen the experience for those who can.