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

Steven Girard: In Progress of Becoming Meaningless

Posted by Cian Cruise on September 19th, 2015

Steven Girard, before the performance - photo by Mathieu Léger

Steven Girard, before the performance – photo by Mathieu Léger

The actions in Steven Girard‘s In Progress of Becoming Meaningless are asymptotes — (more…)

Julie Laurin: Performing the Trajectory (2)

Posted by Cian Cruise on September 19th, 2015

If yesterday’s action was analogous to a drawn bow and the resulting arrow, today’s Performing the Trajectory is a meandering pinball bouncing around the urban landscape. The walk to WEM was a single vector of goal-oriented touring, almost a race. Today’s exploration with-and-of the cart follows a myriad of forces bearing down on Julie Laurin and her playful navigation of human bumpers and the borders we put up around us in a public space.

She dances with the cart. She allows the cart to pull her. She bumps it along with her hips, telling onlookers: “Check it out! No hands!” She uses it as a ledge to climb over a black iron fence and investigate a grassy patch that defies the inner city’s concrete mandate. Today she does not wrestle with the cart, but dances with it, evoking grace from a beige metal cage.

Julie Laurin - photo by Cody Wu

Julie Laurin – photo by Cody Wu

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Ming Hon: Patricia: Qu’est-ce que c’est, “dégueulasse”? / What is a “scumbag”?

Posted by Cian Cruise on September 18th, 2015

Ming Hon’s Patricia: Qu’est-ce que c’est, “dégueulasse”? / What is a “scumbag”? is a 4-hour long durational piece that establishes a rigid framework of referential action right off the bat [See Appendix B] then picks it apart like an itchy scab. She moves with a dancer’s precision and a comedian’s timing, shifting from phase to phase in a series of repetitive cycles [See Appendix D] with zero intermediary steps. The performance is wedged in a corner of the gallery made up like a sketchy apartment [See Appendix C, Appendix A] where detritus and lifestyle choices encyst the space. The audience surrounds her, some on the couch that bisects the middle of the set, but most with their back pressed against the wall, as far from the action as possible while still able to witness Ming’s procedural collapse. (more…)

Julie Laurin: Performing the Trajectory (1)

Posted by Cian Cruise on September 17th, 2015

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Beige. It’s the colour of colonial explorers, caucasian skin, and the ubiquitous box mall infrastructure of contemporary consumer culture. It is dull and lifeless, conformity writ large. Before anything else, Julie Laurin dons beige. Dressed head to toe in business casual beige (shoes, stockings, skirt, blouse, and jacket) she tugs her shopping cart down the steps of Latitude 53 and it begins.

Julie Laurin - photo by Jack Bawden

Julie Laurin – photo by Jack Bawden

Julie’s destination: The West Edmonton Mall. It’s about sixty blocks away. (more…)

First Night in Town

Posted by Cian Cruise on September 16th, 2015

Joan Didion once claimed, “writers are always selling somebody out.” I’m going to attempt to defy that quote as I write about the performances, spaces, and countless intangibles that zing through the air between artist and observer. Technically I’m the latter, but the nature of Visualeyez puts everyone on the same page. Artists, administrators, and miscellaneous hangers-on (which is how I characterize myself) each have a seat at the table and a voice to contribute to the overall festival experience.

Yesterday, six out of eight artists arrived in Edmonton, and there was some confusion among introductions. Steven Girard  initially thought I was a performer, but when he was disabused of the notion he simply said, “Ah. Now we are nine.”

“Maybe eight and a half,” I said.

“No,” he said. “Nine.” (more…)

The Flight of the Animator

Posted by Cian Cruise on September 16th, 2015

My plane scuds above the earth. Below, plains roll by, punctuated by arroyos and coulees. The sun cuts through tiny portholes. I blink and look around. Up until now I had more or less zombied my way through the miracle of flight by watching Yojimbo, the fuzzy domes of hair peeking up over the edge of seat-backs, and pools of sunlight warp and drift along the ceiling with each tilt of the fuselage.

I realize, right around now, that this is the furthest north I’ve ever been. I’m heading to Visualeyez 2015, a week-long adventure of performance art in Edmonton, a city I’ve never stepped foot in before. Then the plane starts to descend, and the clouds shift from cotton to stucco to used bathwater.

Murk envelops the plane. I keep glancing out the window for a skyline, since I think it’ll make a good photo for the blog, but I can’t see anything until the telltale shock of wheels hitting solid ground rumbles through the plane and there we are.

Or, rather, here.

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Festival Animator Cian Cruise

Posted by Adam on September 12th, 2015

We’re excited to announce that this year, Cian Cruise will be our Festival Animator. Here’s a word from curator Todd Janes:

We are now in our 16th year as a festival and over time we have matured to be a transformative contemporary artistic incubator for artists working within performance and live art. This year we are doing significant things to engage, challenge and excite audiences and bring them into the artistic process in new ways. Cian is an exciting and talented writer who has a solid writing experience and I found myself falling into his writing and his comfortable style.

Performance art has smaller, intimate audiences the festival Animator gets to become that storyteller and share their experience of the work to others that cannot experience it first-hand. Cian will be sharing his point of view on the festival here on the blog each day.

Cian Cruise is a writer living in Toronto. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Hazlitt, Little Brother Magazine, and a number of other places. His website is ciancruise.com

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