June 5,6,7,8,10,11,12,13,14 2008
HIVE was an exciting opportunity for Vancouver audiences and for Vancouver artists. My contribution was to provide a series of performance artists performing durational work that created small vignettes within the wider frame of HIVE 2. These artists explored the issues that have framed performance art throughout its history including the body, the situation and site. The focus was to blend among the other works in discreet and subtle ways that bring new relationships to the forefront. Using processes of intervention, spectacle and ritual the artists provided new ways for the audience to experience the event and view the proceedings.
I am very happy to be participating in this project bringing together theatre and performance art artists within Vancouver. Theatre and Performance Art in Vancouver have very distinct histories that have sometimes intersected in innovative and interesting way. These crossovers were the beginnings of interdisciplinary work in the city in the 1960's and have been important touchstones within the histories of both forms. Later in the late 1980's the Vancouver Fringe Festival brought together both communities providing exciting developments for both. But for much of their histories though they have remained separate and have largely developed in isolation to each other. HIVE 1 brought together many of Vancouver's most innovative Theatre companies. HIVE 2 represents an extraordinary opportunity to bring together artists working in Performance Art with these exciting companies in the creation of an event that is unique, exciting and developmental.
My curatorial focus was on experienced senior and emerging artists working in Vancouver. I worked with artists to define their roles within the wider production and make final choices based on the created context and the other productions working within the space. Artists I have included are Margaret Dragu, Cheryl L'Hirondelle, Paul Wong, Bobbi Kozinuk, Archer Pechawis, Skeena Reece, Norma, Marlene Madison and Rebecca Belmore These artist represent a strong representation of performance artists within the city and all are firmly established in both their careers and as curators and organizers around performance art in the city through such organizations and events as the LIVE Biennial, Indigenous Media Arts Group, Talking Stick Festival, Signal and Noise Audio Festival, and performance programs at Western Front, grunt gallery and Video In.
Video documentation of HIVE performances, 36:04. Click here to launch.
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Paul Wong - Mainstreet
This 4 projector montage encapsulates new work on Wong from his perch on Southern Main Street. The live mix of video produced recently looks at A series of Main Street characters and situations. VJ Wong is in the hood!!!!! Since his teenage years, Paul Wong has used video as mirror and probe, both to discover his own identity and to interact with the world at large. Based in Vancouver, he is a self-invented video pioneer and award-winning artist, curator, and organizer of events, conferences, and public interventions since the mid- 1970s. His work is varied and eclectic, ranging from conceptual performances to complex narratives. He is known particularly for his tough engagement with issues of race, sex, and death.
Skeena Reece - Nurse Shaman
Skeena Reece, this Tsimshian/Cree Nurse Shaman is sure to ease your modern ailments from white guilt, to stress about the end of the world. She will help you to identify your reasons for 'being fucked up' and wanting to 'get your shit together' but can't due to these post-traumatic stress syndromes, which she knows is connected to colonization and all of it's bullshit!! This savvy nurse will prescribe music, books and other fabulous remedies to the shitty situation we call 'the present'! Don't worry, help is on the way! Make an appointment for 5-15 minute sessions! Remember, healing starts with you, but Nurse Shaman can get the blood flowing even faster!
Bobbi will enliven the holding space with micro scenes created from images of Vancouver and of scenes from movies. The projections will be "moved" around the space with the help of a mirror, setting down in various locations that may accept the projections and allow them to fit in or show how they don't work together. After the different images fit into/merge with the existing space, Bobbi will then attempt to "fit into" the resulting scene, at times inviting the audience to join her. The viewers will be led to consider /question the roles laid out by our society, as well as how we are altering our own environment.
Archer Pechawis - Shoot the Indian
"Shoot The Indian" is a performance geared specifically to a mixed (read "non-native") audience. Presented during the Magnetic North Festival HIVE event, "Shoot The Indian" is an audience participation piece, where attendees have the opportunity to shoot a real Indian (me) with a paintball gun for $5. Riffing on the circus freak, vaudeville and old "Wild West" shows, this piece is a commentary on violence against Native people.
A clown show, in other words.
Marlene Madison - Close to me
In Close to me, Madison will engage the viewer in readings of short text pieces addressing notions of intimacy, reflexivity, and authenticity. This performance will be used to create a new work for exhibition.
Margaret Dragu - LADY JUSTICE GOES BUZZ-BUZZ
LADY JUSTICE GOES BUZZ-BUZZ is a 3 hour durational performance about public/private grief and unspoken desire for justice/revenge.
I shall perform on a raised platform or stage with an ironing board and steam iron.
I shall immerse hankies in dishpans of salt water (representing tears), wring them out, iron the wet/salty hankies, then hang/drape them on a chair. I shall use a bottle of red wine (representing blood) with the hankies. I shall dance to music from my ghetto blaster employing yoga-warrior poses with my Sword of Justice and Scales of Justice. I shall perform other art-aktions with ice, a silk red blindfold, and padlocked chain-belt. Random narratives shall be read by audience members in karaoke style voice-overs that shall play over speakers.
Cheryl L'Hirondelle - êkâya-pâhkaci [don't freeze up]
êkâya-pâhkaci [don't freeze up] is an interdisciplinary and exploratory process-based performance piece: an intersection of nomadic site-specifity, visual patterning, language, narrative, movement and rhythm. The HIVE performance will be endurative, as I will construct a lodge (a white canvas tent) and sew myself inside it and slowly paint myself white. The back wall of the tent will be made of reflective mylar and lights - aimed at the surface inside the lodge - will create dramatic movement drawing bystanders either nearer or further away. For those who venture near, they'll hear the being inside the tent repeating a series of words speaking of their bodyparts, delivered in cree (nêhiyawêwin) in a repetitious rap-like manner. The project references the temporary structures that house many of Vancouver's homeless and is a continuation of my various site-specific performative activities.
Norma - Warm up Act
Norma proposes a durational, looping performance for the HIVE event. The performance will last 3 hours (or as long as HIVE does), and will consist of 4 - 6 performers acting out, one by one, an introductory speech, over and over again. With both original and copied scripts (from online sources-- YouTube footage of speeches and weddings, mostly), the performers will introduce each other ad infinitum with a generic, but laudatory, intro speech. Each performer will have individualized rehearsed gestures-- discomfort, nervousness, inebriation, arrogance, over-confidence, under-confidence, etc.--but will perform the exact same text. The effect of the work will be both irritating and humourous-- as patrons come in and out of shows, they'll be stuck in a perpetually looping, skipping record-like introductory moment, which we hope will add to the "many shows under one roof" HIVE experience.
Rebecca Belmore - ",,,,more"
This new performance by Rebecca Belmore comes on the heels of her solo survey exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery.