announcement. Autel @ FOOT Sounding The Inner Ear of Performance, University of Toronto

I'm extremely excited to share that my audio installation Autel has been selected to be a part of the annual Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) at the University of Toronto's Drama Centre which runs Feb 2-5. This is the 25th anniversary of the conference, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Drama Centre @ U of T.

This year's theme is "Sounding The Inner Ear of Performance" so my Autel piece, which I first showed at RADA in London, and subsequently at the Gas Station Arts Centre in Winnipeg is a great fit. 

So much of my own directing and creative work has focused on the power of sound as an active character in the theatrical experience, and I am honoured to have my work included among these amazing thinkers and creators. 

For more about the conference (you can still register) check out their website. 

More about Autel:
Autel is a performance installation piece first shown at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, March 2012, and subsequently shown at the Gas Station Arts Centre in Winnipeg from October to December 2012. It invites the viewer to experience their own ritual of identity, and examine this mask as they look at others, also performing a ritual of identity. The viewer should, after the experience, begin to question the authenticity of their own public identity, and those they encounter, along with the authenticity of the experiences they have for the remainder of the performances. What are they seeing? How are they responding? Are they responding in a specific way that they believe is correct, or that is for the benefit of others?

Inspired by the work of playwright Jean Genet and composed of a collage of his words and those of Antonin Artaud, Autel is an auditory experience which challenges social constructs of identity and the way we interact with art. 

review. Just A Sliver of the Room and Astronomical Landscapes @ Angell Gallery

I made the trek across Toronto this Saturday to take in the current exhibitions at the Angell Gallery, and could not be happier I did. Arriving at the gallery, it is definitely not a space you'd suspect; tucked in the back corner of a business mini-mall, the outside of the gallery is unassuming, which amplified the drama of the first set of pieces, Steve Driscoll's Just A Sliver of the Room even more. 

Taking a fairly large and open space, Driscoll's vibrant and reflective landscapes jump out against the white walls. Their positioning around the space however, is what is most dramatic. Not only are the paintings themselves steeped in an ecstatic energy, but they are presented in a space filled with black water, which the viewer crosses on a board walk constructed across the space. The resulting immersion in this space which is both bright and dark as well as endlessly reflective has a fantastic result. 

Steve Driscoll Flashes of Silence, 2016 Urethane on board

Steve Driscoll

Flashes of Silence, 2016

Urethane on board

 

You move through this space into the second gallery where Dan Hudson's Astronomical Landscapes take the focus. Each of these long and wide lenticular photographs have a magical quality to them. Every perspective in the room offers a new version of each image, so that the viewer is truly transfixed.  The changeable nature of the world around us is present and comforting in the photographs. 

Dan Hudson Queen Louise, 2015 Lenticular photograph

Dan Hudson

Queen Louise, 2015

Lenticular photograph

Leaving this space and walking back across the board walk, one is struck by the new perspective offered, and the reflection of the bright colours in the black water gains new significance. 

Overall both collections are excellent, however it is in tandem that they have the most notable power over our recollection of space and time.

Here's the thing

In the grand scheme of things in this world, I like to think I am reasonably laid back. I am perfectly happy to hold my opinions to myself when people's choices and actions are out of line with what I think are right, so long as they are not causing harm to one another. But the one area where I refuse to sit back is when it comes to others telling someone about their experiences. Here's the thing: We all have our experiences and our ideas, and what we think about the world comes from those things. Some people have had really comfortable, easy experiences, and some have not. Some people have had experiences that align with the first impression you might get of them, and some have not. 

If you want to get under my skin, tell someone about who they are, for them. Don't let them speak for themselves, or (oh forbid!) ask them about their experiences. Please, pigeonhole them and make assumptions -- especially if this is something you get upset with others for doing to you. This is ideal. 

Because above all, feminism is about telling others about their experiences so that you can be right and unchallenged. 

OH WAIT. It isn't. At the end of the day, the one thing we can do for one another, that will help this world be a better place, is to listen. We can listen to what people have to say, and ask questions. We can let them ask questions of us, and share their experience. Assumptions will get you nowhere. So please, for the love of pineapples and red wine, practice what you preach. Listen. Ask questions. And don't assume you know someone or where they come from. Remember that what someone looks like doesn't guarantee the past they have grown up with, or the family they come from. 

Much love.