The Toronto Performance Art Collective (TPAC)
7a11d is a not-for-profit, artist-driven collective that curates and produces English Canada’s oldest ongoing biennial of performance art. In non-festival years collective members engage in a variety of other performance-based projects. 7a11d was established in 1997 by a group of performance artists, collectives, and organizers, eager to develop a forum for performance art in Toronto. The first 7a11d International Festival of Performance Art, in August 1997, presented the work of 60 local, national and international artists. Currently comprised of seven members, the 7a11d collective officially incorporated under the name Toronto Performance Art Collective in 2012.
- To bring to audiences the best of contemporary performance, action and live art from around the world.
- To provide research, exhibition, development and discussion opportunities for performance artists and live art curators.
- To inform and expand audiences for performance art.
- To encourage the exchange of ideas, information, and strategies in the field of performance art.
- To document work for archival and pedagogical purposes
- To bring forward a lived history of performance art in Canada.
- Presenting and supporting artists from a wide range of generations, geographies, genders, abilities, races, and artistic points of view in the realization and reception of their work.
- Partnering with artist-driven organizations such as FADO Performance Art Centre, imagineNATIVE, Vtape, WIA Projects, the Theatre Centre, and others.
- Engaging with local, national and international networks of performance artists, festivals and venues.
What’s with the name?
Some people might be flummoxed by our unpronounceable name. Where did it come from and what is it supposed to mean? Does it have some connection to the convenience store? Here’s one version: the numbers 7 and 11 come from the dates of our first festival, August 7 to 11, 1997, while the “a” and the “d” refer to the “across” and “down” nature of our early programming, which was a complex conglomeration of independently curated thematic programs in multiple locations. We wondered if the audience would be able to decipher our Byzantine programming format, which would be like trying to read a crossword puzzle. 7 across, 11 down, 7a, 11d! 7a*11d was the final version, though that still leaves the mystery of the “silent” asterisk…
Statement of Solidarity
We condemn recent and past acts of violence against Black, Indigenous and marginalized people in Toronto and across Canada and Quebec. These acts and the systems that promulgate racism on a daily basis have caused the entire performance art community pain. We stand in solidarity with Black artists, colleagues, and community members in demanding justice and equality in our society.
We recognize that more needs to be done. Anti-racism is an ongoing practice and so, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to reflecting an anti-racist agenda in all of 7a*11d’s activities.
Bojana Videkanic was born in Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia where she studied fine art, continuing at Concordia University (Montréal) after immigrating to Canada as a refugee. Bojana is a practicing artist, theorist, and educator. She has participated in Nuit Blanche, The Leona Drive Project, and FADO’s Emerging Artist Series. She teaches art history and studio art.
Francisco-Fernando Granados is a Toronto-based artist. His multidisciplinary critical practice spans drawing, performance, installation, cultural theory, digital media, public art, and community-based projects. He has presented work in galleries, museums, theatres, artist-run centres and non-traditional sites since 2005. These venues include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Mercer Union, Art Gallery of York University, Gallery TPW, Trinity Square Video, Images Festival, NuitBlanche, Bunker 2 (Toronto), Vancouver Art Gallery, MAI – Montreal, arts interculturels, Darling Foundry (Montreal), the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa), MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie), Queens University (Kingston), Neutral Ground (Regina), Third Space (St. John) Hessel Museum of Art (NY), Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts at Ramapo College (NJ), Defibrillator Gallery (Chicago), Voices Breaking Boundaries (Houston) Ex Teresa Arte Actual (Mexico City), Kulturhuset (Stockholm), and Theatre Academy at the University of the Arts (Helsinki)
Golboo Amani is a multi-disciplinary artist working in performance and social practice . Amani utilizes familiar social engagements as a point of entry into her practice.
James Knott is an emerging, Toronto-based artist with a BFA in Integrated Media from OCAD University. Their performance-based practice employs tactics of self-mythologizing as a means to bridge personal narratives into communal ones. Their work combines theatre, video, and audio with an emphasis on movement/gesture to create immersive and emotionally resonant experiences exploring themes of paradoxical and queer identity, archetypes of desire, and the commodification of the femme body. An alumnus of The Roundtable Residency, they’ve exhibited/performed at Xpace Cultural Centre, Trinity Square Video, the Toronto Feminist Art Conference, the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, Montreal’s Festival Phénomena, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. They’ve received project and grant funding from The Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair, The National Arts Centre, The Ontario Arts Council, and The Canada Council for the Arts.
Johanna Householder is one of the co-founders of the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, held biannually in non-pandemic years, in Toronto. Her interest in how ideas shape and move through bodies and has led her often collaborative practice in performance art, video, dance and other media. As a member of the feminist performance ensemble, The Clichettes (with Louise Garfield and Janice Hladki), throughout the 1980s she helped establish lip sync as a viable medium for political critique. She has performed across Canada and at international venues for 40 years. She is also writes about performance and with Tanya Mars, she co-edited two books: Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian women (2004), and More Caught in the Act (2016). She is professor emeritus at OCADU, where she has taught performance art since 1988.
Kiera Boult is an interdisciplinary artist and performer from Hamilton, ON. Boult’s practice utilizes camp and comedy to skeptically address issues that surround the role and/or identity of the artist and the institution. Her most recent performance Hamilton’s My Lady (2022) was a part of the 2022 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art and Supercrawl – Hamilton’s Music + Arts Festival. In 2019, Boult received the City of Hamilton Arts Award for Emerging Visual Artist. Her work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and Artcite Inc. Windsor. She holds a BFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University and is currently Vtape’s Submissions, Collections & Outreach Coordinator.
Paul Couillard has been working as a queer artist, curator, and performance art scholar since 1985. He has created well over 300 performance works in 26 countries, often with his husband and collaborator, Ed Johnson. Paul was the Performance Art Curator for FADO from 1993 until 2007, and is a founding co-curator of 7a*11d. His main areas of interest include site-responsiveness, building community, and addressing trauma through explorations of our bodies as shared vessels of sensation, experience, knowledge and spirit. He is the editor of the monograph series Canadian Performance Art Legends, and has been a lecturer at McMaster University and the University of Toronto Scarborough. He recently completed a doctorate through the York Graduate Program in Communication and Culture. His dissertation Rethinking Presence with a Thinking Body: Intra-active Relationality and Animate Form offers a meditation on presence from the perspective of a thinking body, integrating insights from continental philosophy, popular neuroscience, and interactive performance art practices.
Shalon T. Webber-Heffernan is an independent curator, educator, and performance art scholar. She is currently completing a PhD at York University and some of her recent writing can be found in Performance Matters, Theatre Research in Canada, C Magazine, Comparative Media Arts Journal, Peripheral Review, and Canadian Theatre Review. She’s also a mom and has spent many years working in the healing arts and with somatic practices.