Do Me! is a curatorial project that solicited performance instructions from a range of international artists to have them interpreted and performed by Toronto-based artists and invited guests. This event takes the premise of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 1996 Do It exhibition and returns it to its performative roots in the instructional works of 1960s Fluxus artists. The performances will take place at locations throughout the city of Toronto where audiences can observe the multilayered effects of personal translation, creative adaptation and cultural specificity as artists from varying backgrounds “realize” the work of the contributing artist. Projects will challenge the tolerance of public space to accommodate politically-charged interventions, enigmatic group behaviours, disobedient media events, and experiments in personal transformation.
A program of the 6th 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art
Curated by DisplayCult, with Dave Dyment and Roula Partheniou
Featuring performance instructions contributed by Martin Creed, Critical Art Ensemble, Ann Hamilton, Geoffrey Hendricks, Aernout Mik, Linda M. Montano, Carolee Schneemann, Joey Skaggs and Martha WIlson.
Performed by local artists and students of the Ontario College of Art & Design, the University of Toronto and York University
Thursday October 19 10 pm
Martha Wilson (USA)
performed by Liz Knox
Martha Wilson undermines the notion that only two genders exist by inspiring a cadre of performers to infiltrate public space dressed in paradoxically-coded clothing.
Monday October 23 12 pm
Nathan Phillips Square
Aernout Mik (Netherlands)
organized by Trevor Homeniuk and Andrew Richmond
Aernout Mik’s instruction is a study in psycho-social group dynamics as 60 performers engage in a series of inscrutable, and at times surprising, mirror actions.
Wednesday October 25 11:45 am
Ontario College of Art and Design
Ann Hamilton (USA)
organized by Eric Jackson
Ann Hamilton congregates 50 people together in a public space and asks them to access their animal alter egos while reading dream-like poetic musings.
Thursday October 26 12 pm
York University (outside the sculpture studio, between the Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts and The Accolade West building)
Aernout Mik (Netherlands)
performed by the students of York University’s Visual Art, MFA and Dance programs; organized by Jennifer Fisher
Thursday October 26 various times
Martha Wilson (USA)
performed by students in the course Performing Gender; organized by Laura Levin
Friday October 27 7:50 pm
Ann Hamilton (USA)
organized by Natasha Bailey and Leila Gajusingh
Friday October 27 8 pm
Flag – Assassinations
Carolee Schneemann (USA)
organized by Rita Kamacho
Carolee Schneemann’s street performance condenses the complex politics of recent Middle East crises into a brutal, if colourful, spectacle.
Saturday October 28 8pm
Geoffrey Hendricks (USA)
organized by Efehan Elbi
Geoffrey Hendricks speculates on the inverted view and humorous potential of dealing with words and objects while standing on one’s head.
Sunday October 29 12 pm – 2 pm
Video and photo documentation of all the above Do Me! events will be shown, along with the following instruction pieces
Work No. 118: 1234
Martin Creed (UK)
performed by Dave Dyment
Martin Creed contributes a score for an ensemble of vocalists, guitars and percussion that has no notes or key, only horizontal dashes and counting that allow for a maximum of interpretation.
Critical Art Ensemble (USA)
performed by Richard Purdy, Diane Borsato, Joan Borsa, Annie Tse, Janet Bellotto, Madelaine Palko, Millie Chen, Sandra Rechico, Jon Sasaki, Annie Onyi Cheung, Scott Rogers, Alissa Firth-Eagland, several anonymous contributors, and others
Critical Art Ensemble invites participants to explore civil disobedience and the situations in which criminal activities can possess progressive, humanitarian values.
Joey Skaggs (USA)
performed by Tracia Almeida, Melissa Hamonic, Alexandra Hazisavvas and Daniel Pietropaolo
Joey Skaggs (USA)
performed by Sean Lerner, Dave Dyment and Roula Partheniou
Joey Skaggs addresses the fabrication of news events and their proliferation in the media by inciting performers to intervene into the cityscape with enigmatic signs of social commentary and critique.
Martha Wilson (USA)
performed by Cameron Lee, Laura Kennedy and Chaya Ruckin, Risa Kusamoto, Annie Tse
Sunday October 29 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm
Gentle at Last
Linda M. Montano (USA)
organized by Jocelyn Tremblay
Linda M. Montano’s meditation on healing creates an enveloping, “massaging” atmosphere that considers the endurance required of patients and caregivers alike.
Martin Creed was born in Wakefield, England and from 1986-90 attended the Slade School of Art in London. His work has been exhibited internationally and in 2001 he won the prestigious Turner Prize.
Critical Art Ensemble is a collective of artists of various specializations dedicated to exploring the intersections between art, technology, radical politics, and critical theory. CAE’s recent projects have focused on biotechnology, genetic engineering, germ warfare, mobile broadcasting, and other detournements of technology. Their publications, including The Electronic Disturbance, Electronic Civil Disobedience, Flesh Machine, Digital Resistance and Molecular Invasion, can be downloaded at critical-art.net.
Ann Hamilton’s compelling multi-media installations have explored the evocativeness of vernacular and unlikely materials, the performance of exacting gestures, the affective specificity of site, and the interconnections between language, the senses, time and memory. She is a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and was the American representative at the Venice Biennale (1993). Her work has been shown and collected worldwide, and appears in publications such as Tropos (1995), Present-Past (1999), Whitecloth (1999), and the upcoming An Inventory of Objects.
Geoffrey Hendricks has been active in Fluxus since the mid-1960s, when he was ordained Flux Minister. As Professor of Art at Rutgers University, where he has taught since l956, he is renowned for encouraging the exploration of intermedia and performance art. Hendricks has performed and participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide. Retrospectives of his works have been held at KunsthallenBrandts Klædefabrik (Denmark), Castelfranco (Italy), and Articule(Montreal). He is the editor of Critical Mass (2003), and his work is featured in Fluxus Codex (1988), among other publications.
Aernout Mik is an Amsterdam-based artist utilizing performance, video, installation and new media. His works engage and depict persons associated in disquieting, perplexing and ludic types of groups that examine both the psychology of collectives and the sociopolitics of individuality. Mik has held solo exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Fundació la Caixa (Barcelona), Haus der Kunst (Munich), the ICA (London), and the Venice Biennale, among other locations. Publications on his work include Dispersions (2004), Reversal Room (2002), Primal Gestures/Minor Roles (2000), and Tender Habitat (2000).
Linda M. Montano is a performance artist, the founder of The Art/Life Institute, Kingston, NY, and teacher of the form in numerous universities. She has performed “living art” at museums, galleries and public sites worldwide. Her “endurances” have been numerous and she completed 14 Years of Living Art in 1998, an experience of the energy centres in the body (see www.bobsart.org). Her publications include Art in Everyday Life (1981), Performance Artists Talking in the Eighties (2000), and Letters from Linda M. Montano (2005). She has been featured at The New Museum (NY) and the Institute for Contemporary Art (London), and included in the exhibitions “Out of Actions” (LA MOCA) and “Endurance” (Exit Art). Her videos are distributed by Video Data Bank.
Carolee Schneemann’s work in video, film, painting, photography, performance and installation has pioneered the artistic discourse on the body, sexuality and gender. She has exhibited and performed internationally, with film and visual art retrospectives being held at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), and the National Film Theatre (London), among other places. Her works and writings have been collected in More than Meat Joy (1979/1997) and Imaging Her Erotics (2002). She has a solo exhibition planned for MOCCA in Spring 2007.
Joey Skaggs is a conceptual performance artist, sociopolitical satirist, and dedicated proponent of independent thinking who has, since 1966, used the media as his medium. His performances have fooled numerous journalists working in television, radio and print, drawing attention to the media’s gullibility and exposing its ideological agendas while focusing attention on issues such as disinformation, hype, hypocrisy and the misuse of power. He is the perpetrator of infamous hoaxes such as The Cathouse for Dogs, The Celebrity Sperm Bank, The Fat Squad, Portofess, and the New York Annual April Fool’s Day Parade (now entering its 22nd year), descriptions of which can be found at joeyskaggs.com.
Martha Wilson is a performance artist and Founding Director of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc., a museum in lower Manhattan that has presented and preserved performance art, artists’ books, multiples and Internet projects since its inception in 1976. Trained in English Literature, Wilson taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where she made pioneering experiments in video and performance. She was a member of DISBAND, an all-girl group, none of whom could play instruments, and has performed solo acts of political satire in the guises of Alexander Haig, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Tipper Gore.
Efehan Elbi, Melissa Hamonic, Alexandra Hazisavvas, Trevor Homeniuk, Eric Jackson, Laura Kennedy, Cameron Lee, Daniel Pietropaolo, Andrew Richmond and Chaya Ruckin are students in the performance art class directed by Professor Johanna Householder at the Ontario College of Art and Design.
Jocelyn Tremblay was invited by Professor Johanna Householder at the Ontario College of Art and Design.
Tracia Almeida, Risa Kusamoto, and Ruth Lin were invited by Tanya Mars, Senior Lecturer at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.
Natasha Bailey and Leila were invited by Louise Liliefeldt, Lecturer at the University of Toronto, downtown campus.
Jennifer Fisher is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art and Curatorial Studies in the Department of Visual Art at York University.
Laura Levin is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre at York University.
The curators would like to thank the members of the 7a*11d collective, Don Simmons, Lisa Steele, the artists who so generously contributed instructions, and all of the participants in the Do Me! events.