1998 • 2nd 7a*11d Festival
Last year’s 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art was a first for contemporary art and the performance art scene in Toronto. The festival brought together over 60 artists from Toronto, across Canada and the world, showcasing new and progressive performative works that were designed to fill the voids outside traditional boundaries of established genres (theatre, dance, music,etc.). The festival took place over five days in five distinct venues, with five distinct curatorial premises that physically and conceptually took the Queen West neighbourhood by storm.
This year, the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art returns, split into two sections, the first from August 20-23, 1998, the second taking place from October 26-November 7, 1998. Once again we showcase the best local and international performance artists in various individual venues.
WHAT is performance art?
Performance art explores time, space, our bodies and the relationship between artist and audience. Visual art, music, dance and theatre may be a part of what is involved in creating a performance art piece, but the process and concerns of performance artists usually range beyond the established definitions of these more familiar forms. Performance artists are sometimes characterized as the rogues, misfits and outcasts of the art world; sometimes, we are seen as art’s ‘research and development’ branch. Certainly the work of performance artists has had a profound impact on the more ‘traditional’ art forms, opening both audiences and artists to new ways of experiencing the world. We do what we do, however, not for the sake of being ‘different’ or ‘shocking’, but because we need new forms to express and explore our artistic vision.
WHERE are we going?
The 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art is structured as a series of autonomously curated events that allow for many different voices. Individually, the works are guaranteed to be insightful, engaging, passionate, provocative and often surprising. Taken together, they present a rich, sometimes messy and often contradictory view of our world. With highly visible, low- to no-cost events and an amiable social atmosphere, the festival is as complete and satisfying an experience as anyone could want.
WHEN is it happening?
This year’s festival will be presented in two parts, the first running August 20 to 23, and the second from October 25 to November 7, 1998. Stay tuned as well for other featured activities and events throughout the year.
WHY here, why now?
Toronto has always had performance artists, and, at various times, what could be called a performance art ‘scene’. A look at some of Toronto’s most successful and respected art projects and groups, from General Idea to A Space, from the Clichettes to the Hummer Sisters, reveals how much of the energy of Toronto’s visual arts community has been generated over the years by performance artists. The formation of 7a*11d heralds a new wave of interest in performance art. We see many important reasons for the re-emergence of performance art. Some performance artists are on a search for new forms to better communicate who we are and what we are becoming. Others root their work in an insistence on the value of real contact in an increasingly virtual world. Some find value in its purity, an opportunity to cut away interference between their voice and its audience. Whatever the reasons, it is clear that something important is happening, and performance art is a part of it.
HOW do we pull it off?
7a*11d offers an impressive core of proven talent and resources. Our strengths include expertise developed through creating and running our own organizations; the ingenuity we have shown in working with limited support; the dedication of massive amounts of volunteer time, energy and resources; the patience and maturity of our commitment to work together to accomplish things that none of us could manage individually — and the determination of our artistic vision. The coalition also fosters a mentoring relationship between established producers and enthusiastic novices. Generous grassroots support from local businesses, arts councils, and our tireless volunteers has been key to our amazing development. We have something vibrant and dynamic to offer, and we invite new audiences and sponsors to share it with us.
Dinner @ 5
Consuming is an integral part of sustaining life. What and how we eat reflects who we are. The body is an engine that is fueled by nutrients, the essential sustenance of the living organism. It is a primary need but it has come to represent much more than preservation. Eating intersects with religious beliefs, cultural …
Field Trips offers works that poetically slip themselves into the cityscape to blur the conventional distinction between beholder and beheld, creator and created. The clever beauty of these works is their ability to blend into the eye and mind of a public audience without forcing the viewers into the role of unwilling participants or antagonists …
This program focuses on content-driven work that deals with contemporary social, political and ethical issues. We are well aware of the challenging and often loaded dialogue in art and criticism on issues such as neocolonialism, cultural appropriation, equality of representation, and unstable, pluralistic notions of identity. This is a confusing, dangerous terrain that has revealed …
Interventionism examines the ways in which performance has entered uninvited the realms of politics and the social. The panel brings together a number of artists who have produced work which has commandeered public space and discourse to a variety of ends. @ A Space Gallery, 401 Richmond St W Sunday August 23 2 pm A …
Performances for and Orange and Violet Room
(in which both colours will be present) The venue Performances for an Orange and Violet Room (in which both colours will be present) came about in part because of my interest in how colour affects people within their environment both physically and spiritually. The choice of the colours was made in terms of their contradictory …
The main intent here is to create an audience participatory event, where the viewer is involved in the work and the space so much so that they are no loner passive but become active participants in the event. To expand the scope of what is thought of as ‘performance art’ by exposing it to, and …
Some Assembly Required
This program has been organized in conjunction with Le Lieu’s conference, Rencontre internationale et colloque interactif sur l’art actuel (1958-1998), taking place Tuesday October 20 to Sunday October 25 in Quebec City. In order to broaden the discussion about performance chronologies that will be taking place at this symposium, we are inviting several of the …
These programs were initiated by other organizations and presented as festival co-sponsorships.
Pleasure Dome presents International Performance Video Art
Two Evenings of International Performance Video Art (3 programs) Presented by Pleasure Domein conjunction with the 2nd 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art Performance to Camera: Recent British Video, Part IIThursday November 5 8 pmCineCycle, 129 Spadina AveCurated by Catherine ELWES The direct address to the viewer and the intimate space of the video image …
Mercer Union presents Pousse-Cafe
Pousse-Café. Translating literally from the French, you get ‘push-coffee’ — after dinner, post dessert, beyond the beyond. The term refers to a combination of liqueurs of different specific gravities, layered in a glass to produce a rainbow effect. Amazing to look at, but the real trip is drinking it… This heady folie hints at what …
Vtape presents Spectacle of Noise
This program of four videotapes by Istvan KANTOR, aka Monty CANTSIN, aka PUPPET GOVERNMENT, aka AMEN!, features ‘the dated radicalism of Neoist scum’ (quote appropriated from Philip Monk). As the internationally acclaimed ‘bad boy’ of Canadian performance, Kantor’s extensive resume includes frequent performances throughout North America and Europe. His work focuses on the excesses of …