For .in/attendant., curated and coordinated by Shannon Cochrane, a total of five artists are being chosen to present time based or duration performance works designed for a store front window. Emphasis is placed on these works utilizing not only the window stage, but conceptually and physically addressing and activating the spaces which surround it: the gallery room behind, the outdoor spaces the window looks to, the sidewalk, the road, the park across the street. .in/attendant. attempts to subvert what is traditionally seen as a consumer display space with a series of public interventions. The store front, no longer used for its original intention, has become a studio and home for artists, transformed in purpose, similar to so many other spaces in this area. Opportunity and economics have also forced these spaces to be considered a viable option to artist run centres which at one time were the alternative spaces for showing artwork, but are often inaccessible to younger artists. Art shown in these galleries, performance art events included, often become shows mounted solely for other artists, where the store front acts as a street level publicly accessible venue.
With .in/attendant., I am attempting to challenge the often static audience/ performer dynamic that can exist in performance work, where the audience watches from a polite distance and the performer entertains from a stage. This venue and curatorial theme challenges the performer to extend the parameters of the audience/performer interaction. The artist attempts to occupy all the spaces available; the stage, the gallery, the street, the park. The performances have a dual purpose just as the store front/studio does. Audience is allowed to come and go as they please, watch the performance from inside the space behind the performer, or from outside through the glass. The window stage looks across to the lawn of the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. By encouraging performances to extend from the back of the gallery to across the street, whether the performer physically enters these spaces or merely inserts a prop, the work begins to exist on many levels; paying homage to the stage, directly addressing the community, functioning as display and simultaneously subverting these notions. Drawn in by the ‘display’, the viewer is asked to reevaluate the validity and resourcefulness of these spaces and to question the place of contemporary performative art in the urban environment.
The title .in/attendant. is a marriage of opposites. It can refer to the idea of a tell-all guest list, a who’s who for a posh event — ‘in attendance’. An attendant also is a witness or watcher, a caretaker. The ‘attendant’ in this series of performances refers the performer, prop or gesture inserted into the spaces which surround the window stage.
@ 962 Queen St W (just east of Ossington Ave)
A program of the 1st 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art
Curated by Shannon COCHRANE
Peter CONLIN & Kirsten C. FORKERT
Thursday August 7 4 pm – 7 pm
Christine A. MATHIESON
Friday August 8 4 pm – 7 pm
me and me
Saturday August 9 2 pm – 4 pm
Saturday August 9 8 pm
Sunday August 10 midnight to Monday August 11 1midnight