Mia Feuer's "Boreal," 2013 (detail). Photo: Sue Wrbican.

Mia Feuer’s “Synthetic Seasons” at the Esker Foundation

Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Esker Foundation
444-1011 9 Ave SE, Calgary
Free, but advance registration is suggested.

Facilitated by cheyanne turions.

Departing from the possible futures of oil production and consumption that are invoked in Mia Feuer’s solo exhibition at the Esker Foundation, Synthetic Seasons, the artist has compiled selections from articles and essays that have been instrumental in developing the project. The salon will feature excerpts from Lucy Lippard’s Undermining and Esther Leslie’s Synthetic Worlds.

Feuer is interested in the post-natural landscape, visible sites where human interaction—be it personal, social, political, or financial—has altered or is in the process of rapidly changing the land, and thus our relationship to it. Her work makes connections between our intense material dependency and the accelerated environmental impact this creates. Collapsed Soviet coalmines find common ground with bombed out buildings in the Suez Canal; trees feathered and tarred in the Athabasca Oil Sands sail alongside crystal blue glacial tongues of the Arctic Circle. Synthetic chandeliers of industrial waste mix and float among the black wings of ravens, a sky that pours down stinking pitch, an inky rink at the end of the world. Feuer stands at the centre of the storm, creating brilliant and ambitious work that calls attention to these damaged sites, but also surprisingly finds beauty and hope amidst the crushing mess.

Born in Winnipeg, Mia Feuer received a BFA from the University of Winnipeg in 2004 and an MFA in 2009 from the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. The artist currently lives and works in Oakland where she is Assistant Professor in Sculpture at the California College of the Arts.

Special thanks to the Esker Foundation for hosting this salon.

Theorizing the Spoken Word

This rumination on the relation between text and voice is excerpted from Chus Pato’s Secession (2009), from the chapter entitled “This I Folds and Unfolds Until a Last Fold Which is a Dream,” as translated by Erín Moure.

Writing evokes, evokes the voice that in humans is that of an animal that learned language, various languages, all of them articulated. As for the voice (to read aloud, present a poem), nothing brings it closer to the text; a text is complete in its writing, and writing is an absence, a forgetting. This dismemory (the forgetting of winter, of the bird snare, of angels running when they meet the gaze) of the voice that speaks or reads the poem is what makes writing possible. These are letters, the rough draft; but precisely for this reason, because this base is where letters emerge, writing is the sole possibility of remembering the voice, the voice that in humans is the voice of an animal that learns interminable ABC that calls out constantly through the voice, through the lost moment in which someone articulates a voice in speech. Afterward, a silence exists to speak the world, then all speak, then time and history and grammar arrive.

Impermanent Collections, Temporary Occupations, and Other Gatherings


Saturday, 09 May 2015
Rodman Hall Art Centre
2 PM

Maggie Groat in attendance.

As part of Impermanent Collections, Temporary Occupations, and Other Gatherings, a solo exhibition of the work of Maggie Groat at the Rodman Hall Arts Centre, she will be selecting texts from the Rodman Hall library, working with the material of the institution itself to engender a critical reflection on the shifting terrain of its existence.

Groat’s interdisciplinary practice often challenges assumptions, standards and routines to propose new ways of thinking. In this exhibition, she reflects on the shifting territory of Rodman Hall and the surrounding area by researching the geographic, natural, and art histories of the site. Treating the exhibition period as a self-directed residency, Groat will work on site, inserting her presence into the day-to-day and exerting her systems of classification on the existing order of the gallery. Working to integrate indigenous practices, she will cull objects from the grounds, permanent collection, archives, and offices for a series of temporary installations in the Project Space, bringing into focus things that have previously existed on the margins. Both playful and hopeful, Groat’s work insightfully addresses issues of power and displacement.

Maggie Groat is a visual artist working in a variety of media including collage, sculpture, artists’ books, site-specific interventions, and field studies. Forming an ongoing research-based practice, Groat’s work explores studies for possible futures, salvage practices, and relationships and reconnections to place and ancient knowledge systems, from an Indigenous perspective. Through reconfiguring and recontextualizing found materials, she assembles collages, sculptures and tools that enable moments of envisioning and the potential for action. Maggie studied visual art and philosophy at York University before attending The University of Guelph, where she received an MFA degree in 2010. She is represented by Erin Stump Projects in Toronto.

Special thanks to the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto for their ongoing support of this project and to Rodman Hall Arts Centre for hosting this salon.

Andrea Fraser’s “Performance or Enactment” as selected by Martha Wilson

Photo credit: Martha Wilson as Barbara Bush by Dennis W. Ho.

Photo credit: Martha Wilson as Barbara Bush by Dennis W. Ho.

Thursday, 16 April 2015 Urbanspace Gallery (Ground floor, 401 Richmond Street West) 3PM Free

As part of the 28th annual Images Festival, this salon will feature Andrea Fraser’s essay “Performance or Enactment” as selected by Martha Wilson.

Martha Wilson in attendance.

As part of the 2015 Images Festival, Wilson will be participating in performance artist Jess Dobkin’s How Many Performance Artists Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb (For Martha Wilson). Taking a direct cue from Wilson’s video The History of Performance Art According to Me, Martha Wilson (2005), Dobkin takes on the complex and riddled history of performance art, defining its terms and conditions, while acknowledging the slippery temperament of her task. This new work will be an attempt to overwhelm the definitions and intersections of performance, documentation, the archive, and image reproduction to investigate the nature of performance itself. As a preface to the performance, which is centred upon enacting a lightbulb joke about performance art, Fraser’s text foregrounds discussion of re-performance of historical works.

Fraser’s essay “Performance or Enactment” can be accessed here. However, please note that it is not necessary to pre-read the text.

MARTHA WILSON is a pioneering feminist artist and gallery director, who over the past four decades created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity.  She has been described by New York Times critic Holland Cotter as one of “the half-dozen most important people for art in downtown Manhattan in the 1970s.”  In 1976 she founded Franklin Furnace, an artist-run space that champions the exploration, promotion and preservation of artist books, temporary installation, performance art, as well as online works.  She is represented by P.P.O.W Gallery in New York; and has received fellowships for performance art from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; Bessie and Obie awards for commitment to artists’ freedom of expression; a Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts; a Richard Massey Foundation-White Box Arts and Humanities Award; and in 2013 received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University.

Special thanks to the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto for their ongoing support of this project and the Images Festival for hosting this salon.

Courtesy of the Images Festival.

Courtesy of the Images Festival.

Courtesy of the Images Festival.

Courtesy of the Images Festival.

“…a container for mere possibilities that have not yet happened, a body in a state of becoming through time, or a structure for the expression of time as it moves both forwards and backwards at once.”


Monday, 23 March 2015
Gallery TPW (170 St. Helens Avenue
7 PM

Co-facilitated by Jacob Korczynski, Kim Simon and cheyanne turions

As part of “…a container for mere possibilities that have not yet happened, a body in a state of becoming through time, or a structure for the expression of time as it moves both forwards and backwards at once.”, a series of events departing from Yvonne Rainer’s canonical dance Trio A, this salon will feature Amy Sillman’s notes on the diagram, reworked. version 2: not-knowing from which the title is taken, among other selections.

In 1968, feminist author Jill Johnston stated “I’ve seen Trio A a number of times and still think I haven’t really seen it.” Curated and presented by FADO Performance Art Centre in collaboration with Sara Wookey, a series of performances, Transmitting Trio A (1966), allows the opportunity to see Yvonne Rainer’s canonical dance presented from a range of perspectives. In response to FADO’s initiative, Gallery TPW presents “…a container for mere possibilities that have not yet happened, a body in a state of becoming through time, or a structure for the expression of time as it moves both forwards and backwards at once,” which situates Trio A within a constellation of conversations, readings and newly commissioned works.

It has been danced as a solo, a duo, a trio and by dozens of dancers both in and out of phase. Forward, backwards, in tap shoes and in the nude while draped with the American flag, Trio A has become one of the most plural and mutable works of its era at the same time as it has become one of the most iconic works of Yvonne Rainer’s decades long practice encompassing choreography, filmmaking and writing.

Presented in different iterations by Rainer herself, Trio A continues to disseminate through a number of dancers who have learned from Rainer, performed the work and in turn are authorized to transmit the choreography to others. Learned by dancers and non-dancers alike, it is dependent upon the knowledge of the choreography passed via pedagogy from the flesh and bones of one to another. Each person who performs is the material of Trio A, or as Yvonne Rainer once put it: “My body remains the enduring reality.”

Complete information about the event series can be found here.

Special thanks to Gallery TPW for hosting this salon and to the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto for supporting the series.

Is 1 hr 1 hr?


Monday, 19 January 2015
Union Station

As part of VILLA Toronto, this salon will feature selections from the writings of Karen Barad as well as a performance of Is 1 hr 1 hr?, a script by Tiziana La Melia produced in collaboration with Laurie Kang.

Performance by Christine Atkinson and Laurie Kang.

As part of VILLA, 8-11 is presenting deferring diffractions, an installation-cum-mutating-dance-studio by Laurie Kang. On view will be metaphoric images, objects and synthetic materials replete with knots, intersexed flatworms and reflections. The performance of Is 1 hr 1 hr?, which was written by Vancouver-based writer and painter Tiziana La Melia and produced in collaboration with Kang, will serve as a diffraction of the installation works through embodiment. Drawing from the texts of feminist theorist Karen Barad, we will explore how the installation work, the script and the salon discussion make a mutually constituting phenomena.

Karan Barad’s essay Nature’s Queer Performativity can be accessed here.

LAURIE KANG works in image-based sculpture and installation. Recent exhibition and project sites include Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Metropole, Erin Stump Projects, Soi Fischer (all Toronto), Gallery 295 (Vancouver), Camera Austria (Graz), Feldbuschwiesner (Berlin) and a book publication and launch with Mossless at The New York Art Book Fair. Upcoming projects include a collaborative exhibition at The Power Plant Gallery (Toronto) with Nadia Belerique and Lili Huston-Herterich in June 2015. She is an MFA candidate at Bard College.

8-11 is an arts organization in Toronto helmed by Simon Schlesinger, Cameron Lee, Sarah KilpacK, Xenia Benivolski, Stephanie Fielding, Christine Atkinson, Sona Safaei-Sooreh, Robin MacDonald, Sean Procyk, Felix Kalmenson and Adrienne Kammerer.

Special thanks to the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto for their ongoing support of this project and the VILLA Toronto for hosting this salon.

Laurie + Christine

Event documentation courtesy of Corinn Gerber.

Albert Camus’s “The First Man” and W. G. Sebald’s “The Rings of Saturn” as selected by Iris Häussler


Iris Häussler, “Archivist’s Desk,” 2012.

Sunday, 18 January 2015
Union Station

In collaboration with VILLA Toronto, this salon will feature excerpts from Albert Camus’s The First Man and W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn as selected by Iris Häussler.

Iris Häussler in attendance.

As part of VILLA Toronto, Iris Häussler will be presenting the Foundation Joseph Wagenbach. On display will be a selection of his sculptures cast in bronze. Wagenbach (b. 1929), was a German immigrant who moved to Canada in 1962. His oeuvre became publicly known in 2006 when Häussler organized guided tours through the house had occupied since arriving in Canada, where his obsessive sculptural production was under assessment. Wagenbach, recovering from a major stroke, lived afterwards in various retirement homes and finally became a tenant in Häussler’s basement apartment. He disappeared traceless in 2009.

As selected by Häussler, the readings for this salon explore transition and migration as a study of an artist’s mind.

Iris Häussler was born in Germany and trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Häussler’s work has been shown at exhibitions internationally. Häussler was a stipendiary of the Kunstfonds (Bonn) and won the Karl Hofer Prize 1999 (Berlin). Since her immigration to Canada she received grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is represented by Daniel Faria Gallery.

Special thanks to the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto for their ongoing support of this project and the VILLA Toronto for hosting this salon.

Event documentation courtesy of Corinn Gerber.

Event documentation courtesy of Corinn Gerber.