Founded in the spring of 2007, the TouVA Collective (Sylvie Tourangeau, Victoria Stanton and Anne Bérubé) is a Montreal-based performance art trio that has been researching the practice of performance through multiple frameworks and approaches. In addition to conducting workshops, creating dynamic artist talks and offering coaching to artists in a variety of contexts – including international festivals – TouVA is a group of artist-researchers interested in a profound exploration of “the performative.” Working consistently from a model of exchange and dialogue, recent and upcoming activities include a research residence at the Centre d’information Artexte in Montreal, performative lectures at VIVA! Art action (Montreal), at the 7a*1d Festival of Performance Art (Toronto), and at M:ST (Calgary), a creation residence in an artists’ studio, Le 4330 (Montreal), performances in Montreal, Gatineau, Toronto, and Calgary, as well as the production of a book.

Co-authored by the collective, the advent of the book project inadvertenly created an environment in which to embark on this multi-faceted journey; not only is the book aiming to re-examine the discourses around performance art and to identify how the performative process is articulated today, our ongoing enquiry has become an active, living discourse, informing our collective performances, workshops and artist talks.

About Each Member

Working in performance art since 1978, Sylvie Tourangeau is interested in the deployment of a performative consciousness through minimal actions that work towards raising the quality of presence, sustaining intensity, and embodying a link with the spectator. She has been presenting performances, relational art projects, rituals of circumstance, as well as directing workshops for nearly three decades. Recognized as a pioneering Canadian performance artist, she was invited as guest of honour to be the Éminences Gris(es) (along with Michael Fernandes), during the 2010 edition of the 7a*11d festival in Toronto.

Victoria Stanton’s time-based work includes performance for stage, performance for the camera, actions in public spaces, and one-on-one encounters in intimate contexts. Her work is an investigation into the ability (and the desire) to hold a space, to appropriate and disrupt the quotidian, to create spontaneous intimacy, to tread vulnerability. Investing a performative presence and consciousness within multiple spaces/times, she continuously underscores the complex aspects of ‘transaction’ and the possibility for transformation. Projects have been shown in galleries and festivals in Canada, the US, Europe, Australia, Japan, and Mexico and her first book, Impure : Reinventing the Word (co-authored by Vincent Tinguely), was published by conundrum press in 2001.

Educated in arts and literature, Anne Bérubé has worked both as researcher and artist. She has participated in symposia as moderator and speaker, and published a number of texts about artists for exhibition catalogues. In 1997, Bérubé (along with Sylvie Cotton) co-edited Pistes et territoires, the definitive book on installation art in Quebec between 1975-1995. As an instructor of literature at the college level for over ten years, she has consistently integrated performative aspects into her teaching methodology. She’s currently active in a Montreal based study group focusing on furtive practices.

When nothing happens, something is happening

Quand rien ne se passe, il se passe quelque chose