Impassioned as we are about everything that touches on performance art: art action, relational, transactional, infiltrating and furtive practices, the TouVA collective (Sylvie Tourangeau, Victoria Stanton and Anne Bérubé) has been actively engaged in an exploration of the notion of “the performative.” This research has branched off into several areas of enquiry seeing our collective presenting artist talks, performances and giving workshops. One of our major preoccupations is the notion of the invisible; that “performative” space between the artist and the audience, between the artist and the object, even between the artist’s actions.
There is something akin to the mystical in this space that exists in the intangible, outside of immediate sense perception, and yet informs our reception of a performative moment and experience of a space/time continuum. These ideas have installed an insatiable curiosity in each of us and a desire to profoundly explore this particular place of creativity. Our continued contemplation has lead to so many kinds of contexts – all of which contribute to the development of our understanding of what is the performative. As such, each performance presents another opportunity to delve into our “living discourse,” and each performance, in its own way permits us to deepen our research into toward a better understanding of what makes performance important and relevant – not only to the contemporary art milieu, but to our daily lives.
Practicing Dialogues I - Private Home Performance, Gatineau, October 2009 – As part of the series Fait Maison we initiated our first “passation” performance: a spontaneous “dialogue” involving several participants, toilet paper, art history books, alphabet noodles, soft whispers, favours, group cooperation, temporary community, and a large dose of chance. (Photos by Mélanie Myers) Practicing Dialogues II - Galerie Corrid’art, Montreal, January 2010 – Continuing from where we left off with Practicing Dialogues I, the hallway of the Galerie Corrid’art became a site of surprise requests and encounters: with candles, gift packages, poetry in ziplock bags and birthday cake. (Photos by Tamara Kvintradzé) The 7th Sense - Toronto Free Gallery, Toronto, October 2010 – At the international performance festival, 7a*11d, we presented a series of spontaneous and planned actions that took into account our research findings and attempted to demonstrate the notions that have propelled this research; the performative, the invisible, the breath between actions and space between space – these observed … Continue reading The 7th Sense Rouge Jaune Orange - Sala Rossa, Montreal, December 2010 – Inspired by performative gestures found in Françoise Sullivan photo-based works, TouVA proposed a five-minute site-specific performance attempting to evoke “autumn” – in homage to Sullivan’s project danser au rythme des saisons. The vocabulary, movement and objects included in this action emerged out of our previous performances, now selected and … Continue reading Rouge Jaune Orange Passer le mot - DHC/ART, Montreal, February 2011 – In the context of the Ceal Floyer exhibition opening at Montreal’s DHC, TouVA presented a series of hand written messages, delivered overtop the head’s of gallery goers during this event. Performative questions, observations and philosophies were proposed to each other but equally importantly, to the “audience” who circulated freely in … Continue reading Passer le mot All Night Breakfast - C2 Contemporary Gallery, Calgary, September 2014 – All Day Breakfast re-visited, this time in the context of the artistic all-nighter: Nuit Blanche (Calgary-style). Once again, we proposed a festive atmosphere of barely controlled chaos, in a collective spur-of-the-moment creation proposing actions that are about exploring desire; how we give and receive simultaneously and are fed … Continue reading All Night Breakfast You Only Turn Thirty Once - EXPRESSION Centre d’exposition de Saint-Hyacinthe, Saint-Hyacinthe, October 2016 – TouVA conceived a playful ceremony of solidarity and celebration that brought to life the history of an important exhibition centre firmly rooted in the town of Saint-Hyacinthe. Combining domestic tools and the tools of the gallery we brought several performative situations before an audience, who, as … Continue reading You Only Turn Thirty Once