Misinformed Informants curated by Lisa Visser

Curated by Lisa Visser

Project Descriptions

Guillaume Adjutor Provost
SLOW READERS, argument n°1

My art explores social, historical, and familial links through pictorial structures, tools and performance acts, converging place, action, material and time, which catalyzes an exchange from inhabitant to participant and utilizes precise gestures and rhizomatic metaphors. My work elaborates on new connections between ‘fiction’ and ‘non-fiction’ and is compulsively led by my need to reconfigure borders and identities.

Every performance that I have presented is based on the idea of what is lost in reconstitution. I am interested in how a subjective interpretation of a historical or familial event can be transformed into an abstracted, conceptualized piece of work. My performances are intimate scenes and are influenced by the context of their creation, whether it is through the relationship that I share with a public or through an intimate, individual interaction. 

The performance SLOW READERS, argument n°1 relates to the hidden messages that we can find within spiritual lyrics from the mid 19th century. I take as an example the song “Steal Away to Jesus” composed by Wallace Willis around 1862. That song represents how the spiritual aspect was abstractly coded for the purpose of clandestine communication. I wish to investigate these residual fragments of communication through nervous gesture and minimal voice interplay. 


Corina Kennedy
cheer sir or madam

In cheer sir of madam thousands of words worth of hand-made text confetti are produced, piled and strewn. The technique I have developed in making the confetti is a repetitive and meticulous one that comprises the following steps: letters are first embossed onto the paper using a typewriter in which the ink ribbon has been removed. An oil paint stick is applied onto the sheet and then rubbed down with tarlatan, working the paint into the crevice and rubbing the excess off of the surface, making the letter legible. Finally each letter is punched out using a one-hole hole-puncher.

The sentences typewritten are passages from a variety of letters to personal acquaintances and near-stranger contacts. A letter to a long abandoned pen-pal, condolences to a friend, a reply to a day-to-day work email, a postcard home to my mother, a proper ‘so long’ to an ex-partner, a recap of the day to a current one, a confession of an unrequited love to a surprised source; all possible types of typed communications. However all are miscommunicated because they are only really legible for a few moments before being punched out into handfuls of confetti, tossed and lost letters. 

I am interested in the contrast between the labour-intensive nature of the production and the short-lived spirit of the object created. Thoughtfully constructed phrases break down into endless incoherent abbreviations and mumbles while connotations of group celebration become confused with embedded messages of sorrow or secrecy.


Sophie Castonguay
You took the words right out of my mouth

When I watch a performance, I'm fascinated from the moment it begins: the moment that the performers assume their stage personas and then, the moment they return to being their own selves. I work within these tensions. I stretch out at the opening and push back into the end. I go back and forth within a performance which never starts, and the anticipation of an ending which never arrives.

Sophie Castonguay creates a performance where she is the director and the audiences are the performers. Under her direction of spoken words, she creates moments of expectation, choosing and delegating the role played by each person. In this performance, she constructs the impossibility of removing representational spaces, regardless of how insignificant these spaces are.


julia d. mensink
Maybe It Was Nothing

We were both there. Don’t you remember when I sang to you? Did you forget? That wasn’t the best gift I ever gave you. I always cleaned the toilet. You always said you wanted to. 

We forget to remember and remember to forget, choosing exactly what it was about ___________________that was significant. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe it was The Most Important Thing. 

This project explores the divergent versions of a single memory made possible once our experiences have been shaped, mangled and filtered by the art of human habit. The subject I have asked to be part of this experiment in memory is also my former boyfriend of four years, who is now a close friend. Through our lectures you will understand one day in our lives. One day we shared a bicycle ride; we shared food and we talked. This was just one day. You might say it was a day like any other. Why should it be different? It becomes an oddity only under scrutiny.

On this day we both had our cameras. We took pictures of each other, one talking and the other watching the sky, one sighing, watching the other, who might have looked troubled/pleased, and through these photographs we have constructed each other’s narrative.


Stacey Ho

A series of three exercises based around involuntary movement. By observing each other's breathing, blinking, and heartbeats, performers become aware of their (co-)existence. These observations are translated into gesture and sound.

bodies > entropy
Two performers, a generation or two apart, listen to each other's pulses. By using their voices to sound out each other's heartbeats, the performers present the human voice and cardiovascular system as it changes over time.

Nikolai's slap piece
Two people stare at each other, hitting a cymbal whenever the other person blinked. Nik said it was funnier to have performers slap each other in face, and I thought he's probably right.

breathing circle
A small group of people gather and watch each other breathe. The modulations of inhales/exhales combine to create asymmetrical or synchronous patterns of notes and harmonies. Breathing is a funny movement because it can be consciously controlled, or not.


Henry Adam Svec
The Lost Stompin' Tom Song

“Folk music is not about press, resumés, schmoozing, or price tags. Its purpose is to foster authentic being-together.” – Staunton R. Livingston

For decades, Stompin' Tom Connors has attempted to unite Canadians in song. His “The Hockey Song,” “Sudbury Saturday Night,” and “Bud the Spud” – among many others – have spoken across the rural and the urban; they have both lassoed and amplified his nation's spirit. Although it is not often celebrated or discussed, however, there was a moment in Tom's aesthetic development when he opened up his craft to other possibilities. “The Lost Stompin' Tom Song”, which folklorist Henry Adam Svec has recently discovered is not the whole story of Tom's latent tendency away from flag-waving, is a significant document for the archeological study of world-historical consciousness, which is yet to be written.

The debut performance of The Lost Stompin' Tom Song will unfold in three parts. First, Svec will place the recording he has uncovered into historical, aesthetic, and political contexts. He will play the recording itself, which Tom made in 1974 on a four-track machine. Second, because folk music is about neither celebrities nor individuals (cf. Livingston), Svec will perform and discuss some of the other songs he has gathered on his many folk-collecting journeys. The purpose of this part of the performance will be to locate Tom, not as master craftsman or star, but as one amongst many other equally illuminating (if generally unknown) voices in Canadian folk music.

And lastly, Svec himself will perform a more accurate version of “The Lost Stompin' Tom Song.” Although the recording Svec discovered might seem to be the best document we have of Tom's original intention – for it is Tom singing and playing on the recording – it has been clear to many working in the fields of folklore and ethnomusicology (e.g. Altman, 1988; Rough, 2004) that the essence of a song cannot be expressed by any particular manifestation of that song. Song qua song transcends the historicity of any and all songs. It follows, then, that Tom's recorded performance of “The Lost Stompin' Tom Song” (although important and interesting) is not identical with itself. Drawing on very recent research, however, Svec will play what is believed to be the real guts of the work in question.


[ Emerging Artists ]

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