Trace Elements by Paul Couillard

December 21, 6:28om to 6:28pm on December 22, 1999

YYZ Artists' Outlet
140-401 Richmond Street West, Toronto
Paul Couillard

On December 21, FADO celebrates the solstice with Trace Elements, a new performance by Paul Couillard. This is the final event in FADO's 12-month durational performance series, TIME TIME TIME. Lasting a full 24 hours, the piece will begin and end at astronomical twilight – 6:28 pm local time.

Trace Elements will generate a numerological mandala that re-marks 2000 years of calendar time. In this 'action/installation', Couillard will turn YYZ gallery into a room-size colour field sculpture made up of 2000 pieces of cloth saturated in spice. The performance, anchored in the ritual action of creating the installation, will unfold through a series of casual and intimate one-on-one encounters between the artist and audience members.

In advance of the work, the artist offers these thoughts:

I see this piece as a representation of experience, how history layers and accretes, how time marks us. The whole piece is a personal time marker, both in the doing of the action and in the physical presence that is generated by the doing. It seems to me that our relationship to time -- which was once more rooted in the rhythms of day, night, and the seasons -- has become very shaky. We have no attention span for time; our ways of looking at it, and of representing it, are inadequate. We need new metaphors to help us envision time's workings, not to mention its scale.

In part, "Trace Elements" is a hopeful conjuring act against the hype -- and especially the boredom -- of millennium frenzy. I think our boredom comes froma frustration with the lack of any real significance to attach to that flip of the zeroes. I'm willing to go to this place of boredom because of what all of my training has taught me, which is that boredom is a fantastic gateway to uncovering and creating meaning.



+ PHOTO GALLERY: Trace Elements