Stage 11: Refusal of the Return

2894: Refusal of MONOMYTHs
by claude wittmann

Thursday, February 16, 2017
7:00pm to 10:00pm
Tickets: $10 donation (available at door only)
**ASL interpreted**

The Theatre Centre
1115 Queen Street West, Toronto
claude wittmann

Presented by FADO Performance Art Centre
In association with The Theatre Centre



Refusal of the Return


2894: Refusal of MONOMYTHs

by claude wittmann

with Adam Herst


This event will be ASL interpreted. 



2894 by claude wittmann asks participants to read outloud from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report (TRC report, 2015.) Each participant reads the report to a live streaming radio station with the aid of a cell phone and streaming software provided by the artist. Readers start where the last one left and read as much as they want. Sometimes the readings take place in a specific location, but mostly, participants may read anywhere they choose–in their homes, or in public. Participants read as much or as little as they can. Listeners can similarly be anywhere, listening on any device at any time. The connection of the radio provides a special kind of intimacy between readers and listeners. This project started in April 2016. It is on-going, until the entire report (all 2894 pages) has been read or until the project transforms into something more relevant to social change. 2894 is not a Truth and Reconciliation project. It is a Truth project. It is currently co-managed by claude wittmann and Adam Herst.


ABOUT 2894

2894 starts at the point where we acknowledge that it is not possible yet for Indigenous People and Settlers to meet in equal terms.
2894 reads the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report (TRC report).
2894 is nothing else than reading the TRC report with integrity.
2894 is a trial at triggering something.
2894 will bring stuff up in the hearts of readers and listeners. We will see what we choose to do with it. 


2894 is managed with an artistic ethics:
2894 will not exploit the suffering of people who went to residential schools;
2894 asks us to act with integrity at all times, even if this has the risk to create discomfort;
2894 should generate equality;
2894 is not owned by anybody. 


For me the question in the arts right now is not "How?" (form), "When?" (place/time),"By/for whom?" (authorship/audience), but "What for?" which is locating the projects in a political and ethical path. ~Tania Bruguera


In 2894: Refusal of MONOMYTHs, claude and Adam facilitate a 3-hour reading session. Audience is invited to attend to listen to readings of the report. Audience is invited to become readers should they wish to. Readers read as much or as little as they choose, to the assembled audience of witnesses.


To hear current live streaming and recordings of 2894 in progress, please follow this link.


Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/395639034108151



2894: Refusal of MONOMYTHs

"It is when I perceive myself as completely separate from others, incapable of knowing them, that I feel their and my human vulnerability and mortality and our equality. However much empathy I am able of, there is always something that my bodymind can't receive or face of or with the other. There is always separation. A cold air of death. A beautiful hair of death. Death. Safe death. Even if I deny it. Even if I start to invent my own narrative. Even if I believe in this narrative. Even if this narrative is useful for my own therapy. Even when it apparently naturally shape-shifts into a "hero's journey". Especially when I start to believe that I can "help". Especially, when I start to feel justified to




and erase the other." 


claude wittmann


MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.  

Joseph Campbell’s influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) prescribes a common pattern to all of the world’s mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero’s journey, trials and obstacles must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell’s concept of the monomyth (‘one myth’) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports, and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine–from the get-go–would make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed. While each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience’s collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative. 

The year-long MONOMYTHS project is presented in three sections starting in February 2016 and concluding in February 2017. The series is conceived and curated Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane.

Part 1 (February 3–7, 2016)
Stage 1: The Ordinary World/Call to Adventure
Stage 2: Refusal of the Call
Stage 3: Meeting of the Mentor
Stage 4: Crossing the Threshold
Stage 5: Belly of the Whale

Part 2 (May 2016–January 2017)
Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies
Stage 7: Ordeals
Stage 8: Atonement with the Father/State
Stage 9: Apotheosis/Journey to the Inmost Cave

Part 3 (February 15–19, 2017)
Stage 10: The Road Back
Stage 11: Refusal of the Return
Stage 12: Mistress of Two Worlds
Stage 13: Freedom to Live
Stage 14: The Return Home

Accessibility at The Theatre Centre
The Theatre Centre is an accessible facility, with barrier-free washrooms and an accessibility lift to facilitate movement between floors. If you are planning a trip to The Theatre Centre and have any questions about accessibility or would like to make any special arrangements, please call our box office at 416.538.0988. We will be happy to make any arrangements to help facilitate an enjoyable visit to The Theatre Centre.


+ MONOMYTHS Limited Edition Perpetual Calendar