mer paraguayenne

Wilson Bueno via Erín Moure: Mer Paraguayenne is a collaboration with Montreal-based poet Erín Moure on the exterior of Concordia University’s EV building on Ste-Catherine St. in downtown Montreal. Installation concept and typeface by Andrew Forster with Moure’s translation of Wilson Bueno’s Mar Paraguayo. Wilson Bueno, well-known in Brazil, wrote several books fundamental to contemporary Brazilian literature including Bolero's Bar (1986)and Cachorros do Céu (2005). His Mar Paraguayo (1992) is the only work of Bueno written in a mixture of three languages: Portuguese and Spanish (or Portunhol) and Guaraní (an inidgenous language of the Paraná region and an official language of Paraguay). Moure’s translation for the Montreal street is into Frenglish (an English inhabited by French) while leaving the original Guaraní in place. The yellow band of text (1.5m x 70m) wraps around the ground floor of the building. The text can be read continuously by walking around the building or burrowed into at any point.

EM’s translation of Mar Paraguayo is published by Nightboat Books, NYC (Paraguayan Sea, October 2017).

more info/images:

FOFA Gallery

l’Endroit indiqué

the machine stops

The Machine Stops is a video work set in the city of Chandigarh, India. Like Brasilia, Chandigarh is a city ‘invented’ in the 1950s and ‘60s out of a universalist idea of art, design and architecture as transformational event. Indian and western architects, most famously Le Corbusier, came together to design a utopian/functional city from scratch. The Machine Stops uses Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex as the location for a performance-video which is an exploration of the conceptual and aesthetic space of this post-colonial ‘modern’. The exploration uses choreographic elements with performers moving through and articulating the plaza spaces and ramps of the Capitol. A scripted element is composed of texts written by myself combined with excerpts including from Le Corbusier and E. M. Forster, re-interpreted by the performers. The title The Machine Stops is taken from Forster’s late science fiction story of the same name, which describes a world where people live in an ideal underground in technologically-supported sensorial isolation, communicating electronically with their co-citizens. In my work, Le Corbusier’s Capitol becomes the setting for a very abstract dystopian speculative-fiction told in fragments of language and movement.

A project with Fawas Ameer Hamsa, Monique Romeiko and Suzanne Miller.


Two dancers (Suzanne Miller and Magali Stoll) perform a choreography which they both know. However they attempt to perform it without moving. In sports we commonly call this activity 'visualization', though it does not seem like a visual activity. What is a gesture before it becomes a movement? Research in neuroscience suggests that the neural development comes directly out of the organism's need to navigate or punctuate space and time with movement. Thought is movement, or possibly a rehearsal for it. Our fascination with watching people and animals in motion may come from this. This piece takes the idea that thought and physical movement are two isolatable components of gesture or making meaning in space and time. This deliberately clumsy separation echos Thomas Hobbes's apparently ridiculous claim that the origin of all thought, movement or emotion is in some kind of vital internal movement.There are two versions of this piece: One where the dancers perform back-to-back - images of each performer are projected onto opposite walls (they face each other). The other installation has large side-by-side projections in a corner, with an additional sound and video element being violinist Malcolm Goldstein improvising with the non-movementof the performers (not shown).



Video installation at l'Endroit indiqué, Montreal, June and July, 2017. Drift (on the Canadian shield).The urban installation is a transluscent fabric tube stretched between two square windows across the interior space of a corner storefront.The video projected onto this distorted tube is a long slow pan along the shorline of a lake in Algonquin Park, Canada. Shot from a canoe on a sleepy summer's day. [camera & installation - Andrew Forster; panhandler & canoe - Katherine Davey]

link to VIDEO


[performance 2013; installation 2016] Quartet (Steadycam Quartet) is a multi-camera, choreographed work to be presented as a two-screen video installation and surround sound environment. Two musicians perform a composition for violin and viola by composer Rainer Wiens (performed by Jean René and Josh Zubot). Two performers (Noel Strazza and Pablo Pugliese) execute a revolving duet moving through the architectural space of a 1940's ballroom, Montreal's Sala Rossa. Two other performers are a steadycam operator and guide. Together they form a quartet (or sextet?), each pair orbiting the other. The recorded video is from two views: from the steadycam itself and from a second camera which can capture the entire action. While it appears that the steadycam is following the dancers, it is in fact the opposite - the dancers are constantly, sometimes comically, struggling to keep themselves within the tunnel-view of the moving camera. The piece explores the nature of the 'lead' as a bodily gesture or visual contact between dancers or musicians and the different constructions of space precipitated by sound, movement and the 'eye' the camera.



Two performers reproduce the movements of Hassam Abdo, a young Palestinian boy stopped at an Israeli army checkpoint with a bomb attached to his body in 2004. In this choreographic echo a man enacts and repeats the gestures of the boy as he follows orders to disarm himself, remove his clothing and is arrested, while a second performer, a woman, embodies all that intervenes from behind the camera; the soldiers, the viewer, the camera itself. [performers: Robert Schweitzer, Monique Romeiko]


concordance mumbler

A reiteration of a web project originally conceived for the web project Rachid & Roset curated by Isabelle Bernier in 2010 (with artists Hadil Nazmy, Skawennati Fragnito, Heba Farid, Rehab el Sadek and Isabelle Bernier). Concordance has a large database of poetic texts, lines and fragments. Clicking on any word will add new lines which contain that same word to the flow of text.

launch site now


OSSIP is a dance performance developed during a residency at Overtigo, Montreal and presented at Tangente-Danse, Montreal with two performers, five altered chairs and a non-musical soundscape. OSSIP is a 'translation' of a poem by Russian poet Ossip Mandelstam into words, movement and objects. The stage is occupied by several altered chairs. We hear fragments of the poem in russian, english and french. The chairs are put through a series of manipulations. The two performers move into a distorted social dance, as the poem becomes whole for our ears. In the end, the stage in still, leaving only the voice and the chairs. The focus of OSSIP is shared equally between the chairs, the dancers, and soundtrack, each alternately building sense, an articulation of a voice who speaks and a listener who is both audience and intimate. [performers: Monique Romeiko, Bob Schweitzer voice: Magali Stoll]

you and I will sit for a while in the kitchen,
the good smell of kerosene,
sharp knife, big round loaf.
Pump up the stove all the way.
And have some string handy
for the basket, before daylight,
to take to the station,
where no one can come after us.

(Ossip Mandelstam -1931)



Presented at SAT (Société des arts technologiques), Montreal. A storefront converted into a theatre. Seats inside the space face out onto the street. The audience, seated inside, watches action taking place outside. The window becomes a screen when viewed from the inside. From outside the space appears as a theatre viewed from the stage. Performance takes place in the park opposite the window. The performance has both explicit actions and 'ambient' ones, hardly distinguishable from every-day activities. Live sound (from mics in the park) was mixed with prerecorded material in a live sound mix for each performance. While water pours down the window, separating the audience from the world, Cinéma opens with a monologue about the nature of the first word and the dominance of the 'cinematic eye' in our experience of the world. The work plays with the idea of the screen and the window, simultaneously alienating and revealing, the divider of public from private space, a threshold which we both guard and constantly cross, literally and in our imaginations.


typographic works

See also: Mer Paraguayenne and Concordance in this section (via ‘main’).