geste

video installation

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. 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 motion.



link to VIDEO EXCERPTS



mer paraguayenne

typographic installation [2014]

Wilson Bueno via Erín Moure: Mer Paraguayenne is a collaboration with Montreal poet Erín Moure. Erín Moure’s translation of Wilson Bueno with typeface and installation by Andrew Forster. Wilson Bueno was well-known in Brazil, and wrote several books fundamental to contemporary Brazilian literature such as: Bolero's Bar (1986), Manual de Zoofilia (1991), Cristal (1995), Pequeño Tratado de Brinquedo (1996), Jardim Zoológico (1999), A Cavalo (2000), Amar-te a ti nem sei se com Carícias (2004) and Cachorros do Céu (2005). His Mar Paraguayo (1992) is a special case, the only work of Bueno written in a mixture of three languages: Portuguese and Spanish (or Portunhol) and Guaraní. Erín Moure is completing a translation into Frenglish (leaving the Guaraní), so that this magnificent text can be read in the north of the Americas.

Erín Moure is a poet, translator, editor, collaborator, essayist, cyclist and cook. She lives in Montreal and works all over. From her knowledge of Galician, she is able to translate from Castilian Spanish and Portuguese. Her most recent book is Insecession, published in 2014 by BookThug in one volume with her translation of Secession by Chus Pato.

excerpt:

one dusk après une autre I sit ici on this sofa diagonal to the window, and in sitting it’s presque as if everything’s crumbling into bits: cramps in the guts: setting sun weaving humid nuances: spaces from où move déjà les occupations cérémoniales of light and lune: between the crowns of sombreros or entre les durs vides of the fig tree that devastate into shadow and suspicion in the crépuscule of the sea resort: figuier, couronne, sombreros: la ancestral speech of fathers and grands-pères that infinitely vanishes into memory, they entertain all speech et tricot: these Guaraní voices simplement eternalize as they go on weaving: ñandu: there is no better fabric than the web des feuilles tissées all together, ñándu, together and between the arabesques that, symphonique, interweave, checkerboard of green and bird et chant, in the happy amble of a freedom: ñanduti: ñandurenimbó:

concordance mumbler

web text generator [2010]

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

quartet

video installation [2013]

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.



link to VIDEO EXCERPTS



mouth

installation [2012]

Mouth is a room-within-a-room, a fabric surface pulled away from the walls and ceiling of the gallery. Mouth allows the existing room to sag, the interior space becoming a kind of wrinkled replica of the crisp architectural space that surrounds and supports it. The entire inside surface of this fabric is printed with text, a pattern of text, which describes this interior in language. We enter this space and the experience is the same but different, somehow estranged from our 'normal' experience of a room. So we have this metaphor of mouth for room or room for mouth. If we are thinking, 'what is a room?', I want to draw us into an imaginary space which we experience neither as inside nor as outside, but which we experience or know in detail. This is a beginning of space before it is inside or outside. So Mouth has this architectural-spatial concern. If you can be an architect, it is because you have, quite naturally, skipped over this involvement. The mouth is also the source of language, of building a world through words. If you can be a journalist it is because you have skipped over this involvement. I've been working on a version of a Beckett piece, That Time which is related to Not I, the piece where a disembodied mouth floats in space, spewing language, expressing...building. Mouth is interested in a different part of this 'build', before language puts us outside. Mouth wears language on the inside, like the lining of a suit, or something stuck to the roof of your mouth. [statement for Latitude 53, Edmonton, 2012]

repetition

video [2012]

Two interlinked chairs are arranged into a series of positions. The performer appears on camera for less than a minute to accomplish the change. The fixed image of the chairs is on screen for about ten minutes between 'moves'. The work is like a timepiece in which the variations appear, for all intents, as still images. It is possible to see the work and not realize it is a video of a performance, but rather a set of still images. Repetition is a duet between two inanimate objects. The 'seatless' frame reduces these chairs to peculiar euclidian 'wireframe' drawings (like 3-d representations), a reference to the ubiquity of the wireframe and linear perspective as embedded in architecture, design and photography. (60 min cycle)



link to VIDEO EXCERPTS



duet

video installation

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]



link to VIDEO EXCERPTS



that time

video installation [2012]

A work for recorded voice and a single performer by Samuel Beckett. The 'Listener' is a disembodied head floating above the stage in complete darkness. His eyes are open to begin with, then close as the 'Voice' comes to him from three directions with overlapping litanies of memory. They seem to be from three distinct periods of life. Beckett's later short works have had an enormous influence on installation art, performance and art-video. That Time, written in 1975 resembles other short dramatic pieces of that period, such as Not I and Rockabye and several teleplays. In each case there is a voice and a listener. What attracted me to That Time is the play of overlapping memory, at first assured and reassuring of identity, which then gradually turns in on itself until memories refer only to themselves and finally the order of words gives in and embraces silence. Time itself seems to be the subject of the piece. At first the time of memory displaces the expected narrative time of the theatre and then "that time", in its turn, is infiltrated and superseded by the indeterminate time of the void.

That Time was produced as a live performance several years ago. This new version takes advantage of video projection and a simple 3-d effect to generate an interactive installation. [performer: Michael Fernandes voice: Andrew Forster]

ossip

performance

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)

cinéma

performance

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, Concordance and Mouth in this section (via ‘main’).

photoworks