Participatory Dissent (Day 2)

Oct 19, 2007

Installation, Media Artwork, Performance, Screening


Various locations, Western Front & Mount Pleasant, Vancouver


1:00 – 10:00 p.m.


Western Front presented an auxiliary program in partnership with LIVE Biennale tilted Participatory Dissent: Debates in Performance.

During the second day of the program, there were repeated performances from day one by Kevin Hamilton, Roddy Hunter, iKatum, The National Bitter Melon Council and Sal Randolph.

Marilyn Arsem, Paul Couillard, Jeff Huckleberry, and Second Front also began their performances at Western Front. The entire building became animated with simultaneous artistic interventions enmeshed with the presence of the public in attendance. 

Second Front was a performance art group that performed in the online avatar-based virtual reality world, Second Life. Nine artists performed entirely in Second Life which was broadcasted live for viewing at Western Front. Second Front imagined a twenty-first century theatre of the absurd that challenged notions of virtual embodiment, online performance, and the formation of virtual narrative. Second Front was invited by Natalie Loveless. 
In Western Front’s guest room, Marilyn Arsem performed a durational piece designed for an audience of one. Arsem ritualized the space by lighting candles and offering fruit, setting the scene for an intimate encounter. Arsem was invited by Paul Couillard. 

Activations (White Canadian Gay Male) was an eight-hour performance by Paul Couillard that took place throughout four passageways in Western Front. The word “white” was displayed on the overhanging wall by the front entrance, “Canadian” was in the stairwell, “gay” was at the upper window at the top of the stairs, and “male” was in the second-floor washroom. Spending two hours in each location, Couillard conceived of the piece as a series of "stutters” that built situational rhythms out of fragments, repetitions, and anticipatory silences. Couillard was invited by Natalie Loveless. 

16 Feet (THICKv1) was a three-hour durational piece performed by Jeff Huckleberry in Western Front’s gallery. It invoked aspects of collaborative processes that are often effaced—frustration, aggression, threat—and addressed the production and labour of art. Huckleberry stripped down and used the weight of his nude body to break through six framed drywall sheets spaced a few feet apart. Huckleberry was invited by Natalie Loveless. 

Curated by Natalie Loveless, Jeremy Turner, and James Morgan.

Video documentation available upon request.

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.