Participatory Dissent (Day 3)

Oct 20, 2007

Gathering, Installation, Performance, Talk


Various locations, Western Front & Vanier Park, Vancouver


1:00 – 10:00 p.m.


Western Front presented an auxiliary program in collaboration with the 2007 edition of the LIVE Performance Art Biennale, which was curated around the theme of “public.” 

The third day of the program featured performances by Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Michael Morris, Artur Tajber, Vincent Trasov, and Vassya Vassileva. 

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa performed Muxux Uleu (Navel of the Earth) offsite at Vanier Park. Part ritual and part performance, it was inspired by the stories of his grandfather, Simeon de la Cruz, who was a ceremonial dancer and active figure in the life of the Quiche and Ladino community of Joyabaj, Guatemala. The performance emerged from research conducted in the summer of 2006 in Guatemala, and involved reconceptualizing public and personal histories to address Ramírez-Figueroa’s relation to Vancouver. Ramírez-Figueroa was invited by Paul Couillard. 

The Great Learning: The Origin of the Hand of the Spirit and the Shark Fin Bathing Cap was a performance-lecture in the Grand Luxe Hall by Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov using material from their own archive dating from 1969 to 1974. The presentation focused on mail art, documents, and ephemera related to projects including the Mr. Peanut mayoral campaign, various iterations of Art’s Birthday, colour bar research, The Hollywood Deccadance (1974); and their work with Robert Filliou, Ray Johnson, Image Bank, and General Idea. Morris and Trasov’s lecture incorporated live piano by Miles Black, archival video excerpts, and ironing to illustrate the ideas of a shared mythology and altered persona. The artists were invited by Natalie Loveless. 

TIMEMIT was a performance by Artur Tajber in an ongoing series. Tajber walked in a darkened room lit by a blank projected screen. He circulated the room while performing mundane and repetitive actions with an assortment of simple but strenuous furniture to stage. The screen filled with a recording of this performance, doubling the setting, gestures, and objects in the room. The audience watched both the live and mediated Tajber, willing synchronicity but also resigning to the differences between each plane’s relation to time, space, body, and object. Tajber was invited by Vassya Vassileva.

Vassya Vassileva presented an impromptu performance in the foyer. A thread of yarn spilled out of her one nostril and unraveled itself on the table while still embedded in her nose. Over the course of the performance she manipulated the yarn with arbitrary conformity while also simultaneously destroying it by cutting it into smaller pieces with a razor blade. While there was no immediate or even possibility of danger, the pernicious failure and futility of the self-inflicted task unsettled the audience as they observed Vassileva’s heightened actions.

Curated by Natalie Loveless.

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.