Western Front is pleased to present Archives Access: Pascal, One Night Only, a lecture and screening focused on the life and work of trans performer Pascal.
Pascal was a classically trained singer known for her gender non-conforming “showgirl” persona. In the early 1970s, she appeared as a key contributor to projects by the Toronto-based collective General Idea, leading her to collaborate with Western Front’s core members and other artists associated with the “Eternal Network.”
On February 27, 1974, Pascal performed a vocal recital of jazz standards in the Grand Luxe Hall with accompaniment by Hank Bull on piano. While audio, video, and textual records document a limited period of Pascal’s artistic career, not much is known about the performer following this concert. In scholarship, Pascal is mentioned merely as an aside—a peripheral figure within the narrative of Canadian queer art history.
Presented on the fiftieth anniversary of Pascal’s last performance at Western Front, this iteration of Archives Access will feature a lecture by Michael Dang interspersed with archival excerpts of Pascal; shining a spotlight on an enigmatic queer artist who had a brief but impactful sojourn in the Canadian contemporary art world.
The screening will include footage from Pascal’s 1974 concert alongside excerpts from the films Art’s Stars in Hollywood: The Deccadance (1974) and Art’s Stars Interviews (1974) by Chip Lord, Willoughby Sharp, and Megan Williams; and The Decca Dance (1974) by Kerry Colonna.
Pascal was a vocalist and performer from Halifax, Canada. Recognized for her gender non-confirming “showgirl” persona, Pascal appeared as a key contributor to projects by General Idea between 1971 and 1974, including the 1971 Miss General Idea Pageant and The Hollywood Decca Dance. During this period, Pascal also collaborated with artists associated with Western Front and the “Eternal Network.”
Michael Dang is a curator, filmmaker, and writer based in Vancouver, Canada. His curatorial practice is research and archival-based, with a special interest in historical curation, and sociopolitical contextualization, broadly focusing on mid-century conceptualism. He is a second-year MA candidate in the Critical and Curatorial Studies program at the University of British Columbia, and is presenting his thesis exhibition Unit Bruises: Theodore Wan & Paul Wong, 1975-1979 at the Richmond Art Gallery in spring 2024.
The Grand Luxe Hall is located on the second floor of Western Front, which is accessed by a flight of 26 stairs. While plans for a full building upgrade to facilitate access for wheelchair and scooter users are still underway, events in the Grand Luxe Hall are made available virtually via high-quality livestream (see link above). Further details about accessibility at Western Front can be found here.