Live Canadian Performance Art

Judith Price, Irene Loughlin, Ed Johnson, Rachel Echenberg, Johanna Householder, Paul Couillard, Shannon Cochrane, John G Boehme, Sylvette Babin, Tanya Mars; guest artist: Poshya Kakl; writer in residence: Mark Greenwood. Curated by Sinéad O'Donnell

Ends 13 February 2010

'CHAOS', is a series of Live Art works from a selection of Canadian artists. This exciting event is the first in a program that curates cutting edge performance art from Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
The events take place in 'non profit art spaces' in Belfast- Blackbox, Catalyst Arts and PS². It offers audiences a unique opportunity to observe and participate in new approaches that reconsider the role of performance art in Belfast and beyond. PS² will become the artistic hub for project ‘Chaos’, including daily window screenings, actions and meetings.

CHAOS: the complexity of causality or relationships between events. Any 'seemingly' insignificant event in the universe has the potential to trigger a chain reaction that will change the whole system.

Chaos timetable

PS²- project space, base camp
For the week PS² will have daily window screenings, actions and encounters

Wednesday February 10th @ 1pm
PS² – Screening of filmed performances from guest international artist Poshya Kakl

Thursday February 11th @ 12pm
UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER - Tanya Mars Lecture, room 82D23.

Thursday February 11th @ 8pm
BLACKBOX: An evening of cutting edge performance from Irene Loughlin, Rachel Echenburg, Poshya Kakl and Johanna Householder. CHAOS: A condition or place of great disorder or confusion

Friday February 12th @ 8pm
CATALYST ARTS GALLERY: Shannon Cochrane, John G Boehme, Ed Johnson and Tanya Mars. CHAOS: A disorderly mass; a jumble

Saturday February 13th @ 12pm PS²
More performances by Judith Price, Paul Couillard, and Sylvette Babin, followed by a public discussion with the invited artists. CHAOS: the disordered state of unformed matter and infinite space. In some cosmogonist views, chaos was supposed to have existed before the ordered universe. This series of Bbeyond performances has been curated by Sinead O’Donnell (Ireland) in collaboration with John G. Boehme and Judith Price (Canada).

Artists biogs

Paul Couillard - call for participants
SUBJECT OBJECT I am asking local performance artists to assist me with my project for Bbeyond's CHAOS event. I'd like each of you to bring me an object that you think would be particularly challenging to use in a performance art work. This would entail meeting with you, probably at PS², during the week of February 8 – 13, so that you could give or loan me the object and we could have a chat about what makes it "challenging." While I'm quite interested in material objects, I am also willing to entertain more open definitions of the term "object" to include such things as accessible local sites, conceptual parameters – as in "objectives" – or other possibilities you might want to suggest. As much as anything, I see my request to you as a departure point for us to have a discussion about performance art as a practice. I anticipate that the project will culminate in an attempt on my part to use each of the objects collected in a series of performance actions taking place in Belfast on February 13. Please contact paul.subjectobject[at]

Irene Loughlin's work for Bbeyond contains surrealist imagery grounded in the quotidian experience of the Irish diaspora. She was born and lives in the industrial city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and has exhibited performance art and interdisciplinary works locally and internationally. In December 2008, her work was presented for Performance Saga (Bern, Switzerland), an event that paired two generations of feminist performance artists.

Rachel Echenberg’s art practice explores live and mediated presence through a body of work that highlights vulnerable, intimate and uncontrollable relationships. She has always been drawn to actions that point towards slow physical and conceptual transformations. She is interested in how proximity and dislocation affect the exchange between an art work and its viewer. In the positioning of her actions, she is wondering about possibilities for active empathy and productive exchange from a distanced perspective.

Johanna Housholder: performance

Johanna Householder works with found Performances from the intersection of popular culture and unpopular culture. She has been making Performances and other artworks since the late 1970s. She was one of the satirical, feminist performance group, The Clichettes, who performed under variable circumstances, throughout the 1980s. Householder practices her own brand of pop culture détournement and often collaborates with other artists. She is one of the founders of the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art which held its 7th biannual in Toronto 2009. She teaches Performance at the Ontario College of Art & Design.

Sylvette Babin is active mainly in the fields of the performance and l' installation. Particularly interested by contextual and In situ art, its performances and installations are generally created starting from the places where they are diffused. Its reflexions have as recurrent themes l' interior exile, l' itinérance, touches of the daily news- paper and the transgression of the borders between oneself and l' other. By strategies and devices built around the body, of the absurd settings in situation or the visual and sound plays, Babin proposes metaphors related to certain physical statuses or psychological.

John G Boehme Investigating manifestations of autobiographical and often escapist narratives of adolescent disenfranchisement projected through direct akshun (1). Language of identity as constructed through formative personal histories. At twelve in La Jolla, California his parents split at thirteen he performs Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation in the bathtub on his aspirin overdosed mother. Two weeks later a series of boarding schools, (Desert Sun School Weaned in the Windansea of La Jolla, California through boarding schools and graduating from Army and Navy Academy. John G. Boehme’s early art practice included painting, sculpture, performance video and digital technology, installation and photography. Boehme describes recent work as "trans-disciplinary" often employing performance, video, audio and objects in a number pieces simultaneously, Boehme is not constrained to any particular creative mode and therefore utilizes integrated approaches to realize the work. John continues to have exhibitions, screenings and festivals across Canada, the Americas, United Kingdom, Europe and China. John is an adjunct faculty at University of Victoria, continuing faculty at Camosun and Brentwood Colleges.

(1) Akshun Statement The corporal entity becomes a metaphor for series of Akshun. A journey that draws upon personalised interpretation and imagination to address wider issues/symptoms of oppression, subversion, freedom, identity, control, process, covert activities. A personal observation, expression, articulation, exploration into the hierarchical relationships of volatile opposites. The work is a striving to create an arena via an intermediate area of sequences that facilitate the understanding of latent needs, creativity, imaginations and traumatic expressions within an overall live activity. As akshuns get closer to basic human facts, beyond culture, nationalism or individualism, they start at a place that has not yet been discovered. André STITT, London.

Tanya Mars, lecture Ulster University 11.02.2010

Tanya Mars has been active in the Canadian alternative art scene since the early 1970s. Her dramatic, humorous and satirical works—ranging from performance through to sculpture and video—have influenced an entire generation of artists over some 30 years. She is a member of the curatorial collective that organizes Toronto’s International 7a*11d Festival of Performance Art. She helped found Powerhouse in Montreal in 1973, one of the first feminist art collectives in Canada. She edited Parallelogramme from 1976 to 1989 and co-edited (with Johanna Householder) the definitive Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women (2005). She has taught and given workshops at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) and currently teaches at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Ed Johnson is a visual artist and a third generation Canadian of Irish/Latvian heritage. For the last decade he has been collaborating with Paul Couillard on the 'Duorama' series.These performances for public spaces revolve around male competition and intimacy. His solo work has often explored issues of communication/non-communication (Box, Words of Love) and of HIV status (Inquistive/Inquisitor, Untitled "[sic]"). Currently his focus is on the landscape of male bodies and self-image. He recently completed "Passion Project" an exploration of ancient Greek tales using techniques based on the methods developed by of Jerzy Grotowski. Ed was a co-founder of FADO Performance Art, an artist-run-centre for the production of Canadian and International Performance and currently sits on the Board of Directors.

Judith Price has worked as an interdisciplinary artist for over 20 years since attending the University of British Columbia (MFA 1988) Her body of work includes performance pieces, performative videos, video installations and site-specific installations. She merges her parallel backgrounds in visual arts and modern dance to expand her interest in embodiment and body intelligence and is exploring non-verbal physical and gestural language as tools of communication and intervention. She is interested in creating liminal spaces through performance; interstices within which an event can move and shift in unexpected patterns of communication. Elements of interactivity and collaboration are present in much of her artwork; Her works have been shown nationally, internationally and on the Internet. Price lives in Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. My performance for the Chaos Project is durational and employs the repetition of certain tasks accompanied by a repeated, looped song phrase that invoke and describe a journey from a state of internal chaos to one of clarity - a kind of falling into focus.

Shannon Cochrane is a Toronto based artist and performer. Her work has been presented in galleries, theatre festivals and performance art events for all kinds of audiences from kids to curators, across Canada and internationally in China, Chilé, England, France, Germany, Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA. Shannon is co-founder and curator of the 7a*11 International Festival of Performance Art (established in Toronto in 1997) and is currently the Artistic and Administrative Director of FADO Performance Art Centre.

Special Guest: International Artist Poshya Kakl is one of the most progressive young women performance artists currently working in Kurdistan, Iraq. Kakl’s art work deals with her living reality, and reflects systems of kinship, gender, religion, barriers and borders. Participating across borders and ignoring barriers, Kakl will be working with Chaos from Iraq via the internet.

Writer in Resident: Mark Greenwood is a performance artist/ writer originally from Newcastle but now based in Plymouth. He has presented work across the U.K, Europe and the United States over the last ten years. Utilising indefinite durational practice and installaction as an art form, Greenwood’s interests lie in writing as a socio-physiological practice, projection of the male ego onto animals, and the interrelations between gender, memory, cultural location and identity. Parallel to the generation of poetic texts through experimental procedures that seek to subvert and resist the structures of hegemonic discourse, Greenwood incorporates the ideology of gambling and chance in his current work.