9/19/2016


MASSIVE ART AND MUSIC FEST IN/FUTURE BRINGS ONTARIO PLACE BACK TO LIFE
9/15/2016

An article on in/future which I am apart of.
I'll be doing a new performance 'Pulse', presented by FADO Performance Art Centre.


BY 

What do you do when you have less than 12 months to plan an enormous music and art festival?
That's the question Rui Pimenta and Layne Hinton of Art Spin bike tours faced when they got the green light to host In/Future on Ontario Place's largely abandoned West Island . 
 
"Immediately realizing the scale of it, we started reaching out to creative partners," says Hinton.
Not that it was their first rodeo. Curators Pimenta and Hinton had taken 300 or so people to the site last summer for one of their art tours, so they were on familiar territory. And since 2009, Art Spin has commissioned artists and musicians to create site-specific works in some of the city's unlikeliest pockets, from rickshaw residencies to a pit behind the Tower Automotive Building on Sterling Road. Participants pedal in a mass ride to each installation or performance. 
But now they had 14 acres to program with a small team and an even tinier budget, so they knew they needed help. Pimenta contacted the Small World Music Festival, a world music fest now in its 15th year. 

Follow the link to read more...



 

New Performance "Pulse" in Toronto
9/2/2016


FADO Performance Art Centre presents MONOMYTHS: Stage 7: Ordeals
Pulse by Mary Coble (USA/Sweden)

September 15–25, 2016
Ontario Place Island, Toronto
Nightly performances after sunset (times variable)
Presented in the context of in/future at Ontario Place (*times and ticket info below)

In Mary Coble's Pulse, the artist climbs the Cinesphere each day in order to repurpose it as a beacon of protest. A series of Morse Code messages are transmitted from the structure to receivers and relayers positioned throughout Ontario Place island. The transmitted messages are composed of statements and chants used in recent and current protests and fights for civil rights which will be selected from the artist’s archive as well as in collaboration with local community. This collaborative gesture of solidarity merges activist and nautical language to amplify a collective call for action.

Coble’s Pulse fits into the MONOMYTHS journey at Stage 7: Ordeals. During this stage of the journey the heroine has come face to face with their personal challenge, and in this moment they they either confront death or face their greatest fear. The hope of the journey is that by confronting their greatest fear and concurring it, they can embark on a new life. 

Coble’s response to illuminating this stage of the journey suggests the necessity of challenging seemingly inaccessible structures and systems (social, political personal), while insisting on the interdependency of a collective effort by employing the communication of multiple bodies, versus attempting to cross this personal bridge alone. Refraining from a heroic narrative of conquering an iconic structure, the piece lends itself to chance and even possibly, failure.

ABOUT MONOMYTHS
MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.  
Joseph Campbell’s influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) prescribes a common pattern to all of the world’s mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero’s journey, trials and obstacles must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell’s concept of the monomyth (‘one myth’) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports, and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine–from the get-go–would make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed. While each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience’s collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative. 

The year-long MONOMYTHS project is presented in three sections starting in February 2016 and concluding in February 2017. The series is conceived and curated Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane.
www.performanceart.ca

ABOUT IN/FUTURE
Mary Coble's performance project is presented in the context of in/future, a festival of art and music, presented by Art Spin in partnership with Small World Music. 100+ transformative experiences re-animating the West Island of Ontario Place during this once-in-a-lifetime festival. 60+ artists including large scale installations, films, and performances. 40+ musical performances on the Small World Music stage.
Tickets and passes available in advance at www.infuture.ca

Will be doing a new performance piece as part of 'Monomyths" that will take place here.
6/30/2016

Toronto art exhibition to bring new life to Ontario Place

By: Gilbert Ngabo Metro Published on Thu Mar 10 2016
Fun is returning to Ontario Place this fall.
For 11 days in September, more than 40 contemporary artists will take over the 14-acre waterfront park, transforming it into a multidisciplinary art installation — and opening up parts of the former amusement park that have been sitting idle.
A big goal of the exhibition, called In/Future, is revitalizing the site through cultural programming, said co-artistic director Rui Pimenta.
“It’s transformative,” he said. “People basically will experience the west island of Ontario Place in a way they never experienced it before.”
The project is a collaborative effort between Art Spin and Small World Music Festival, two local arts and culture organizations. The local flavour of the effort runs deep with a lot of emphasis placed on making sure the art included is a reflection of Toronto and Ontario, Pimenta said.
The side benefit of that, he said, is promoting artists who otherwise “wouldn’t have access to this type of exposure.”
People can expect to see everything from sculptures, paintings, photography and new media installations.
Plus, Cinesphere — the IMAX theatre on the property that dates back to 1971 — will screen original films along with those from the Ontario Place archives, some of which haven’t been seen by the public in 20 years.

 

Invited to participate in: MONOMYTHS, Stage 8: Ordeals, Toronto, Canada
6/30/2016


I've been invited to participate in "Monomyths" with a live performance in September 2016 in Toronto Canada. More details on the specifics to come soon!

This is supported by FADO Performance Inc. (Performance Art Centre), a non-profit artist-run centre for performance art based in Toronto, Canada.

Conceived and curated Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.  
Joseph Campbell’s influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) prescribes a common pattern to all of the world’s mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero’s journey, trials and obstacles must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell’s concept of the monomyth (‘one myth’) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports, and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine–from the get-go–would make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed. 
The year-long MONOMYTHS project is presented in three sections starting in February 2016 and concluding in February 2017.
While each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience’s collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative. 

MONOMYTHS: Part 1
February 3–7, 2016
Stage 1: The Ordinary World
Maria Hupfield (Anishinaabe/Canada/USA)
Ursula Johnson (Mi'kmaw) and Cheryl L'Hirondelle (Cree/Métis/German)
Stage 2: Refusal of the Call
Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan (Winnipeg)
Stage 3: Meeting of the Mentor
Feminist Art Gallery (Toronto)
Tamyka Bullen (Toronto)
Eliza Chandler (Toronto)
Johnson Ngo (Toronto)
Ariel Smith (Ottawa)
Dainty Smith (Toronto)
Zanette Singh (Toronto)
Stage 4: Crossing The Threshold
Armando Minjarez (Mexico/USA)
Stage 5: Belly of the Whale
Jefferson Pinder (USA)
Jasmyn Fyffe (Toronto)
Danièle Dennis (Toronto)
Chy Ryan Spain (Toronto)
Ravyn/Jelani Ade-Lam Wngz (Toronto)

MONOMYTHS: Part 2
May 2016–January 2017
Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies
Michelle M. Wright (USA)
Stage 7: Journey to the Inmost Cave
Stage 8: Ordeals
Stage 9: Reward (Seizing the Sword)
Stage 10: The Road Back
 
MONOMYTHS: Part 3
February 2017
Stage 11: Refusal of the Return
Stage 12: The Magic Flight
Stage 13: The Crossing of the Return Threshold
Stage 14: Mistress of Two Worlds
Stage 15: Freedom to Live
 

Text 'Raised Fists and Glitterbombs' in Kultur i Väst Newsletter
5/30/2016


I was commissioned by Kultur i Väst to write an article as part of an artist writing series entitled 'Honestly' which ask artists connected to the Gothenburg, Sweden area to write about urgencies related to their practices.  

'Raised Fists and Glitterbombs' poses the potential of queer performance art as a
strategy for social change.  Talking through activations at PRIDE Festivals and recent works such as 'Performing Defiance and 'This is not a party' queer performance and activist strategies of agency, community and awareness that can be used to combat individual and structural discrimination are discussed.  

The Kultur i Väst online newsletter can be found here with a Swedish version of the text:
http://kulturivast.se/konst/mary-coble-hojda-knytnavar-och-glitterbomber


An English version of the text can be found at on my website at:  http://www.marycoble.com/text-curation/-raised-fists-and-glitterbombs-may-2016-

 

"Performing Defiance" Performance at Kunsthal Charlottenborg
1/8/2016


Live performance of "Performing Defiance" on Sunday January 24th from 13:00-14:00!

Image:
Documentation from Performing Defiance, 2015
At the Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival, Chicago, Illinois
Photo Credit: Tongyu Zhao

Live Performance of "This is not a party"
12/30/2015


New work at 13 FESTIVAL 2015 at Konstepidemin
Wed. Jan. 6th

"This is not a party"
Disco balls are markers of party and action, but their sparkle can also be distracting and blinding. In a lonely piñata party the performer discovers that the glittering balls might hold killjoy substances and objects thrown in protests and demonstrations.    This performance is part of an ongoing investigation into tactics, props and gestures used in the history of queer activism and related political protests. These strategies include unpredictability, messiness and failure as ways of subverting mainstream expectations and desires.

 

Co-Running Workshop: DANCING TO THE NEWS
12/30/2015

DANCING TO THE NEWS
Workshop with artists Mary Coble and Ulla Hvejsel
January 5th and 6th, 2016 from 10:00-12:00
 
As part of 13 Festivalen 2016 / Festival of Performance Art
Konstepidemin, Gothenburg, Sweden
 
When I (Ulla) was a kid, we would jokingly say about someone who we considered to be less smart than us, that they were “so stupid that they could dance to the news”.
 
In this workshop we will take on that stupidity, and try to dance our way through current events –and elaborate on the challenges or importance of dancing in a time like this.
 
During the 2 days of the workshop, we will discuss the claims that this joke makes about the news, stupidity, frivolity, seriousness and the potential undanceability of current events. How do we as art practioners respond to urgent times?  Is there something decadent about making art now?  Or do we need to both dance and make art as the most appropriate response to these desperate times?
 
To inspire and activate we will look at examples from the classical political or dadaist cabaret. Together we will make a series of short performances that will investigate the troubled relationship between activities like the arts, dancing and current events.
 
Please come dance with us!
 
Anyone can participate regardless of performance experience.  The workshop is set up so new and experienced practitioners alike can benefit.  Participants of all abilities and disabilities are welcomed.
 
About:
 
Ulla Hvejsel was born in 1975, at the birthclinic ”fødselsanstalten” in Århus. That is now closed. In 2006 she graduated from the Academy of fine arts in Copenhagen. That is still there. Since then she has worked experimentally, and interdisciplinary with theatre, film, parenthood, journalism performance and self-deceit.
She has been a co-founder of the artist-run television station tv-tv, suggested new experimental ways of watching tv, given long and loud appraisal speeches for the silent majority, staged her collection of jokes from warfilms as theatre, and gotten a white bear, that had been stuck on minds since 1861, out of her head. At the moment she is mostly just talking out of her ass.
For more information on Ulla Hvejsel:
www.realpolitik.dk
and for more information on her ass:
www.talkingoutmyass.com
 
Embracing unpredictability, messiness and failure Mary Coble has worked with performance art for over 15 years, through this time aiming to manifest problems of bodily, societal and symbolic navigation particularly focusing on issues of injustice and normative boundaries. Recurrent themes in Coble’s work revolve around queer politics and poetics often working site-specifically, research-based and - from time to time - collectively/participatory.  Engagement in artistic practices and interventions within and outside of established institutions and the use of activist strategies are integral to Coble’s work.  Coble is a Senior Lecturer in the Fri Konst and Photography Units of the MFA Programs at Valand Academy of Art, Gothenburg University.  
For more information on Coble's work please visit:  www.marycoble.com
and current obsession www. gesturesofdefiance.blogspot.se
 
 

Co-organizing and presenting at: “It’s a joke” Seminar at 13 Festivalen
12/30/2015

“It’s a joke”
 
Seminar for 13 Festivalen 2016 / Festival of Performance Art
Monday January 4th, 2016
Konstepidemin, Gothenburg, Sweden
 

’Performance’ is a word that is both used to describe efficiency and productivity while also being a genre of art practises that may seem absurd and even a bit ridiculous to some – especially if thought about in terms of efficiency! A performance art version of the classic light bulb joke, which also points to efficiency, goes:
 
”Question: How many performance artists does it take to screw in a light bulb”
Answer: I don’t know, I didn’t stay to find out”
 
In this seminar we will embrace both the absurdity and the ridiculousness of performance art, while also examining the performance artist as a joke. We will discuss jokes, play, hilarity frivolity, and seriousness, and debate whether nonsensical acts may in fact be efficient calls to action.
 
We will question what is actually funny and discuss the difficulties of explaining both performance art and jokes, as well as lots of other ridiculously important topics.
 
This seminar is co-organized by Mary Coble and Ulla Hvejsel with the support of 13 Festivalen 2016.
 
“It’s a Joke” Schedule
Monday January 4th, 2016
 
10-10:30  Seminar Introduction
 
10:30-11:30
Tactical frivolity
Mary Coble will present an investigation of Tactical Frivolity as a strategy of artistic and activist protest.  Tactical Frivolity involves humor, loudness, performativity and peaceful non-compliance as forms of resistance. It includes pieing, drag, glitter bombing, and various forms of political theatre as opposition to disciplinary politics and the control of seriousness.
 
11:30-12:00 Discussion
 
12-13:00 Lunch
 
13:00-15.30  (with a coffee break from 14-14.20)
LMAO – laughing my ass off
In the afternoon, as a tribute to all those performance artists that keep making complete asses of themselves Ulla Hvejsel will put her ass on the line and let it host a panel discussion with specially invited guests, John Huntington from Kanslibyrån and Anna Kinbom. Together, they will look into jokes about performance artists – and try to figure out and explain what the point is, and perhaps also close in on some points about performance art.
 
It is common knowledge however, that a joke is just not so funny anymore once you explain why it is funny, and that may also be the case for performance art.  However, in the rubble of the broken joke, a new joke may appear – and that joke might just be the one that can make us laugh in new and unexpected way at things we never realized were ridiculous before.
 
15.30 – 16.00: Wrap up
 
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