Tyranny Songs

Tyranny Songs is a performance with soundscape and movement that explores the effects of overt and subtle tyrannies and their disguised deployments of power on individual voices and bodies.

Drawing on Hannah Arendt’s The Origins Of Totalitarianism, among other texts, I created a soundscape using bird calls and songs (to the untrained ear one cannot tell the difference- a metaphor for the current  proliferation of misinformation), quotes, and personal reflection. The actions that accompany it perform resistance, affect, and internalised conflict.

This project was developed during an artist residency at HUB14 in Toronto in April 2018. My attendance was made possible by the Winnipeg Arts Council and Manitoba Arts Council.

The work was first performed at Art Holm (curated by Hilary Crist & Alexandra Elliot) in Winnipeg from 11-13 May 2018.

Photo: Pablo Riquelme

 

Extract from the text in the soundscape:

One

There are certain phrases that repeat in my head. Warnings, one might call them. Like the chattering of sparrows, sometimes I notice them more than at other times. Sometimes they sound like warnings, sometimes like songs.

 

And although I try to live in a way that lessens the bombardment of messages from corporations that endlessly arc the air around me like arrows from thousands of medieval longbows.            And although I try to live in a way that allows me to be struck by the arrows from the defending longbows of resistance and criticality that are less but still many.                There is still the ‘although’.                                   There is still the although.

 

<<the difference between truth and falsehood may … become a mere matter of repetition>>

 

Critical Fictions

Critical Fictions, an experimental writing project about contemporary art, has received the generous support of The Canada Council For The Arts. I’ll be working on this project for much of 2019/2020.

Critical Fictions is a collection of encounters with works of art via critical writing and fiction. It is also an investigation into how critical and creative responses to art impact one another, and how they function as ways of understanding, knowing, perceiving, and valuing.

The book is comprised of two parts:

– Five monographs about five queer, Canadian, contemporary artists.

– Five fictions specific to the sites of the artists’ work and informed by my critical research. They will be accounts of imaginative encounters with the artworks via a queer lens, contemplating how awareness of influences, perception, learning, and personal history shape being and bodies of knowledge.

The artists:

Derek Dunlop

Kristin Nelson

Andrea Oliver Roberts

Peripheral Review have published the essay about Derek Dunlop’s work in their Spring 2020 issue. Read it here.


Blackflash magazine have published the essay about Hagere Selam shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot in their spring 2020 issue. Read it here.

Peripheral Review will be publishing the essay and other texts related to  Derek Dunlop’s work in 2020.


I gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Je reconnais avec reconnaissance le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Critical Fictions was written with the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council.