Friday, September 9, 2011

Upcoming Show - Gullivers' Rehearsal: Drawing into Performance

Gullivers' Rehearsal: Drawing into Performance

Gullivers’ Rehearsal: Drawing into Performance
September 28 – October 9, 2011
Curator: Vesna Krstich

loop Gallery is pleased to present Gullivers’ Rehearsal: Drawing into Performance, the first major exhibition examining the drawings of Flutura and Besnik Haxhillari, also known as The Two Gullivers.

Gullivers’ Rehearsal examines the cyclical relationship between drawing and performance art. A selection of preparatory studies and other drawings will be presented along with documentation from previous performances. Through their joint practice, the Two Gullivers actively dismantle the boundaries often assumed to exist between the live event and its modes of planning and documentation. Themes of travel, domesticity, intimacy and identity are playfully inscribed into these visual scripts, which serve as an on-going rehearsal of their twin persona.

The Two Gullivers will kick off the exhibition with a slumber-party performance entitled SLEEP, as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011. They will continue to live in the gallery with their children, where they will eat, sleep and make new drawings over the duration of the show. The pair has recently obtained the unique honour of reenacting nine historical performances by Marina Abramovic and Ulay. On October 8, the artists will stage a reenactment of Nightsea Crossing, starting at Nathan Phillips Square (the site of the original performance in 1982) and ending at loop Gallery.

Flutura and Besnik Haxhillari are a Montreal-based couple that rose to prominence through their inclusion in landmark exhibitions of Eastern European art of the post-communist era. They took part in the 48th Venice Biennale (1999); After the Wall, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1999); and Blood & Honey, Tanzquartier, Vienna, (2003) curated by Harald Szeemann. They have since exhibited on a local and national scale, in venues such as FADO Performance Art Centre and Galerie de l’UQAM. Forthcoming presentations will take place at the Marina Abramovic Studio at Location One, NY.

Concurrent to the exhibition, loop will host a panel discussion on performance duos involving the exhibiting artists and notable Toronto-based pairs: Paul Couillard and Ed Johnson, and Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak. The panel will be moderated by critic, curator and art historian, Jim Drobnick, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at the Ontario College or Art and Design. Amelia Jones, Professor and Grierson Chair in Visual Culture at McGill University, will present a keynote lecture on the intimacy between artist and researcher in the study of Live Art. The panel and keynote will take place in the Brigantine Room at the Harbourfront Centre on Thursday, September 29, 7:00-9:30pm. Tickets are $10 and will be available as of September 14th through the Harbourfront Box Office (416-973-4000).

The exhibition and all related programming is curated and organized by Vesna Krstich in collaboration with loop Gallery, as part of their first publicly funded, guest-curated exhibition programming initiative. Gullivers’ Rehearsal is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council. Additional partners include the Harbourfront Centre, The Walrus Magazine, the Drake Hotel, Oyster Boy, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011, and FADO Performance Art Centre.

Panel discussion at Harbourfront Centre, Brigantine Room:
Thursday, September 29, 7:00-9:30 pm

Reception & Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011 performance at loop:                          
Saturday, October 1, starting at 6:30 pm (Map No. C 56)

Nightsea Crossing performance reenactment by The Two Gullivers:
Saturday, October 8, at Nathan Philips Square (9am-3pm) and at loop (3:30-5pm)