In the context of the pandemic, we offered by mutual agreement a production residency from February 9 to 27, 2021 to the duo Vida Simon and Jack Stanley. This residency will continue at the Bòlit Center in Girona, Catalonia in the summer of 2021. As part of their research the duo will present a durational performance at LA CHAMBRE BLANCHE on February 26, 2021 from 1 pm to 5 pm. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed in the gallery at the same time. The public is invited to stay as long as they like.
Carried Away is an ongoing project that takes the form of a durational performance-installation that centres on live drawing and writing. At the heart of this work is a commitment to improvisation, the act of witnessing, and the challenge of following one’s line without distraction or self-censorship. The work is conceived as a living tableau that activates the architectural space, the gesturing body, the juxtaposition of images and objects, and sound — everything that surrounds. The different forms of exchange that take place between Simon and Stanley also raise important questions regarding gender, power, and response-ability.
Since 2017, Simon and Stanley have presented different variations of the piece in British Columbia, Quebec, Italy, and Senegal. For their residency at LA CHAMBRE BLANCHE, Simon and Stanley are exploring the formal limitations of the palimpsest by working with a single large sheet of paper thick enough to withstand repetitive acts of inscription and erasure. The paper’s size provides an opportunity to play with the relationship between the drawing(s) and the artists’ movements in the space. Photography, video, and audio will be used to trace the evolution of the process.
Vida Simon combines various media to form site-responsive installations and performances. She has presented her work internationally in diverse contexts: galleries, hotel rooms, storefronts, theatres, rooftops, abandoned houses, a former synagogue, a horse stable, a tiny church... Recent projects include Too much/Not enough at CIRCA (Montreal, 2020); A Very Slow Blue, a performance on Ile Tatihou (France, 2018); and Ähnlichkeit, at Kunsthalle Lingen (Germany, 2017). Her work foregrounds improvisation, intimacy, fragility, and the resonance of ephemeral materials.
Jack Stanley is an art writer, independent curator, arts consultant, and copy editor based in Montreal. His interest in interdisciplinary practice and context-oriented art started in the early ’90s while studying at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Since then he has been preoccupied with the issue of place and the often-overlooked significance of context in the production and reception of artworks. Key theoretical areas of interest include hospitality, situated knowledge, critical regionalism, and institutional critique.
Simon and Stanley first met in a performance art class at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Since then they have worked together on art projects, as well as organized exhibitions, events, and discussions. From the very beginning they have been interested in the relationship between art and everyday life. For many years they ran a small gallery in their apartment called a room under the stairs, where they invited artists to come live with them and create works specifically in response to the social, architectural, and metaphorical qualities of the space. This later evolved into Souffles, an exhibition/event space in a former sewing factory in Montreal. Their ongoing collaborative performance-installation Carried Away has been presented at CVAG, (Courtenay, BC, 2017), Galerie B-312 (Montreal, 2018), Ad ognuno la sua p’arte (Villatalla, Italy, 2018); and Villa des arts, (Dakar, Senegal, 2019). Upcoming projects include an exhibition at At Home Gallery (Samorin, Slovakia, 2021), and residencies at Bòlit (Girona, Spain, 2021) and the Cinémathèque Québecoise (Montreal, 2021).
Photo: Ivan Binet
Photo: Carol-Ann Belzil-Normand