photo of Claudia in her work, my heart is black (Toronto, May 30, 2009, site-specific performance at the Kodak building). photographer unknown
Claudia Wittmann performs since 2003. Her process is based on her butoh training with SU-EN (Sweden) and on her work with artist Paul Couillard who has been guiding her through the curriculum of Jerzy Grotowski since January 2006. Claudia works from her body memory and she is currently interested in the relationship between this memory and gender identity. In performance, she aims at transformation and intimacy with the audience. Claudia has also led workshop-performances and she has curated events which explored the role of the audience in performance. Claudia holds a PhD in biology and a Master's degree in the history and philosophy of science. www.claudiawittmann.ca.
Paul Couillard has been working as an artist, curator and cultural theorist since 1985, focusing on site-specific and durational performance art practices. He has created at least 200 works in 20 countries, often in collaboration with his partner Ed Johnson. Couillard was the Performance Art Curator for Fado from its inception in 1993 until 2007, and he is also a founding co-curator of the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art. Couillard has taught at McMaster University and the University of Toronto Scarborough, and is currently a doctoral student in the York/Ryerson Joint Program in Communication and Culture. He also works privately as a source coach, helping self-scripting artists to clarify their creative vision and find ways into their own physical and psychological material.
ABOUT CLAUDIA'S PERFORMANCE
Claudia Wittmann will present work that is part of a larger project on self-betrayal. “As I am writing this blurb on February 27, 2010, I see that this project makes me face things in new ways. It brings me to a struggle with my own busy mind and with my very unstable relationship with the concepts of self and of gender - does my body know my gender? why the hell do I feel like a woman when I am disempowered? is this about trauma? This project is also an exciting step towards a new way to relate to the audience. With the guidance of my collaborator Paul Couillard, I want to integrate the audience into the work and let the work become what it needs to be.”
COLIN CLARK and FLEISCHMOP
Colin Clark studied interdisciplinary art and cultural theory at York University. His composition teachers, at York and elsewhere, included James Tenney, Peter Zaparinuk, and Udo Kasemets. Colin's music is driven by the idea that music is first and foremost a social experience, and he has been lucky to improvise and compose with ensembles such the neither/nor collective, The Thorpe, and Fleischmop. He has written soundtracks for experimental films by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof and R. Bruce Elder, which have been shown at film festivals and cinematheques internationally.
Fleischmop is Alex Geddie (synth), Kelly Egan (optical sound squawkbox), and Colin Clark (guitar).
Alex Geddie is a Canadian musician and artist. He has performed improvised instrumental and computer music around the world (but mostly in Toronto) and exhibited his installation artwork in Toronto, France, Belgium, Germany and Taiwan. He attended Ryerson University and Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing, France. In Toronto, he continues to record music, collaborate with artists, serve as technician, and teach the odd programming night class at Ryerson.
ABOUT FLEISCHMOP'S PERFORMANCE
Three compositions for Fleischmop, performed on synths, optical sound squawkbox, and guitar. Materially, these pieces are derived from medieval ballads, folk tunes, Monteverdi and Elvis, filtered through the limitations of process and simple music notations. Virtuosity replaced by something unique to the time, place, and people who make it.