As part of the Community Chest programming at Hub14 – Toronto – June 2010
Alongside performance makers Coman Poon and Norma Araiza.
My talk was focused on the bridges and intersection between the making and sharing of artwork and the practice of hospitality, both formal or casual. I am deeply interested in the question of content when creating work and where the ingredients, so to speak, come from. I used examples of my travels in West Africa and comparisons to the formalities often practised within that specific culture when welcoming guests.
For example, It is common when you enter a home in this region that they will first offer you water after your journey, they will then bring you their family photo album and leave it with you as you sift through photos of those that are dear, those that have left and sometimes those that were simply photographed during brief encounters. These photos all have stories and they are being shared with you in silence.
I then ventured into my work in Thailand, as I had planned to explore the idea of hospitality further there during my first residency in 2010. What I discovered, was in order to connect with the community I was living in, it was important for me to immerse myself in food. Not a bad discovery…. this research led to the edible art exchange I held in the local fresh market. You can see information about that piece in the section Art and Hospitality on this site.
I often think of when a performer or artist is in the final stages of showing their work to a public, it is almost as if to invite them into your living room and show them your personal photographs and leave them with a little more connection to whom you are and what you have known.
Or at least…that’s how I’d like to approach my work.
I am currently working on a transcript of that lecture.
You can expect it….in a another year.