Canadian Ecstasy


Emerging from a conversation now years in the making between myself and Kim Simon, which itself emerges from some central concerns of Kim’s curatorial practice at Gallery TPW, I am excited to have had the opportunity to engage Kim and TPW in putting together this week of events with Ariana Reines, a poet, playwright, translator and artist based in New York City. Collectively titled, they are Canadian Ecstasy.

The question has been variously formed, but it is generally supported by a concern for how we talk when we are talking, about difficult things especially. The question betrays an investment in developing the means to sustain a relationship to something (in this case, usually an art work) that one is in conflict with. Instead of turning away, as may be our impulse, how can we stay inside that moment of confrontation between a work and our expectations? Can that experience of confrontation be generative? At TPW, under Kim’s direction, the question has confronted the experience of looking at difficult images, both as a semantic concern (what does “difficult” mean in these contexts) and a methodological concern (how to gather to accomplish such a thing). Upon reading Ariana’s introduction to her translation of Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl, we realized that the translation itself was an example of what is made possible when that relationship is maintained. From the desire to talk with Ariana about her own methodologies, a week of events were developed, some more or less directly related to this initial interest, though the preoccupation remains.

In the context of the TPW R&D project, we have invited audiences to engage the charismatic and bold practice of this interdisciplinary thinker. Through a week of performance, reading, writing and talking together we’ll consider practice, methodology and what it might mean to be in relation.

Based in New York, Ariana Reines is the author of The Cow (Alberta Prize, 2006), Coeur de Lion (2007), Mercury (2011), all from FenceBooks, and Thursday, (2012), from Spork, and the Obie-winning play TELEPHONE (2009), commissioned & produced by The Foundry Theatre. She is the translator of The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Real: Days and Nights of an Anarchist Whore by Jean-Luc Hennig (2009) and Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl by TIQQUN (2011), from Semiotext(e), and of My Heart Laid Bare by Charles Baudelaire, (2009) from Mal-O-Mar. Performances and theatrical works include THE ORIGIN OF THE WORLD at Stuart Shave Modern Art (2013), LORNA, with Jim Fletcher, at the Martin E. Segal Theatre (2013), MISS ST’S HIEROGLYPHIC SUFFERING at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2009), and SWISSNESS at The Swiss Institute (2012). Most recently she published The Origin of the World, a book for Semiotext(e)’s contribution to the 2014 Whitney Biennial. This summer she will present MORTAL KOMBAT, a new performance work with Jim Fletcher, at Le Mouvement Biel/Bienne in Switzerland.


Reading at TYPE bookstore
Monday, June 23, 2014
883 Queen Street West
Join us for a casual evening with Reines sharing some of her work, have a glass of wine, and maybe buy a book from the beloved TYPE books on Queen St. West.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1256 Dundas St. West
An ongoing project of Reines’s, Ancient Evenings is a weekly writing sabbath of sorts, incorporating liturgical reading, automatic writing, and neglected arts of conversation. Born of the yearning to marry the spirit of sacred spaces with the spirit of frank yet generous companionship, Reines says of its origins that, “I wanted to try reading and writing in company the way I fantasized a Heian courtier or an erudite merchant in Al-Andalus might read and write—slightly or very drunkenly and at leisure in some kind of cohort, not the solitude of scholars or professionals, though with great focus and maybe a little sociable competitive spirit—I wanted to take the space of sharing and writing poems and tales away from the workspace of classrooms and workshops and programs and degrees and return it to something more proper and more relaxed, but also, perhaps, more stimulating…”

Refreshments and a (surprise) ancient text will be provided. Those interested in attending are asked to pre-register here: kim@gallerytpw.ca

Please note that this event is free, but that those who attend are asked to be willing to write and read under special circumstances for an evening.

Performance by Ariana Reines and Jim Fletcher
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
1256 Dundas St. West

Le Mouvement Biel/Bienne invited Ariana Reines to create a performance in dialogue with a pair of sculptures from the Swiss art festival’s midcentury origins. In the spirit of Gallery TPW’s R&D programming, Reines will present a preview of the work. A kung-fu drama structured like a game, MORTAL KOMBAT is inspired by the 1992 videogame, enacting and aggravating scenes of pre-adolescent masculinity, boredom, nostalgia, violence, and fantasy. Created with the actor and writer Jim Fletcher, MORTAL KOMBAT also exacerbates the problems of equality, asymmetry, and fairness that come up in any so-to-speak contest of equals. Where are the lines between gender and the physical drawn? Born on the same day in different years, Reines and Fletcher will undertake this game as ersatz twins—but, as in the case of Romulus and Remus among so many other sets of brothers, theirs is also a fight to the death.

Ariana Reines is joined by actor and writer Jim Fletcher. Fletcher is a founding member of the New York City Players and The Bernadette Corporation. He performs frequently in New York and abroad with many artists and ensembles, including The Elevator Repair Service, The Wooster Group, Sarah Michelson, and Tony Oursler. Among the many productions in which Jim has recently starred: GATZ (Elevator Repair Service), Isolde (NY City Players), and Cry, Trojans! (The Wooster Group).

In conversation with Ariana Reines, Gina Badger and Yaniya Lee
Thursday June 26, 2014
Departing from Reines’s work as a poet, translator and artist, this participatory discussion will consider the critical methodologies enacted by different forms of creative practice.

Reines is joined by provocateurs Gina Badger and Yaniya Lee.

Gina Badger is an artist and writer based in Toronto. Working in the expanded field of sculpture and installation, her favoured research methods include listening, walking and cooking. At the heart of her practice is a critical engagement with the time and material of colonial ecologies from a settler perspective. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Badger is the descendent of farmers in Treaty 6 territory. She holds a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal) and a Master of Science from MIT (Cambridge MA). Badger currently acts as Editorial Director of FUSE Magazine.

Yaniya Lee is a nomadic arts writer and cultural documentarian. In both print and audio her practice is focused on using conversation as a productive space of exchange and exploration. Most recently she published the chapbook In Different Situations Different Behaviour will Produce Different Results, a conversation with Chris Kraus and Jacob Wren. Her next project is an experimental, critical look on the ways in which semio-capitalism affects our relationship to labour.


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