Investigating the practical, spiritual, and aesthetic nature of art, Moncton and Montreal based artist Maryse Arseneault experiments with ways of inserting performance, audio-video installation and print media into public spaces. There is often an interactive component to her interventions, highlighting the role of the spectator in the work of art. Strongly inspired by dreams and intuitive experiences, her creation process includes daily exercises such as drawing, cooking, poetry and song. Informed by
contemporary metaphysics and feminist theory, my research addresses concepts of power, agency and objectification.
At THIRD SHIFT, Maryse will engage with her audience in an interactive and time based performance, Comment couper l’oignon sans pleurer / French Onion.
“Comment couper l’oignon sans pleurer / French Onion is a durational performance where I cut pounds and
pounds of onions over a whole day. How do we cut an onion without crying? How do we learn to take care of others
and our own anxieties? How do we maintain an ecological awareness in a capitalist society, dominated by the idea of
materialistic value? These are a few questions I ask myself and the crowd, during a five hour piece, sweating over onions I later donate to a local soup kitchen. Based on Mi’kmaq formats of oral traditions, such as wigwams and talking circles, I hope to share meditative and philosophic observations with the visitor. The major
themes that anchor these discussions will compare notions of human agency, systemic power structures, capitalism,
artistic production, agriculture and empirical prescriptiveness.”
Experimentation and improvisation are the game for Open Arts. Comprised of members of the new Brunswick musical improv community (ensemble bassist Andrew Reed Miller, Nadia Francavilla, violin; Robins Streb, viola; Joel Leblanc, guitar and Joël Cormier, percussion) Open Arts presents Charade Parade: “a post-classical experimental marching band.”
During their THIRD SHIFT performance Open Arts will be on the move. Drums strapped to chests and amps stuffed into backpacks Open Arts only play mobile instruments. Don’t worry about their restless feet, we’re sure you’ll always be able to follow the music to their parade route.
Open Arts is produced by Motion Ensemble Inc., and as they put it they’ve “organized adventurous music since 1998.”
Montreal born, and Fredericton based textile artist, Janice Wright Cheney’s work reflects an ongoing interest in modern notions of the division of the cultural and the natural, as well as constructed distinctions between the safe or domestic, and the wild or disorderly. Cheney’s video projection and installation ‘Sardinia’ was first shown at North Church in East Port Maine, 2016. The project was inspired by the history of the sardine fishery and canning industry that were one the lifeblood of towns along the Fundy Coast.
Saint John’s Acre Architects is a practice of storied Architecture which aims to inspire a re-thinking of urban spaces, and the mutual accommodation of historic and contemporary buildings. Inspiring their collaborative end in this project, is Claude Roussel’s red, orange, and yellow fibreglass sculpture, Progression. Roussel believed that the integration of works of art into architecture completed buildings. Acre agrees with this, and believe that as a way to progress, Saint John must celebrate it’s past, but not at the expense of it’s future.
At THIRD SHIFT these artists will unveil their collaborative installation piece. “Hotel Sardinia: the Next Progression, is a fictitious recreation of parallel time and place that proposes to transform the narrative of a tainted collective memory of an ‘urban renewal gone wrong’ into an inspired adaptive-reuse of civic space. The instillation will be centered around the programming of Janice Wright Cheney’s exhibition, Sardinia, an art piece that evokes a nostalgia for a time when fish were in abundance. Not unlike our yearning for a time of abundance, of a bustling city and thriving population, Wright Cheney’s piece converts City Hall’s footsteps into the parallel future that was promised to us by urban renewal.”
Philip Clark is a musician and DJ from Gaspereau Forks, NB. He works with music to maintain a high energy level and strong rhythmic pulse. Favourite techniques include glitching, video feedback and heavy data compression, which help give a gritty look to a digital medium. He also prefers to project at unusual angles and onto unusual surfaces or textures, which then inform the final work. He will often collect original footage from the surrounding area to incorporate in his exhibitions, and will sometimes even re-project a surface onto itself, adding layers of manipulation to create a sense of movement from the present into a mythical future.
Philip’s THIRD SHIFT project ‘Activation’, will involve a public video projection in which a vacant urban area is injected with vibrant, moving colour. “I’d like to map the projections onto simple geometric shapes suggestive of bygone buildings to create a sense of layered architecture through time. The energy of the piece attempts to challenge the inert nature of vacancy to explore a dialogue between past and future city space.”
Los Angeles-based artists Beck and Col use humor and chaos to examine the crisis of human exceptionalism. They have exhibited in Europe, Canada and the US, and have performed at Human Resources LA, REDCAT and the Hammer Museum.
Through costume-based performance and video, their work explores alternate universes populated with monsters who obsess over humanity and emulate its dominant attributes. Within these universes, Beck and Col analyze humanity’s construction of sexualized, racialized and naturalized others.
For THIRD SHIFT, they present us with Monster Mass; “ a structured improvisational performance, accompanied by a musical component. Two sequinned, pyramidal, black monsters dance around and pay tribute to a central white monolith. A mythos of power created through tradition surrounds the white tower. The rituals that the pyramids engage in keep the powerful in power and keep the Others in fear. It is when the monsters break the routine that the icon is exposed as a fraud and its power as an illusion. Monster Mass examines the institutional imposition of otherness and the origin of less-than-ness through a revelation of false hierarchies.”
Nathalie Quagliotto is a Canada based conceptual artist living and practicing in Toronto, Ontario, who is keen on creating art that disrupts conventional notions of behavior in the gallery or public space context. She uses humor, play, and disruptive situations to comment on the criticality of the art environment.
She uses the color “Safety Yellow” in her work because of its public meaning of caution, awareness, and attention. Often using double or multiple identical objects in projects as a signifier of a push and pull situation to address co-operation and problematic relationships.
For THIRD SHIFT 2017, her central concept remains, as you will find Nathalie roaming around Saint John inconspicuously handing out dozens of free yellow repackaged fused lollipops as a disruptive and quirky nighttime snack on August 18th!
Saint John derived interdisciplinary artists, Raven Blue and Jeff McLennan return to THIRDSHIFT this year with innovative multi-instrumentalist, Rozalind MacPhail and writer/photographer Cara Cole, to present their latest film piece, Homeless.
“Homeless explores the experience of attachment, loss, and longing for the places that hold special value to us, following the narrative of an individual who, for reasons we don’t know, has lost their home, and is haunted by unfamiliar visions. We follow them through surroundings that are uniquely Saint John, from timeworn natural wonders to impoverished neighborhoods of vacant victorian houses, and barren landscapes fortified with commercial and industrial growth. Homeless adapts the universal indigenous tradition of the vision quest, embodying our present-day culture as a transient youth, seeking meaning and purpose in their lives.”
The combined use of immersive projections with a soundtrack performed live by the artists is intended to involve the audience directly in an intimate experience centered around the places that represent transformational periods of our lives.