Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Travelling"... A Photo Based Performative Study of Perceptions and Possibilities, Conversations on Performance, Disability and Health

Advance book previews Contributor Quotes

Pam Patterson

"While not denying that there is some pleasure in what I do, pleasure per se is not my motivation. I am a woman with painful disabilities living with cancer challenges. Grappling with the means to survive, to thrive, to engage, to act is what drives me. "

"I wanted to reinvestigate my own photo-based performative work in order to consider the problematic of maker/viewer perception and the possibilities for social and cultural change. I focused first on Travelling, a web flash exhibition which depicted, through moving stills, my journey across different terrain and through changing seasons from London, UK, to Prince Edward County and Toronto, Ontario, and finally to St. John’s, Newfoundland. Travelling Body Worlds the title of the “performance” from which this exhibition was drawn, was actually a series of conversations on performance, disability, and health that I had with colleagues in Ontario, academics and access theatre professionals in London, and community health advocates in St. John’s."

"I “performed” these conversations while walking barefoot out through snow to the Toronto International Airport, standing on wet North London streets, wading in the Bloomfield Mill Pond, and hiking at the edge of a cliff in Newfoundland. As I was the photographer and the subject was me, the only part of me that I could consistently see to photograph was my feet. So the images used in the web flash exhibit are of my feet in these various settings. What is not visible though is the pain in my limbs and the exhaustion on my face. The conversations, the frustrations, and the elations are also not recorded. But, could Travelling allow for another way of reading performances of pain, suffering, and disability? Not everyone can see performances. Many are site specific and budget limitations can make touring difficult. Videos can be easily distributed and on-line images and sites provide greater access. Can these images recall the performance and/or enrich our understanding? "

Pam Patterson (PhD) is currently Director for the interdisciplinary arts program, WIAprojects and teaches at York University, the Ontario College of Art & Design and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has, for 25 years, been active in the art and women’s communities. Her research, performance and teaching have focused on embodiment in art practice, the body in art, disability studies, women & gender studies, and feminist art education with publications in journals such as: Studies in Art Education, Resources for Feminist Research, Matriart: A Canadian Feminist Art Journal, FUSE, Fibrearts, Parachute and presentations in conferences such as: the Feminism and Art Conference (Toronto), History of Art Education Symposium (Penn State), and Moving Bodies, Embodying Movement: Exploring the Rhetoric of the Body (State University of New York, Brockport). She has taught for various institutions such as: Sheridan College, George Brown College, Ryerson Polytechnical University and the University of Toronto. As a performance and visual artist she was a founding member of FADO Performance and ARTIFACTS and has exhibited and performed internationally. For 2008/10, she presented a new exhibition/performance work, A Cellu(h)er Resistance: A Body with/out Organs? in a residency for FADO at XPACE Cultural Centre, Toronto, exhibited Travelling a digital exhibition for the Centre for Canadian Contemporary Art (CCCA), Fleishman Gallery and Art Seen (Educational Insights), and performed and exhibited Lighthousekeeping for ACEART INC. & Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art (Winnipeg).

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