This summer the CAG will host a two month residency with Canadian artist Brendan Fernandes.
At the core of the artist’s practice lies an investigation into the concept of authenticity, an ideological construct as a shaper of cultural experience. Fernandes’ works From Hiz Hands (2010) and Foe (2008) have focused on language and how, through the process of migration, personal identity is altered via one’s transformation of becoming something else, through loss and gain, forgetfulness and remembrance.
More recently he has considered how such ideas can be embodied and recalled in the body via muscle memory, performances such as The Working Move (2012/2014), Night Work (2013) and Encomium (2011), examining this phenomenon through movement, cultural dance, ballet and the language that prescribes directions for dancers.
While in Vancouver, Fernandes will undertake new research exploring the gendered and queer male body in ballet, questioning hierarchies that dance notionally suggests via a fetishization of the body. Having formerly studied ballet and modern dance techniques, and left due to injury, Fernandes seeks to explore the ways that this art form has affected and shaped his sense of self, as a means to recover the language of movement embodied within his own identity. Fernandes will work with a ballet foot stretcher, a wooden device used to develop the ‘perfectly’ formed arch in a dancer’s foot. Considering the rigid physical requirements and its effect on those who attempt to fit the mould, Fernandes proposes to develop a performance with associated photographs utilizing architectural supports such as walls, floors, pillars and support beams to explore gesture and movement with this device attached to his body.
Marking a new departure for the artist, this work continues his ongoing concerns relating to aesthetics and desires within a consideration of his own histories and identity. While in residence Fernandes will also lead and mentor a youth dance program considering the intersection between visual art and contemporary dance culminating in a new performance work.
The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly was supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.
Tuesday, June 10, 7pm
Brendan Fernandes is a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent based between Toronto and New York City.
In this artist talk introducing Fernandes’ residency, he discussed his recent projects. This summer the CAG hosts a two month residency with Brendan Fernandes. At the core of the artist’s practice lies an investigation into the concept of authenticity, an ideological construct as a shaper of cultural experience.
Recently Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Brendan Fernandes held a life drawing class at the CAG. The gallery was buzzing with over twenty-five artists and the model, Rachel Meyer, a member of Ballet BC. Fernandes worked with Rachel to create a multitude of poses on various sized plinths that highlighted her feet and encouraged participants to focus on this area.
The drawing tasks varied from 30 seconds to 5 minutes then 20 minutes poses. It was really amazing to see the range of differences in drawing style and form that everyone used to interpret Rachel’s poses. We got great feedback from the participants and we’re hoping to hold more life drawing classes at the CAG in the future.
Check out some of these amazing life drawings above and stay tuned to find out more about Brendan Fernandes residency!
– Lindsay La ChanceMORE
This week the CAG’s Summer Dance Intensive Program attended a movement workshop run by Delia Brett and Daelik of MACHiNENOiSY Dance Society. Delia and Daelik led a workshop that taught the participants to collaborate with their instincts and movements and not to rely on verbal forms of communication.
The embodied exercises led the group to think about creation and rehearsal techniques that they can bring forward with them as they begin to conceptualize their final projects. Delia and Daelik’s teachings and exercises were really engaging and allowed for the participants to get to know each other’s practice and methods for creation.
The next workshop will be held by the CAG’s artist in residence Brendan Fernandes and Vancouver-based contemporary dance artist Justine Chambers.MORE
“What if where you are right now is all you need to be?”
This was a question Christopher House repeatedly asked us during his “Dancing in the Now” workshop. The CAG’s Youth Summer Intensive participants and mentors were lucky enough to participate in a very thought-provoking, educational, and exciting two hour workshop with Toronto based choreographer, Christopher House. As a part of the 2014 Dancing on the Edge programming, Christopher House performed a piece co-choreographed by Deborah Hay entitled The Body in Question. His final performance was Friday, July 11th 2014- check the Dancing on the Edge website for more schedule and programming information.
The Contemporary Art Gallery launched their Summer Youth Intensive, a ten week course for emerging artists interested in cross-disciplinary movement-based performance last week. Led by four established artists, the 11 participants are considering the intersections between dance, choreography and visual art, culminating in the creation and production of a new work. A part of this intensive allows for the participants to attend workshops, artists talks and studio visits, and Christopher House’s workshop was one of them!
House’s workshop encouraged the participants to dance in the “now”, to really focus on the embodied present and not to second guess our actions. In encouraging us to move in the “ways that we see the space around us”, House taught us about giving our bodies agency, timing and to consider the differences between space and place.
After the workshop, House stayed to speak with our group where he answered our questions about his work and regarding our individual practices. He shared methodological and creation process tips that will be useful for the Summer Intensive group as they move into developing their own works!
This group is ambitious, talented and inspiring- I can’t wait to follow their process during this summer intensive!
– Lindsay LachanceMORE
Last week I attended my first artist talk as the CAG’s Learning and Public Program assistant. New York and Toronto- based artist Brendan Fernandes is currently in Vancouver for a two month residency at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House Studio.
While in residence Fernandes will be developing a new solo dance piece, co-mentoring a summer intensive youth dance program, and leading a life drawing class that focuses on the dancer’s foot. On Tuesday, June 10th Fernandes gave an artist talk at the CAG where he led us through the creation, rehearsal, and performance processes of his recent works; The Working Move (2012), Encomium (2011), and Night Shift (2011).
(Find out more about Fernandes’ past and upcoming works on his website at www.brendanfernandes.ca)
Brendan’s talk was as charming and insightful as his work, which engages with various disciplines including visual arts, dance, performance and theatre. He explained how his work focuses on corporal and embodied lived experiences—which raises questions about “liveness versus stillness”, “space and audience” and “single action versus relational action”. The focus on the body challenges us to re-examine the aesthetics of his works—how do we react as spectators when the body becomes the object, the subject, the artifact and the archive? Fernandes’ works question how we conceive the space, time and performative codes of bodies moving in gallery and museum spaces. I’m stoked to follow Fernandes’ process this summer and find out how the new projects are shaping up!
– Lindsay Lachance
Click here for: Information regarding his Youth Intensive Dance Workshop
Listen to the artist talk here:MORE
Brendan Fernandes, the CAG’s summer artist in residence has begun the creation process for his new work! I had the pleasure to visit Brendan during one of his rehearsals earlier this week. Fernandes talked about how he will incorporate themes of labour, the duration of time, notions of self-hood and identity into the creation of this piece.
He is challenging the notion of muscle memory and exploring ideas around the foot as a fetishized object. I’m excited to see how Fernandes will integrate notions of stillness and repetition into his piece. We will be following Fernandes’ creation and rehearsal process over the next few weeks, and stay tuned to find out details regarding his open in-progress performance.
– Lindsay Lachance
My name is Lindsay Lachance, this Summer’s Learning and Public Programs Assistant and I am excited to be working with Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs and other staff and volunteers at the CAG. I’ve just completed the first year of my PhD in Theatre and First Nations Studies at the University of British Columbia. I will be contributing to the CAG blog via interviews with artists, reviews, and news on upcoming learning events and residencies. I am really looking forward to participating and helping with the education and community programs that the gallery is organizing this summer, and to engaging with Brendan Fernandes, CAG Burrard Marina Field House Summer artist-in-residence. Please stay tuned for my updates!MORE