Vancouver’s International Performance Art Celebration

Curatorial Statement

Welcome to LIVE 2019

As corruption reigns supreme, politics boil, and the world burns, artists everywhere are bravely rising up to challenge and engage us through unflinching, uncensored, direct and dynamic tactics. For this edition of LIVE we look at a roster of local, regional and international art makers who challenge notions of the personal, by putting their bodies on the line with unbridled passion, demanding to be seen and heard on their own terms, urgently exploring questions of power, identity, sexuality, gender, choice, desire, and vulnerability.

As performance art enters its sixth decade as a described art-form, the practice has yet to become tired or predictable. The rules of engagement constantly flex to include new notions of connectivity and transparency. In this liberating time of LGBTQ2++, artists choose to identify through self-defined pronouns, and express themselves in new, proactive, intimate and personalized ways. We hope you are engaged, challenged, inspired and enlightened through their ideas, actions and interventions. It is a small (and diversified) world after all.

While LIVE nurtures opportunity for assembly and collaboration, the plethora of activity leaks beyond a unified forum or a defined schedule. LIVE 2019 began with Jon Sasaki building a boat while immersed in the waters off the Steveston foreshore in July, and wraps up October 6 with Carmen Papalia leading a public walk through Hastings Park. Preach R Sun is out there somewhere unleashing his political agitprop on the streets of Vancouver. Marseille’s RedPlexus offers our emerging artists mentorship and opportunity in the rooms of the Patricia Hotel. The Western Front and EDAM graciously offer the wheelchair accessible dance studio to Tokyo’s Tari Ito. Ground Floor Art Centre will turn their gallery and studio over to Mineki Murata’s three day durational experiments. As in past editions, VIVO Media Art Centre are contributing their facilities for evening performances and activities. Restricted from international travel, Iraqi artist Fatima Jawdat is being represented through a montage of her brilliant and courageous staged performances. Snezana Golubović has solicited international one minute video homages to Singapore’s legendary Lee Wen, to whom LIVE 2019 is dedicated. Begin the day with stretching and yoga by Verb Frau TV, then stay for lunch and participate in the artist panels at Pat’s Pub.

I acknowledge our major sponsors the Canada Council for the Arts and the City of Vancouver, for their continued trust and support, Creative City special project funding to bring Tari Ito and her attendants, and the YWCA Hotel for providing handicapped access accommodation.

Shout out to Makiko Hara, for, beyond her inspired curations, being the glue that holds LIVE (and me) together. Finally, kudos to the LIVE Board of Directors, advisers and extended family, for selflessly and tirelessly working to guide the vision. You are LIVE!


Randy Gledhill

September 2019