The Body in Question(s) ² – curious arts

Guest post by Sean Caulfield

Le corps en question(s)² – The Body in Question(s)² is an innovative interdisciplinary exhibition and performance produced by Van Grimde Corps Secrets in conjunction with the University of Alberta Museums and Brian Webb Dance Company. This unique creative research project brings together an internationally recognized group of scholars and scientists researching questions related to contemporary perceptions of the body with creative researchers working in visual/media art, dance, choreography, composition/music, and architecture.

The creation-exhibition curated and choreographed by Isabelle Van Grimde includes performers such as U of A alumnus Brian Webb, as well as visual artists with University of Alberta ties, including work by myself, FAB Gallery manager and UAlberta alumnus Blair Brennan, and UAlberta sculpture instructor Royden Mills, among other artists such as Derek Besant.

Le corps en question(s)² – The Body in Question(s)² examines how current forces in Canadian society, such as the emergence of new digital technology, biomedical research, health, and the influx of new cultures, are impacting perceptions of the body. In addition, this project explores creative methodologies for transforming theoretical knowledge into art while gaining insight into the processes of other disciplines and individuals.

Research for the Le corps en question(s)² – The Body in Question(s)² unfolded in several phases beginning with a literature review and a series of one-hour interviews exploring contemporary perceptions of the body. This material was then shared with artists and scholars initiating and facilitating creative and academic dialogue between the creative researchers (visual and performing) and scholarly researchers, ensuring the project cohesively addressed a wide range of issues.

Themes emerging from this process include questions concerning the impact of digital technology, aging, obesity and biomedical research on contemporary perceptions of corporeality.

Creative and academic research from this process was synthesized to produce a series of innovative multidisciplinary visual art/dance pieces that are highly interactive in nature, providing audiences with a heightened physical, intellectual, and emotional awareness of their own bodies. The publication accompanying this exhibition features articles by participating scholars and scientists, providing audiences with further academic perspectives.

Feature image credits: Photographer Michael Slobodian. Dreamcatcher with projection of Melanix, Execute by Marilene Oliver. Performer Soula Thougako.

Le corps en question(s)² – The Body in Question(s)² will be part of both the Works Festival of Art and Design and the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.

Exhibition title:Le corps en question(s)² – The Body in Question(s)²
Exhibition dates: June 18 – August 22, 2015
Venue:U of A Museums Galleries at Enterprise Square (Main floor, 1-200, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton)
Enterprise Square Hours: Open Thursday and Friday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: By donation.

Interdisciplinary Panel: Friday, June 19 at 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Enterprise Square
Refreshments to follow.
Mireille Perron (Instructor, Alberta College of Art and Design)
Lianne McTavish (Professor, History of Art, Design and Visual Culture, University of Alberta)
Brian Webb (Artistic director, The Brian Webb Dance Company)
Timothy Caulfield (Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, Professor Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, University of Alberta)
Marilene Oliver (Internationally recognized practicing artist)

Nightly Fringe Performances: August 20 – 22, 2015
To coincide with the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, the exhibition will feature nightly performances by the Van Grimde Corps Secrets ensemble, August 20 – 22, 2015.
Ticket available for $20 from TIX on the Square and at the door.

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