On the walls: a week of performance art

The internationally renowned VIVA! Art Action performance festival is on this week. Here’s what there is to see.


Kineret Haya Max.

The annual VIVA! Art Action kicked off this week, offering a rare opportunity to check out an exciting roster of international performance artists at work. The product of collaborations between a slew of artist-run centres around town, the fest tries to place unusual performance-based and live art centre-stage, providing a forum for a genre that flies under many people’s radars to raise public awareness about contemporary performance art practices and explore artists’ relationships to their craft. As a bonus, most of the events are free.

VIVA! programs nightly “Art Actions,” line-ups of performance artists from around the world. Tonight, Oct. 3, Cuban artist Carlos Martiel, Israeli performance artist Kineret Haya Max, indigenous activist Robin Brass and Quebecer Victoria Stanton present work; Friday, Oct. 4, the fest presents Quebec artists Étienne Boulanger and Belinda Campbell, who are joined by Polish-Finnish artist Tomasz Szrama. The evening series concludes Saturday, Oct. 5, with performances by Marlène Renaud-B., Chilean Macarena Perich Rosas and American sculptor and sound artist Celeste Marie Welch. Nightly to Oct. 6, Bain St-Michel (5300 St-Dominique), 8 p.m., free

The fest has also organized several day-time conference panels. Friday, Oct. 4, catch the Feminist Issues Through Performance discussion, exploring the role of gender and performance art, and Saturday’s panel is entitled Furtive Actions, Visibility, Mediations. Bain St-Michel, 1 p.m., free

The fest goes full-time over the weekend. Saturday, Oct. 5 offers art actions by French artist Jean-Baptiste Farkas, who explores the role of products and service in art (Bain St-Michel, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.), followed by Toronto-based Basil AIZeri’s “Corn Roast” (6:30 p.m.). Meanwhile, Québécois interdisciplinary and digital artist Helena Martin Franco hits the Main for an ambulatory art intervention (12–3 p.m.). On Sunday, VIVA! has programmed an afternoon of off-site activities and performances, with the bus leaving from Bain St-Michel at 2 p.m.

In this town, a festival’s only as good as its wrap party. VIVA!’s, of course, offers performance art courtesy of Police des moeurs and Douce angoisse, visuals from Frequency Division and Deglazer, plus tunes from DJs Mathieu Beauséjour and TIGNA$$E. 10 p.m., suggested donation $5–$10

VIVA! Art Action happens at Bain St-Michel (5300 St-Dominique), Oct. 1–6, all activities free unless otherwise noted

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