As part of the second edition of VIVA! Art action, articule presents an evening of performances at Bain St-Michel, highlighting the work by artists from different generations. The chosen artists have in common the use of simple and concise gestures in order to describe complex relationships of intimacy and its corporeal and mental boundaries. Working in the tradition of body art, Christian Messier from Québec executes a series of physically demanding actions limited by the interactions he can construct with common objects or materials. In the Duorama series, Paul Couillard & Ed Johnson from Toronto, similarly engage their bodies following a set of predetermined rules of actions, questioning issues of masculine identity and desire, futility and endurance. Monika Günther & Ruedi Schill from Switzerland, who have been performing collaboratively for close to 15 years, propose simple and poetic actions that respond to and reflect upon each other, revealing a profound interiority. Their work investigates the poetic, minimal or radically exuberant aspects of the structural analyses of perception.
Christian Messier lives and works in Quebec City. His performances have been presented in various countries in America, Europe and Asia as well as in many events in Quebec. Very active in his community, he also supports emerging performance artists, paints and works as a visual arts critic. He recently funded Punctum, a weekly webzine focusing on contemporary practices in Quebec City (www.punctum-qc.com).
Toronto-based performance artists Paul Couillard and Ed Johnson have been collaborating since 2000. Together they have created more than 100 works in their ongoing Duorama series, presenting indoor and outdoor tableaux, interactive performances and socially provocative actions in various gallery, festival and site-specific contexts throughout North America and Europe.
Monika Günther, born in 1944 in Bad Hersfeld (Germany), has studied at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf, Germany, and has been presenting performances since 1980. Ruedi Schill, born in 1941 in Luzern (Switzerland), has graduated from the Art School F+F in Zürich Switzerland and has presented performances and actions since 1975. Both live in Luzern (Switzerland) and Essen (Germany). Since 1995, they have been working together and have presented their collaborative performance work in various countries throughout America, Europe and Asia. Since 1995, they are also teaching Performance Art at several Art Schools, and since 1998, they are directing the International Performance Art Turbine Giswil (Switzerland). In 2004, Günther and Schill won the Art Price of the town of Luzern (Switzerland).