Approaching Stillness looks at the Summer Solstice as a kind of enveloping metaphor – the moment in time when the light is at its maximum, the day is at its longest and the apparent movement of the sun, north or south, comes to a standstill: sol (sun) sistere (to stand still).
This collaborative project by Vida Simon and Tedi Tafel explores the layering of installation, live projected drawing and gesture. Their process entails a combination of in-gallery residencies and studio research at punctuated moments in 2009 and 2010. Vida and Tedi began with a series of questions: could the performances be microcosmic events encapsulating the entire cycle of dark to light to dark, created by the tilting of the earth? How does this inquiry play into notions of expanding and collapsing time and space? And finally, what is the intersection of performative, everyday and ritual actions? These questions are used as points of departure for the artists as they play, research and articulate.
In June, the artists continue their exploration with more specific questions and concerns: How to create an event where the audience/performer relationship is mobile, so that as the performance plays out in different areas of the space (both indoors and outdoors) the public participates in a wide variety of ways? How can the space be a container for the accumulation of actions, and then be de-constructed to reveal the simplicity of a moment? What is the relationship between the preparation of a performance and the performance itself? How can both be essential parts of the public event? This final residency will consist of a private exploration in the space, leading to a durational performance for the Summer Solstice.
Vida Simon’s work incorporates drawing, writing, hand-made objects, sound, and gesture, often combined to create site-responsive installations and performances. Linking all aspects of her practice is a passion for drawing, a form that most directly expresses her interests in visual storytelling, materiality, and embodiment. She has presented her work in a wide range of contexts across Canada, and internationally – most recently in Chile and Lithuania.
Montreal artist Tedi Tafel has a background in film and dance. Her work takes place in non-traditional venues and looks at the expressive possibilities of the body when in direct contact with rural, urban and wilderness spaces. She is interested in the layers of experience that exist just beneath the surface of our habitual ways of moving about; how our interior world is inspired and transformed by the places we inhabit.