Do Me!


Curated by DisplayCult, Dave Dyment and Roula Partheniou
Organized in conjunction with the 7a*11d
6th International Festival of Performance Art,
various locations throughout Toronto
October 19-29, 2006

Artists: Martin Creed, Critical Art Ensemble, Ann Hamilton, Geoffrey Hendricks, Aernout Mik, Linda M. Montano, Carolee Schneemann, Joey Skaggs, and Martha Wilson, with the collaboration of numerous Toronto-based artists.

  Do Me! was a curatorial project that solicited performance scores and had them performed by Toronto-based artists and invited guests. This event took the premise of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 1996 “Do It” visual art exhibition and returned it to its performative roots in the instructional works of 1960s Fluxus artists. Internationally recognized performance artists were invited to submit instructions for local performance artists to interpret and execute. Audiences were able to observe the multilayered effects of personal translation, creative adaptation and cultural specificity as artists from varying backgrounds “realized” the work of the contributing artist. For further information, see  
Martin Creed, Work No. 118: 1234, 1995.  
Song for voice, guitar, bass and drums.

Performed by Dave Dyment.

  Martin Creed, Work No. 118: 1234, 1995.
Critical Art Ensemble, Live Crime, 2006.    
Perform a (or a series of) crime(s) that has (have) humanitarian value.

I stole a selection of flowers from my neighbours’ gardens. Once I accumulated a nice combination of colours and varieties of flowers, I arranged the entirely stolen bouquet and brought it to my mother as a surprise gift. She was delighted.
– Diane Borsato

Last year I had a lot of trouble with security devices. Every time I visited my local pharmacy or video store or retail clothing outlet I would set off the alarms upon entering the store. It was a little embarrassing at first, and grew to be very annoying. I could not figure out why it happened, and I was inconvenienced every time, as the security guard would stop me to make sure I had not stolen anything. On a couple of occasions I had to remove my coat and have my bags searched, which was ridiculous as I had just entered the store. After months of this, I finally had a salesperson ask me "Are you wearing anything you bought from the Gap or Old Navy? They have security tags sewn into the clothes, that they don't remove when you purchase them." I went home and checked and sure enough, there was the little tag that had caused me such annoyance. They don't tell you the tags are there, they just deactivate them for their store, but they continue to set off the bells and whistles every time you encounter other security sensors. So, as my (small) crime that would benefit humanity, I went to the Gap and cut security tags out of garments, so that the person who eventually buys them will not be inconvenienced and embarrassed as I was.
– Anonymous

I’ve been doing an ongoing project since 2005. It’s called Mow-Hawk. It’s just a patch of grass which I’ve purposely avoided mowing.This is a contravention of a number of Calgary by-laws which regulate the length that your lawn is supposed to be. I don’t know if it benefits humanity, but the suburban rabbits seem to like it.
– Scott Rogers

“It is unlawful to release more than ten helium-filled balloons in one twenty-four-hour period in any Toronto City Park.” Lawbreaking in the name of love, eleven love letters. On October 27, 2006, 5:00 pm, I released eleven helium-filled balloons at once at the Roxton Road Parkette, Toronto.
– Alissa Firth-Eagland

Performed by Anonymous, Kathleen Bebee, Janet Bellotto, Joan Borsa, Miranda Bouchard, Diane Borsato, Millie Chen, Annie Cheung, Eric Cloutier, Alissa Firth-Eagland, Kristen Keller, Amber Landgraff, Madeleine Palko, Richard Purdy, Sandra Rechico, Scott Rogers, Jon Sasaki, Annie Tse.
  Critical Art Ensemble, Live Crime, 2006.
Performed by Diane Borsato.
  Critical Art Ensemble, Live Crime, 2006.
Performed by Scott Rogers.
  Critical Art Ensemble, Live Crime, 2006.
Performed by Alissa Firth-Eagland.
Ann Hamilton, saying, 2006.    
At noon, 50 people assemble in a downtown location, stand in 4 lines, in a semi circle like a choir. They arrive from all different directions wearing an animal mask and carrying a large square sheet of white paper, which they carry folded up or not, lay on the ground and stand on. In unison they read the poem "The Owl" by Susan Stewart.

At Xpace, organized by Natasha Bailey and Leila Gajusingh.
Performed by Natasha Bailey, Leila Gajusingh, Megan Rooney, Petrina NG, Sonia Romundi.

At OCAD, organized by Eric Jackson.
Performed by Debra Lynn Craig, Efehan Elbi, Melissa Hamonic, Alexandra Hazisavvas, Trevor Homeniuk, Eric Jackson, Mike Juneau, Laura Ann Kennedy, Eva Kolcze, Cameron G. Lee, Daniel Pietropaolo, Andrew Richmond, Chaya Ruckin and Katie Skene.
  Ann Hamilton, saying, 2006.
Ontario College of Art and Design lobby, 11:45 a.m.
Organized by Eric Jackson.
Geoffrey Hendricks, HEADSTANDS (Three Variations), 2006.    
I. People do headstands. Hats are placed on their feet.

II. People do headstands with objects of their choice attached to their legs/feet.

III. People do headstands with words suspended between their feet.

Organized by Efehan Elbi.
Performed by Efehan Elbi, Aaron Mancyk, Amanda Rataj and Zack Tatham.
  Geoffrey Hendricks, HEADSTANDS (Three Variations), 2006.
Organized by Efehan Elbi.
Aernout Mik, Two Clouds, 2006.    
Performers: 2 groups of 30 people, to be called Group 1 and Group 2.

Group 1 gets precise instructions, and wears watches.

The only instruction for Group 2 is to imitate Group 1. They are not aware of the instructions for Group 1.

The following instructions are only for Group 1. Group 1 is randomly divided in 15 persons A, and 15 persons B.

Part 1. Persons A are “speaking in tongues,” and persons B try to stop them. At the same time, every person must be constantly on the move but cannot take a position further than a distance of 150 cm from another member of Group 1. As a whole group, they also have to constantly move slowly through the space, and cannot take a fixed position at any time. After 5 minutes, the roles are reversed, persons B are “speaking in tongues” and persons A try to stop them. After another 5 minutes, this stops.

Part 2. Group 1 forms a homogeneous group, all bodies are in physical contact with each other. They are not allowed to use the hands or underarms for this. Every member of Group 1 is humming. The group moves through the space at an alternating speed, constantly slowing down and speeding up again. Part 2 ends when Group 1 decides to meld together with Group 2 and this is fulfilled.

At Nathan Phillips Square, organized by Trevor Homeniuk and Andrew Richmond.
Performed by Efehan Elbi, Trevor Homeniuk, Eric Jackson, Lisa Ng, Daniel Pietropaolo, Andrew Richmond and Katie Skene.

At York University, organized by Jennifer Fisher. Performed by approximately 50 students in York University’s Visual Art, MFA and Dance programs.

For video documentation of this performance, see Two Clouds: Aernout Mik, directed by Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick, produced by DisplayCult, 2008 (15:00).
  Aernout Mik, Two Clouds, 2006.
At York University, organized by Jennifer Fisher.
Linda M. Montano, Gentle at Last, 2006.  
Three massage tables, white sheets on each. Three really gentle, Swedish massage people, trained... They stand by the tables...A mistress of ceremonies in a wonderful business suit enters and does a "laughing" exercise with the group... Get them to laugh gently (see Steve Wilson's website for a laugh exercise to use)... Every half hour, on the dot, this mistress of ceremonies (with a mic of course) does another gentle laughter exercise which should last 5 minutes minimum.

All during the performance a sound track of gentle, soothing infant sounds... Gooing, laughing, sucking sounds... All nice and soothing.... Have a very professional sound engineer tape them and project them ...Put on loop tape? Lighting is low and pinkish and really pretty. Smells are really organic and smooth...

3 people walk into the space, with nice (can be used) robes. Underwear underneath. They have sound equipment on their heads... mics... Somehow attach them to their bodies also. Or place them in a way that they can receive massages and still have access to the microphones. They can put these on at the tables when they lay down. They sign a waiver that says, they take full responsibility for this event and will not sue anyone for any reason etc. The mistress of ceremonies reads the waiver out loud 3 times and each one signs.

They lay down, underwear on. Sheets placed over them (not their heads) and a very conservative, slow, non-sexual but "caring" massage is given (underwear can be taken off but no nudity)

Only organic, not performative sounds or words can be coming from those 3 being massaged. Each person is massaged for three hours. Audience laughs gently every half hour for 3-5 minutes.

At the end, the mistress of ceremonies tells the audience the three hours are over, the massage people help (slowly) the massagees to sit up. Cover them with a sheet and gently walk them out. Volume of the baby tape is a little higher and then goes to silence and gentle audience last laugh.

Organized by Jocelyn Tremblay.
Performed by Amy Cheng, Claire Egan, Kerry Segal, Nichola Stedman, Jocelyn Tremblay and Natalyn Tremblay.
  Linda M. Montano, Gentle at Last, 2006.
Organized by Jocelyn Tremblay.
Carolee Schneemann, Flag - Assassinations, 2006.    
Team of 20 participants

Sew or paint oversize Palestinian and Lebanese flags on 14 sheets or fabric sufficient to wrap around a body. Fourteen participants will wrap their bodies in a flag; the wrapping is prepared so that they can extend the oversize flag in their open arms.

They will very slowly walk in a public space extending the flag fabric and then rolling themselves in their flag while sustaining a smooth continuous linear walk –extend fabric... open... roll-up (butterfly)... extend fabric... open... roll-up...

A team of 6 participants with water pistols or children’s paint guns menaces the flag bodies. They crouch down in brief sinister runs, they “shoot colour” onto the flag bodies from 3 to 4 feet away. The shooters start and stop their attack... The shooting is menacing, sporadic, discontinuous as the shooters contrive crouching, running variations ahead, behind, around the flag walkers. The shooters are always crouched. When the flags are completely obscured with paint, the action is over. The flags have been “murdered”; the bodies are wet, sticky, discomforted...They begin to stagger until they slowly fall down in a heap.

Performed by Rita Kamacho.
  Carolee Schneemann, Flag - Assassinations, 2006.
Performed by Rita Kamacho.
Joey Skaggs, Project #1 & Project #2, 2006.    
Project #1. Visit the headquarters of various media outlets (newspapers, television stations, etc.) and clandestinely set up "memorials," complete with candles, flowers, stuffed animals and other items. Leave the reason for the construction of the memorials ambiguous. Look for and collect media coverage.

Performed by Tracia Almeida, Alexandra Hazisavvas and Eva Kolcze.
  Joey Skaggs, Project #1 , 2006.
Performed by Tracia Almeida, Alexandra Hazisavvas and Eva Kolcze.
Project #2. Make 4' posters or silkscreens of a white urinal on a black background. Post them around the city at sites where toilets would be useful or necessary. Also distribute them at sites where the poster would make a political statement or social commentary. Look for and collect media coverage.

Performed by Dave Dyment and Roula Partheniou.
  Joey Skaggs, Project #2 , 2006.
Performed by Dave Dyment and Roula Partheniou.
Martha Wilson, Posturing: Drag, 1972/2006.    
A woman dresses up like a man trying to look like a woman.

Performed by Annie Cheung, Laura Kennedy, Liz Knox, Cameron Lee, Chaya Ruckin, and Risa Kusumoto.

At York University, organized by Laura Levin.
Performed by Rain Chan, Laura Collu, Stephanie Gormek, Anna Griffith,Renna Reddie, Chris Rouse, Shira Schwartz, Annie Skelding and Amanda Swarbreck.
  Martha Wilson, Posturing: Drag, 1972/2006.
Performed by Cameron Lee (top), Chaya Ruckin (middle), and Liz Knox (bottom).
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