bios

Marilyn Arsem

Boston-based artist Marilyn Arsem has been creating live events since 1975, from solo gallery performances to large-scale, site-specific works at festivals, conferences, alternative spaces, galleries, museums and universities worldwide. Most recently she has focused on creating site-specific performances that are not planned in advance, but made in response to a location that is selected on arrival. She is a member and founder of Mobius, Inc., a Boston-based collaborative of interdisciplinary artists. She taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for 27 years, establishing one of the most extensive programs internationally in visually based performance art.

Thirza Cuthand

Thirza Jean Cuthand was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1978. Since 1995 she’s made experimental narrative videos and performances which have exhibited in festivals and galleries internationally, including Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, Mix Brasil Festival of Sexual Diversity in Sao Paolo, Oberhausen International Kurzfilmtage in Germany, the National Gallery in Ottawa, and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. She completed a BFA in Film and Video at ECUAD, and an MA in Media Production at Ryerson University. She is currently developing a feature film and a video game. She is Plains Cree and Scots, and resides in Toronto.

Cindy Baker

Based out of Lethbridge and Edmonton, Alberta, Cindy Baker’s work is informed by a fierce commitment to ethical community engagement and critical social inquiry, drawing from queer, gender, race, disability, fat, and art theories. Baker’s interdisciplinary research-based practice moves fluently between the arts, humanities, and social sciences; she works with diverse materials and techniques from the low-craft to digital fabrication and performance, emphasizing the theoretical, conceptual and ephemeral aspects of her work. Baker’s practice draws from two decades of experience working and participating in art, queer, and fat communities; she has worked in non-profits throughout Western Canada. Currently, she is a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta, an independent facility development consultant, and contract art technician. Baker holds an MFA from the University of Lethbridge where she received a SSHRC grant for her research in performance in the absence of the artist's body. She has exhibited and performed across Canada and internationally. Baker is represented by dc3 Art Projects in Edmonton.

Raven Davis

Raven Davis is an Indigenous, multidisciplinary artist, curator, performer, human rights speaker and community educator from the Anishinaabek Nation in Manitoba. Born and raised in Tkaronto (Toronto) and currently splitting time working between K’jipuktuk (Halifax) and Tkaronto. Raven blends narratives of colonization, race, gender, erotica, their 2-Spirit identity and the Anishinaabemowin language and culture into a variety of contemporary art forms. Raven is also a proud parent to 3 sons. Highlighted in Canadian Art, Must Sees, Raven has been interviewed by No More Potlucks the CBC and the Huffington Post, and has been published in Canadian Art Magazine, Black Girl Dangerous, Plentitude Magazine and The Coast News Paper. Raven was a nominee for the Sobey Art Award in 2016.

Erika Bülle

Mexico City based visual artist obtaining the degree of Doctor of Arts and Design in the area of performance by the FAD - UNAM, with the thesis “112 Kilograms, the performance as a tool in Mexican Fat activism. Pedagogical proposal and production from 2014 to 2017, obtaining the honorable mention and the stimulus to timely graduation. He had the distinction of the UNAM scholarship for doctoral studies, as well as two UNAM supports of school practices for the realization of projects. Selected at the 2018 Tempting Failure Biennial, London. Representative of Latin America at the performance festival, Buzzcut, Scotland, 2017. Biennial Forma and Substance in Guatemala 2017 and Costa Rica 2019. Selected to represent to Mexico at the Rapid Pulse performance festival, Chicago, 2016 and at the festival of performance and video / performance Perfoartnet Colombia and the festival of performance and live art Bem me cuir, Brazil among others. In Mexico it has been presented in different festivals and spaces such as the Rufino Museum Tamayo, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Mexico City, just for mention some. He has 30 years of experience in the practice of performance. He has collaborated with groups of international prestige such as La Pocha Nostra and SEMEFO. He has participated with various conferences in institutional symposia and symposia. There are several testimonial writings of his artistic production. Has several both electronic and print publications. He has 14 years of teaching experience.

Vanessa Dion Fletcher

Vanessa Dion Fletcher employs porcupine quills, Wampum belts, and menstrual blood to reveal the complexities of what defines a body physically and culturally. She links these ideas to personal experiences with language, fluency, and understanding. All of these themes are brought together in the context of her Potawatomi and Lenape ancestry, and her learning disability caused by a lack of short-term memory. Her work is held in the Indigenous Art Center Collection in Gatineau, Quebec, and Seneca College. In 2016, Dion Fletcher graduated from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago with an M.F.A in performance. She is the recipient of the 2017 Textile Museum of Canada Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award.

Luka Fisher

Luka Fisher is a gender queer artist, cultural producer and occasional Russian translator. Their solo work largely explores embodiment and their personal subjectivity as a trans person while their collaborative projects often explore questions of memory, mediation, and voice. They began thinking about performance art and its documentation while working as a producer with artists Kayla tange, Sheree Rose, Tristene Roman, Christopher Zeischegg, and various recording artists courtesy of Records Ad Nauseam to create and promote work that crossed disciplinary boundaries and reveled in performativity. In 2018 they played "Anne" in Director Lyle Kash's majority trans cast/crew feature film, Death and Bowling.  They are currently developing new performance works with Daniel Crook/ Isabelle Sjahsam and writing about Sheree Rose's Video Archive. They hold an MFA in Photo/Media and Integrated Media from CalArts. 

Dana Michel

Dana Michel (b. Ottawa, Canada) is a choreographer and live artist based in Montreal. In 2005, she graduated from the BFA program in Contemporary Dance at Concordia University in her late twenties. Prior to this, she was a marketing executive, competitive runner and football player. She is a 2011 danceWEB scholar (Vienna, Austria) and is currently an artist-in-residence at Usine C (Montreal, Canada) and at the National Art Center of Ottawa. Her first extended-length solo performance piece, Yellow Towel, was featured on the "Top Five" and the "Top Ten" 2013 dance moments in the Voir newspaper (Montreal) and Dance Current Magazine (Canada) respectively. In 2014, she was awarded the newly created ImPulstanz Award (Vienna) in recognition for outstanding artistic accomplishments and was highlighted amongst notable female choreographers of the year by the New York Times. That same year concluded with Yellow Towel appearing on the Time Out New York Magazine "Top Ten Performances" list. Her most recent and critically acclaimed solo, Mercurial George, was premiered at Festival TransAmériques (Montreal) in June 2016. Both pieces are currently on tour. In June 2017, Dana Michel was awarded the Silver Lion for Innovation in Dance by the Venice Biennale (Italy). Always in 2017 she joined Par B.L.eux, a company founded and directed by Benoît Lachambre as associate artist.

Mikiki

Mikiki is a performance and video artist and queer community health activist of Acadian/Mi’kmaq and Irish descent from Newfoundland, Canada. They attended NSCAD and Concordia before returning to St. John's to work as Programming Coordinator at Eastern Edge Gallery. They later moved to Calgary to work as the Director of TRUCK Gallery. Their work has been presented throughout Canada and internationally in self-produced interventions, artist-run centres and public galleries. Their identity as an artist is informed and intrinsically linked to their history as a sexual health educator, harm reduction worker and activist. Mikiki’s creative themes often address safety and responsibility, disclosure and self-determination, community building and reckoning with trauma and loss. Mikiki has worked as a Sexuality Educator in Calgary's public schools, a Bathhouse Attendant in Saskatoon, Drag Queen Karaoke Hostess in St. John's. Mikiki has worked in various capacities in the Gay Men's Health and HIV response in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, and recently in Harm Reduction Outreach and HIV testing. 

Harold Offeh

Harold Offeh was born in Accra, Ghana in 1977 and grew up in London, UK. He is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of history. His work encompasses performance, social practice, video and photography, often using humour as a means to confront the viewer with aspects of contemporary culture and history. He studied at the University of Brighton and the Royal College of Art, London.  Recently Offeh has approached the themes of service and Afro hair culture through collective live engagements with other artists, performers and community participation. He has shown widely both in the UK and abroad.  He lives in Cambridge and works in London and Leeds where he is a senior lecturer in Fine Art at Leeds Beckett University.

Martin O’Brien

Martin O'Brien is a performance artist whose work and research is concerned with physical endurance, hardship and excess in relation to illness and medicine. Through an engagement with his body in extremis, as one with a severe chronic illness - cystic fibrosis - he explores issues of pain and medicine, discipline, abjection and body politics. As part of the EU project 'Trust Me, I'm an Artist: towards an ethis of Art/Science collaboration', O'Brien will present performance work and discuss the ethical issues with experts drawn from performance art, medicine and bioethics.

Adrian Stimson

Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation. He has a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design and MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. He considers himself as an interdisciplinary artist; he exhibits nationally and internationally. His performance art looks at identity construction, specifically the hybridization of the Indian, the cowboy, the shaman and Two Spirit being. Buffalo Boy, The Shaman Exterminator are two reoccurring personas. He is also known for putting his body under stress, in White Shame Re-worked, he pierced his chest 7 times, recreating a performance originally done by Ahasiw-Muskegon Iskew, crawled across the desert in 110 degree heat for What about the Red Man? For Burning Man’s The Green Man and recently dug a TRENCH in a five-day durational performance sunrise to sunset. In 2018 Adrian was awarded the Governor General Award in Visual and Media Arts. He was awarded the Blackfoot Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003, the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award –Hnatyshyn Foundation in 2017.

Sheree Rose

Sheree Rose has been thrilling, shocking and exciting audiences around the world, beginning with her collaborative photography and performances with Bob Flanagan in 1981. Their groundbreaking show Visiting Hours opened at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 1994, and traveled to the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. She collaborated with Mike Kelley on the video One Hundred Reasons, as well as music videos with Nine Inch Nails (Happiness in Slavery), Danzig (It’s Coming Down) and Godflesh (Crush My Soul). She co-produced the Sundance award winning documentary, Sick. Since 2011, she has collaborated with British performance artists, Marin O’Brien, in performance in England, New York and Los Angeles, including Dust to Dust at One Institute, The Viewing at DaDa Fest Liverpool, England and The Ascension at Jason Vass Gallery, Los Angeles.

Nabil Vega

Nabil is a Chicago-based Bengali artist working with new media, photography, socially engaged art and performance. Their most notable projects include “Visiting Thahab” (ongoing), a rich exploration of the contemporary presence and experience of the Muslim femme. Vega creates immersive works that examine elements of our lived experiences as they intersect with identity, personal politics, and queerness. Since 2014 they have been organizing and curating performance and new media works in collaboration with organizations and artist run platforms such as MIX NYC and their own platform VIX: Virtual International Exchange. Vega is recipient of the prestigious Traveling Fellowship (2018) and Springborn Fellowship (2011) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Their works have been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums, festivals and galleries; including a solo exhibition at the New Bedford Museum of Art (2018) and featured in publications such as Emergency Index Vol. 6, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post & The Aerogram.

jes sachse

jes sachse is an artist and curator who addresses the negotiations of bodies moving in public/private space and the work of their care. Often found marrying poetry with sculptural forms, their work has been presented and supported by Dancemakers, the Centre de Création et Recherche O Vertigo (Montréal), Harbourfront Centre, among other centres. Their work and writing has appeared in and been profiled by NOW Magazine, The Peak, Canadian Art, C Magazine, CV2 -The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, Culture and Disability Activism in Canada, and the 40th Anniversary Edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves.

John G. Hampton

John G. Hampton is a curator and artist currently living in Treaty 2 territory, Manitoba and is the Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and Adjunct Curator at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. John holds a Masters of Visual Studies – Curatorial Studies (2014) from the University of Toronto, and a BA in Visual Arts (2009) from the University of Regina and is the former Artistic Director of Trinity Square Video (2013-2016) and Curator at Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum (2010-2013). John is a citizen of Canada, the United States, and the Chickasaw Nation.

Miro Spinelli

Miro Spinelli is a Brazilian artist and researcher based in New York City. He holds a Master’s Degree from the Performing Arts Graduate Program at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and is currently a graduate student at the Performance Studies Program at NYU. Currently, Spinelli is investigating how performance and its radical connection with materiality, writing and dissent can generate forces on the subjects, creating possible counter-ontologies. Since 2014, he has been developing the continuous project and series Gordura Trans (Trans Fat), mixing performance, photographs, texts and installations. More recently he started working on a new installation and performance series named All you touch you change all you change changes you.

Jeffrey Vallance

Jeffrey Vallance was born in 1955 in Redondo Beach, CA. He lives and works in Los Angeles. His work blurs the lines between object making, installation, performance, curating and writing. Often his projects are site-specific such as burying a frozen chicken at a pet cemetery; having audiences with the king of Tonga, the queen of Palau and the presidents of Iceland; creating a Richard Nixon Museum; installing an exhibit aboard a tugboat in Sweden; curating shows in Las Vegas, such as the Liberace and Clown Museum. In Lapland, Vallance constructed a shamanic “magic drum.” In 2004, Mr. Vallance curated the only art-world exhibition of the Painter of Light ™ entitled “Thomas Kinkade: Heaven on Earth.” In 1983, he was host of MTV’s The Cutting Edge and appeared on NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman. In 2004, Vallance received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation award. In addition to exhibiting his artwork, Mr. Vallance has written for Art issues, Artforum, L.A. Weekly, Juxtapoz, Frieze and Fortean Times. He has published several books including: Blinky the Friendly Hen, The World of Jeffrey Vallance, Thomas Kinkade: Heaven on Earth, My Life with Dick, Relics and Reliquaries, and The Vallance.

Writer in Residence: Letch Kinloch

Through writing, publishing, and visual art exploration, Letch Kinloch uses pluralistic investigations to undermine dominant power structures that support patriarchy and other capitalist offshoots such as the pathologization of the body and the corporatization of the arts. She is the founder and programmer of Also As Well Too Artist Book Library & Press, an organization devoted to critical engagement through the artist book form.