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Jess Dobkin

October 25, 2017

Jess Dobkin will be presenting Our Future, Our Fate, Our Fortune, a site-specific performance in Akimbo’s booth at Art Toronto from October 26 to 29. Her performance and curatorial projects are presented at museums, galleries, theatres, universities, and in public spaces internationally. Her recent projects include: The Magic Hour, a performance art project developed through The Theatre Centre Residency program; MONOMYTHS, a one-year project co-curated with Shannon Cochrane and produced by FADO Performance Art Centre; The Artist-Run Newsstand, a one-year artist-run newsstand that operated in a vacant subway station newsstand kiosk. Her photographic images, created to accompany her performances, are also published and exhibited as stand-alone works. Her film and video works are distributed by Vtape.

1. The thinning of the Veil

We are in the season of the thinning of the Veil Between the Worlds. Bring on the magical, metaphysical, mystical, and paranormal. It’s time for increased intuition, communication with ancestors, and contact with the Other Side. The opening between physical and spiritual is ripe and ready. Leaves are changing colour. Cats are prowling in the alleyway. The portal is open.

Tis the season. Magic is afoot.

2. Tikkun Olam

The literal translation of this Hebrew phrase is “repair the world.” It calls on human responsibility and action; it teaches that we are in service to each other and to our world. It frames social justice – in all its profound and routine expressions – as sacred and spiritual work.

My current daily practice of picking up cigarette butts. So many to be found on the streets of Toronto. (photo: Shannon Cochrane)

3. This is a Witch Hunt

There was a time – and it was for a long time – that the abuse and violence I experienced made me feel unique and distinctive. I held it as “my story.” I believed I had to journey from victim to survivor. I believed I needed to break silence, seek justice, find forgiveness. But it has never been clearer to me that acts of violence are convention and a component of white supremacist patriarchy. The police and courts do not serve and protect us, and my capacity to speak out has little to do with my individual strength or courage. Where most incidents of sexual violence happen alone and in isolation, art provides an antidote – a shared experience where we impart truths, bear witness, and experience wholeness. I’m beholden to artists and activists, teachers and guides, crones and children for producing rituals of healing and transcendence. I’m grateful for creative space to broach difficult issues, where we are all implicated, and where we can all have an impact.

Brandie Taylor’s Magic Hour ritual candle for Revolution (

4. The magic of mentorship

I’ve been thinking about mentorship and imaginative ways we can support and encourage each other and feel connected to the lineage and web of us. How do we come together and hold each other up? My ladyfriend is a mentor with Queer Art Mentorship, a NYC program that pairs established and emerging artists for intergenerational connection, exchange, and learning. Toronto-based artist Vivek Shraya has been creating mentorship opportunities for young queer artists of colour in Canada. Inspired.

Magical Mentor Vivek

5. Tiny grains of sand and collapsed stars colliding

For perspective, my dear ones...

Hubble view of young superstar cluster Westerlund 1

Sand magnified x250



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