KinesTHESES presents claude wittmann and Esther Ferrer


Esther Ferrer, Le chemin se fait en marchant, Netherlands 2002 PHOTO Allard Willense © Esther Ferrer


The Toronto Performance Art Collective’s KinesTHESES performance art residencies continue through November with events featuring claude wittmann and Esther Ferrer.

drop in and i will pay you $15/hour: we will build bicycle wheels together to fundraise money for a lawyer with claude wittmann

MONDAY November 18 2 – 4 pm
land acknowledgment through a reading from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report (2015)
TUESDAY November 19 2 – 5 pm
WEDNESDAY November 20 2 – 5 pm
day of silent rest on site, open to visits
THURSDAY November 21 to SATURDAY November 23 2 – 5 pm
drop-in (ASL interpretation available on November 21)

at Tangled Art + Disability basement space
401 Richmond Street West, basement level (wheelchair accessible)

Cosponsored by Tangled Art + Disability with additional support from bikechain, Switchback Cyclery and Urbane Cyclist Workers Co-op

what will happen?

  • anybody is invited to come for any amount of time
  • claude will guide you through choosing and doing a task (lace or true a wheel, record sounds, clean the space, learn about social assistance and write a letter, do some accounting, etc.). when you are done, he will pay you
  • the bicycle wheels will be sold and the profit will go toward hiring a lawyer to consider what legal action could be done to improve the lives of ODSP recipients
  • the accounting book will be the only documentation

“this project emerges from the insights of a crisis time experienced in 2017, more particularly from the realization that it is personally and politically troubling (for me) to create art as labs of a parallel life. in crisis, our kinesthetic sense informs us that the body can vanish from consciousness, not because of a pathology but because of systemic erasure. there, there is no entitlement. there is no energy or time for art. any experiments about life can add to erasure. your crisis might be different, but in the end, it might not be different. so what’s next when there is enough of a body attached to consciousness and substantial support to participate in KinesTHESES?”

claude wittmann writes: “i will offer this: i do not know how to construct a narrative about myself at the moment. please feel free to visit”

Traversing a square in every possible way by Esther Ferrer, led by Francisco-Fernando Granados

SUNDAY November 24 10 am – 6 pm
Dundas St. and Yonge St. 10 am – 11 am
Yonge St. and Bloor St. 12 pm – 1 pm
Bloor St. W. and Spadina Ave. 2 pm – 3 pm
Spadina Ave. and Dundas St. W. 5 pm – 6 pm

Traversing a square in every possible way translates one of Ferrer’s signature performance scores, Recorrer un cuadrado de todas las formas posibles, into a site-specific action happening at some of Toronto’s busiest downtown intersections. The idea is simple: four points, each designated with a letter (A, B, C, D) form a square. The performer then explores a suite of proposed trajectories that generate variations on how to make one’s way through the square. The action mediates between pre-established paths of movement and the agency individuals have in terms of how they move.

Since her early work in the 1960s as part of the Fluxus-associated ZAJ collective, Esther Ferrer has used bodies, time, and space as the primary elements for the creation of performances that extend minimal conceptual structures into richly embodied meditations on the power of presence, variation, and possibility. Ferrer’s work emerges from strategies of cultural resistance to the conventions and aesthetics of the Franco dictatorship in Spain and articulates forms of self-determination for the individual that are deeply informed by feminist and anarchist politics. Her work is consistently radical in its commitment to an economy of means, and to the notion that within her work “all variation are valid, including this one.”

About KinesTHESES

KinesTHESES is a six-month project featuring artists Barak adé Soleil, Margaret Dragu, Esther Ferrer, Fiona Griffiths, Louise Liliefeldt, Stephanie Marshall, Robin Poitras, Jessica Thompson, claude wittmann, and Sakiko Yamaoka.

German philosopher Edmund Husserl used the term “the kinestheses” to describe the perceptual experiences of bodily movement. He argued that these senses, above all, are the core of subjectivity. The fact that we can feel ourselves move, and that we have an innate sense of our position in space, is foundational to our ability to conceive of ourselves as “I”s.

KinesTHESES features works that take the notion of “moving” their audiences in the most literal sense. Rather than engaging audience members simply as sets of eyes and ears, these projects remind us that we are, above all, animate forms: tactile-kinesthetic creatures that first learn who we are and discover our world by moving through our environment as bodies experiencing dynamic flows and encountering surfaces and textures. These are the building blocks of what we come to recognize as time, space and matter.


TPAC, best known for its biennial 7a*11d festival, was established in 1997 by a group of local performance artists and organizers, keen to create a forum for performance, live and action art in Toronto. Since then, Toronto has proven itself to be performance art-centric, and what began as the first 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art has continued to grow and offer audiences the best of contemporary performance art from around the world. Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council for their generous support of this project.

The Toronto Performance Art Collective is Golboo Amani, Shannon Cochrane, Paul Couillard, Francisco-Fernando Granados, Johanna Householder, Tanya Mars, and Bojana Videkanic.


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