Performing Arts Curation Meetup #3

Deanna Peters, August 2016

I've been running Performing Arts Curation Meetups in Vancouver. We are a growing group of artists, presenters and curators who really care about performance and how it is disseminated. Here are some 'casual' minutes from our third gathering with expert guest, dance artist and curator Jenn Goodwin. If you're in the Vancouver area and want to drop by, please get in touch (see contact info below). If you're in the Toronto area, I'm taking part in Who cares? A think tank of wishful thinking' moderated by Jenn Goodwin, Aug 11, 2pm @ The Factory Theatre, a part of SummerWorks' The Conversations. We'll be chatting about what needs to be assessed and addressed as dance and visual art continue to connect with greater depth and frequency. We also touch on some of these possibilities, and more, in the notes below.

Meetup #3
Apr 27, 2016
guest Jenn Goodwin

Went to Concordia. Work got programmed, ie Studio 303. Also worked art admin jobs. Producer/Programmer at Nuit Blanche Toronto for ten years (minus 2 babies/maternity leaves). Had budgets to pay artists and herself. Rock 'n' roll, but in a beige cubicle: ACDC shirts under a blazer. Bureaucratic, sometimes combative. Sexist environment. A mother with that mouth?! Had to do a lot of political maneuvering – municipal dealing (Rob Ford). Civil servant. The environment is not big on individual empowerment or identity. Worked full-time and kept dancing. How do you ask Weiwei for marketing info when it's way past the deadline? Visual arts in public space is different than in galleries. How to curate/program for parks, streets, buildings, car washes, temporary spaces?

Inspired by conversations with Barbara Fisher. Got in to Masters in Visual Studies, Curatorial Studies program at University of Toronto. Coming from a tough/toxic work environment and some weak management, Jenn realized her confidence was in the toilet, so she sought out new experiences. She was first dance person in the program.

Tate, Walker, Whitney have performance departments. Exciting time, but needs attention. Don't want dance to get lost or to stop moving. Do we fit into a new environment or is different work getting a space? Still more discourse in visual arts though.

MOCA's new space in Toronto had a dance lover at the helm. They are installing sprung floors in the gallery. Infiltrating from the inside.

Jenn and artist/curator Jessica Rose created and performed The Movement Movement, long runs around galleries/arts institutions that created temporary public art works and participatory social projects. Choreographic sculpture: "running an institution together". How do you engage with your body while seeing visual art? You don't need a lot to bridge the gap.

Don't ask! Tell me what you need.

Shannon Jackson - Social Works. Exposing the system of infrastructural support. We all need each other.

This year, Jenn is the dance curator at SummerWorks. Curate with care. Stand by what you believe, even if it is not as hip.

History of hierarchy in dance. In visual arts, curator is considered to have artistic practice. Not the same in performing arts; so many parameters that aren't inherently artistic.

Difference between critique, criticality and criticism.

Andre Lepecki – dance theorist, NYU.

Let's choreograph our relationships.

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See our post Performing Arts Curation Meetup #1 & #2 for notes from our previous gatherings