PSi #21 Fluid States - Canada, Transmontreal Day 2, by Convenor Amelia Jones

Transmontreal – Day 2

by Amelia Jones

20 September 2015

PSi#21 Fluid States - Canada


PDF available here


The first panel, run by Anne Bénichou, on “(Re)performance and Transhistoricity” ((Re)Performance et transhistoricité) included four excellent presentations, in French (mainly), addressing abstract aspects of reperforming in relation to dance (Noémie Solomon), and specific case studies of dance archives and creative or “anarchival” projects playing with historic dance imagery in Québec (Catherine Lavoie-Marcus), the work of Anthea Thauberger redoing the redoing of Marquis de Sade work on the murder of Marat, via theatre and film precursors (Geneviève Chevalier), and the multiple recreations of Françoise Sullivan’s foundational Québec dance from 1948  (often via the photographs by Maurice Perron), including recently by Luis Jacob and the queer Toronto drag performer Keith Cole. 

The final panel was our joint session with Regina. I will let them answer to their part of this, but our moderator, Inuk scholar and theorist Heather Igloliorte first pointed out to us that “we are on Mohawk land,” and we were all aware that outside our window in the McGill University quad was the annual Mohawk powwow. We could hear the drums. And this just a few days after the Mohawk issued a letter to the chancellor of McGill demanding that McGill make reparations for the taking of these lands, which were not paid for:

The discussion we had in closing expanded upon the themes of the Regina panel as well as of the panels preceding it: who speaks for whom; what does “improvisational” mean in relation to political issues such as those indigenous people face in Canada? what is the goal of speaking about or doing performative acts? is it enough to speak of “giving voice” to the marginalized? We discussed the need to make ourselves aware (no matter how we identify) of how and when and in what situations we feel threatened and to work, perform, teach, and practice from that position of self awareness. We spoke finally, thanks to Noémie Solomon citing Foucault, of moving past liberatory rhetoric to invent (and do) practices.

What a great event. I attach here a photo of McGill’s attempt to celebrate “autochtone” (indigenous) issues, the Montréal group participating in the Regina panel, and our celebratory dinner, at La Tamalera (a Mexican restaurant in Montréal, speaking of the “fluid states” that characterize life in the global cosmopolitan centers so many of us occupy) which includes about a quarter of the people participating overall. 


Copyright –  Amelia Gones  (2015) “Transmontreal – Day 2”, PSi #21 Fluid States: Performances of UnKnowing LOG, ed. Marin Blazevic, Bree Hadley and Nina Gojic, Performance Studies international (PSi), 1 January 2015-31 December 2015, available

Tags: Gender Sexuality and Performance  Performance Studies in the Americas   

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