TRANSMUTED International Performance Festival
Curated by Pancho López
April 26-27, 2012
Ex Teresa Arte Actual
Curatorial Text: Non-Canadian Canadians
By Pancho López
A couple of visits to Canada were enough for me to become aware of its cultural multiplicity. My skin was imprinted with a never-ending exchange of experiences and situations in an active cultural scene filled with rivers of people circulating night and day… As a mere spectator, my body was exhausted from moving along its currents; as an artist, my head was spinning fast.
The exchange unfolded in layers, like an onion, slowly peeling, yielding its scent and taste, resulting in a heavily spiced atmosphere. Cities like Vancouver and Toronto share some of their secrets despite being located at almost opposite ends of their vast country; the secrets of permanence, difference, and an invitation to stay. Many people seek new possibilities, challenges, and change. Among so many secrets, I observed something fascinating: something so old, it revealed itself as unique, even as it has existed in my own house for so many years. People that pass through, that stay, that decide to remain, that move in, that move out… people that live, seek and invent a new life for themselves.
Canadians in transit, under construction.
These recent visits allowed me to meet new people, new ways of performing in a foreign environment, new ways to assume the surroundings and make them one’s own. I found a parallel universe within the grand stage of the city. I surrounded myself with these people-in-transit that fight to stay, and have managed to remain. This parallel universe also exists in México, but this journey compelled me to contemplate it and extract it. To point towards difference from a space of belonging. Being a visitor, as I was just as alien, but I fit in this grand stage of the foreign, in this space alone, with the same possibility of staying– eyes shining–as I caressed the next layer of the onion. How to construct oneself again? How to insert oneself adequately? Survival is the ultimate test and experimentation is of the essence. The body, our body, is the only weapon at our disposal. It is the principal instrument avaliable to write our histories.
The idea of further observing this experience arises from notions of identity, citizenship, belonging: concepts that define, that mark… Selecting a small group of Canadian artists from different nationalities, TRANSMUTED seeks to (re) construct or (re) signify this state of being, where one simultaneously is and isn’t, where change is the name of the game, and difference is an everyday reality.