Pauline Smith, the P. Lantz donor, joined us on March 22nd for an afternoon of performances to celebrate the arts in the Faculty of Education and culminate the work done by the Artists-in-Residence (AiR) 2017-18. The Art Hive was abuzz with a video screening of Sing the Brave Song (Mindy Carter, DISE & Hala Mriwed, PhD student), exhibitions of students’ work – “zines as artful educational method” ( Layal Shuman’s EDEA 241 students) and “conceptualizing the image of the child” (Sheryl Gilman- Smith’s EDEE 253 students), and a paper quilling workshop. Visiting AiR Jai Nitai Lotus sampled music at his mixing station and AiR Victoria Stanton unveiled her movable installation of giant pillows, Lobby Oasis. The pillows, imprinted with architectural elements found in the Education Building were, and continue to be, a comfortable seat to fall into in the McGill Art Hive Initiative (MAHI).
The second part of the afternoon took place in the open space adjacent to the MAHI. We were given a demonstration of Queer Tango with PhD student’s Pamela Lamb and Katja Philipp. In turn, the pair then encouraged everyone to try out the steps. This was a wonderfully new and refreshing experience of a dance form that is so often deeply sexualized and based on male dominance.
At the finnisage we were introduced to the Visiting AiR, Deborah Maia de Lima. Deborah is a dancer and choreographer who believes everyone can dance – she achieves this through “props” that encourage movement – unbelievably, with the simple presentation of a feather Deborah was able to get everyone onto the dance floor! It was magical to see each person in their own way move to the music as their feather directed their movements.
The afternoon ended with a collaborative installation and performance with AiRs Victoria Stanton and Aaron Richmond. The large space was filled with the light and sounds of now ancient technology/ audio visual devices – overhead and slide projectors, tape players, and disused studio furniture. As Aaron brought the visual and sculptural elements to the space, Victoria paced through the area responding to the space and the sounds of the technology. Through their concentrated movements, they slowed down time and gave the audience an opportunity to reflect on the passage of time and the way we retain sounds as memory and a vestige of the past. The collaboration ended when Victoria carefully wrote on the black wall ‘under here is a secret’ – as a reference to a previous art installation in that space.