Workshop: A Dance of Symbols

October 24, 2018

A Dance of Symbols is a workshop designed by Leisure in collaboration with DHC/ART Education. It is offered in conjunction with the exhibition Jasmina Cibic: Everything That You Desire and Nothing That You Fear, which runs from October 25, 2018 to March 3, 2019.

“… our work together exists in between us; it comes from us, but is different than both of us. At times we have referred to our work as a place that we can go—or a shared leap of imagination. Our process is intuitive, often visual or narrative. In past projects we have tried to illustrate our form of communication by creating new narratives and pairs with the existing images.”
– Leisure

Leisure’s workshop, A Dance of Symbols, playfully explores expressions of self-identity and group collaboration through Expo 67-era aesthetics of design and choreography. World exhibitions like Expo 67 gave different nations an opportunity to present their own identities to others through the creation of temporary pavilions. Within these pavilions, events, performances, and works of art (often abstract) helped shape and define a certain image of a nation.

Similarly, in A Dance of Symbols Leisure invites participants to choose an abstract form—a circle, a square or a triangle—and move through different stations to create their own personal symbolic object. Stations will be comprised of tactile creative interventions such as gradients, stencils, stamps, and stripes. Individual symbolic objects, once completed, will become props for a collective performance. Participants are invited to manipulate their forms during a live composition that will be documented: each group will leave with an instant photo as a memento.

Leisure is a conceptual, collaborative art practice between Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley, both based in Montréal. Working together under the name “Leisure” since 2004, they engage with cultural and historical narratives through research, conversation, published texts, curatorial projects, and art production. Leisure has produced exhibitions and special projects in Canada and abroad, and participated in residencies at The Rooms (St. John’s, Newfoundland, 2016), KIAC (Dawson City, Yukon, 2010), Kunstverein das weisse haus (Vienna, Austria, 2008), and Banff Centre for the Arts (Banff, Alberta, 2007). Their recent research on collaboration, gesture, and spatial narrative includes How One Becomes What One Is (Musée d’art de Joliette, 2018), Conversation with Magic Forms (VU Photo, 2017), Panning for Gold/Walking You Through It (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2017), Conversations with Magic Stones as part of The Let Down Reflex (EFA, New York, 2016), and Dualité/Dualité (Artexte, Montreal, 2015).

Book a Visit and a Workshop!

We invite any group of ten people or more to reserve a guided visit with one of our educators. These visits are designed for groups of all types: primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, community centres and language schools, as well as the general public. Visits last 1½ hours.

Groups who reserve a guided visit of the exhibition Jasmina Cibic: Everything That You Desire and Nothing That You Fear also have the opportunity to take part in the art workshop A Dance of Symbols, designed by the artists Leisure and DHC/ART Education. To reserve a group visit, please contact: [email protected].

Photo: Dahlia Cheng