Tableau Vivant: Eaton’s Catalogue 1976

Those of us whom was raised in united states within the 1960s and 70s lacked art, Bible tales, and history as universal recommendations. The tome that shaped our values most tangibly ended up being the emporium catalogue, a wish guide of that which we might have and whom we’re able to be when it was got by us. Gender ended up being demonstrably defined, competition had been single, and course had been center. The most-read book of our Canadian youth in this performance we use the tableau form to enact a page from the Eaton’s catalogue. We now have paired women’s formals (a appearance we now have had trouble effectively fitting into) with restroom plumbing work to invoke the bounty that is endless cleanliness and hope that the catalogue implied. Three ladies stay in vacant stillness, water streaming through the spouts at their breasts.

Duration: The 15 moment performance is duplicated twice an hour or so

First performed: March 1998, Hallwalls Centre for modern Art, Buffalo, nyc. Afterwards done at Counterposes, Montreal, curated by Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick.

Astroart area Corps

Commanders Dempsey and Millan are getting ready to enter deep room, to build up revisionist stellar cartography and explore the resistant nature of anti-matter.

First performed: 2014, La Nuit Blanche, Calgary, Alberta september

Photos by Lindsey Bond

Big Wig

The revolting together with revolutionary, the reviled additionally the revered are united by locks in this time travelling sing-along. Through the wigged ladies of Ancient Rome to your hirsute levels of seventeenth century France to those extremely hairy 1960s: the world’s many infamous queen traces the real history of radical tresses while thinking democracy.

“we want personal revolution. I do want to cut back field tops, and purchase one out of the mail. I’d like anachronism and misconception, as well as the myth that is anachronistic things are certain to get better. I wish to be pretty and only a little tragic, not too tragic for the reason that it would make me personally dead. “

Duration: 35 webcam dudes min.

First done: 2017 Queer City Cinema Camp, Trash, Filth festival in Regina, Saskatchewan, curated by Gary Varro june

Revised: 2017 Isolated Landscapes in Winnipeg, Manitoba, curated by Kathy Rae Huffman november

Photos By Karen Asher and Anita Lubosch

The Dress Series

The Dress Series (1989-1996), a small grouping of performances that explore the gown as the female costume that is ceremonial icon of femininity. Within these pieces, fabric is changed by not likely materials, producing juxtaposition, brand brand new definitions and upending expectations. All costumes fabricated by Dempsey and Millan.

The pro/antagonist defends herself against racial and economic difference by clothing herself in the domestic architecture of the times: the house/dress is her shimmering, clean fortress and her prison in Arborite Housedress. For the piece she reveals her worries (such as for example gravity, or driving a car that “parts of my dangerously sagging self might result in bad neighborhoods”) and her fantasies (border town romances, getting down with dust, and also the reduction of her household, herself more fully to being a homemaker) so she will have time to devote. The wearable sculpture/costume has been exhibited at numerous galleries and it has been bought by The Winnipeg memorial as an element of their permanent collection.

“Have you ever pointed out that in the event that you clean the ground each morning, by nightfall it appears to be simply the just like just before began? That can be done most of the meals, plus in a matter of hours some one has gone and dirtied them once again? That kids are small magnets that are grime picking right on up all method of stubborn spots and bringing them house once again? Well, I Am thinking. If i possibly could be rid of my loved ones, it might effortlessly cut could work load by 60%. ”

The Dress: lumber, laminate, chrome kitchen area equipment, screws, fabric, Velcro.

Duration: 25 mins

First performed: 1994, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta february

Photos by Sheila Spence

The world-weary mother of God proffers wry advice and sage warnings from behind her stained glass dress in Glass Madonna. Fashioned just like a two-dimensional carnival cutout with holes on her arms and mind, the gown is a colourful and explicit rendering for the Virgin Mary’s familiar apparel, with a particular peek-a-boo panel of clear cup to show the basis associated with the Madonna’s fame: her 2000 year-old hymen. In her own never-the-same-twice visitations, Mary remarks on love, solution, while the guys inside her life.

“When he comes to you personally on a dream-filled evening, delivers their angels to honk their horn at your door, don’t be home. ”

The Dress: stained cup, leading, patina, oak, stain, equipment

Duration: 20 mins

First performed: 1994, Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta (evolved from earlier performance piece The Plaster Virgin, 1992 february)

Picture The Banff Centre

In Object/Subject of Desire t he main visual element in this performance is a big ball gown, made of crisp white paper, similar to a debutante dress. Stiff and translucent, delicate yet unyielding, the gown rustles noisily as Dempsey moves and talks.

In this costume the numerous complexities of desire are talked about, like the numerous means desire could be negated. The purity and purity associated with gown, the available expression of “wanting”, and also the sweetness of distribution, together create an presumption that the thing of love talked about may be the conventional partner that is heterosexual. Nevertheless, these cultural presumptions are confronted through the section that is last of piece, as she finally, clearly, reveals the carnality of her desire to have an other woman.

“i would like you, to desire me personally. I really want you to definitely even want me though I do not want you. I do not would like you at all, but i’d like everybody else to. I would like everybody else to want you, but I do not would like you to definitely wish other people but me personally. All i would like can be your want. ”

The Dress: vellum, packing tape, Velcro

Duration: five full minutes

First performed: Red Deer university, Alberta, December 1988 (previously version done in 1987 before Dempsey started collaboration with Millan)

Picture by Lorri Millan

The performer wears an iconic wedding gown, the classic raiment of femininity, virginity and promise in Plastic Bride. Nevertheless, the gown’s meant meaning is changed by its construction, from veil to coach, of clear plastic. The materials encases the bride suggesting more medical recommendations to human anatomy bags and clinical specimens, or commodities bagged and exhibited to buy. Disturbing, dream-like and funny, love and fashion, desire and denial are done in the gown’s folds that are unforgiving.

“You have actually gone shopping with a buddy, your sibling and even your mother that is own been told, ‘It’s perfect. It really is you. It really is a knockout, ’ only to discover later on it’s a funeral, maybe perhaps maybe not a marriage. It really is July, maybe maybe perhaps not December. You’re a nurse, maybe not an aviator. ”

The Dress: clear plastic, fishing line, buttons

Duration: 20 moments