Companion

You turn around all you see is concrete blocks and stray cats. In our neighbors’ balcony lived a monkey in a cage. This was when Lelia Marche used to force mackerel in tomato sauce on me, as a result of which I got fish bones stuck in my throat.
In the evening, as my mother was preparing dinner, the doorbell rang. It was my father’s absence – a woman and a man dressed in trench coats – exchanging bones for money.
It looks like every person is from this land. I am noticeable because I do not look like one of them. But I am not bothered, nor are they.I want to tell you how these things look to me. I’m not sure if this is a culture shock. I recognize that things are different, but I’m just a viewer, I’m not a participant. Maybe, also, since being away from my culture for so long, I don’t feel these new environments as a “shock”. The words you’ve taught me are useful. I’m not sure how well I’m being understood, but I prefer saying these words rather than using English. This makes me foreign and harder to place. I wonder how many Canadians come here. I wonder how many of my Canadian friends know this place exists. I didn’t until I met you. 

Companion, stemming from the latin ‘com’ and ‘panis’ quite literally means together with bread. Whilst not visibly present in the collaborative performance and accompanying publication, this idea of breaking bread remains pivotal to the project’s inception. During their time apart the artists used bread as the conduit for collaborative art making, a tie between their practices despite physical distances.

Continuing a dialogue raised in past work, Gloria Avgust and Marika Vandekraats intimately enact a series of gestures which speak to ideas of friendship, womanhood/femininity, distance and co-existence. The attached suits made for this piece situate the two artists in an awkwardly unified position. Therein they are challenged to navigate movement as they proceed to enact motions which evoke love and care towards the accompanying objects.

Through moments of conjunction and separation, the performance is symbolic of the artists’ shared experience which began while Vandekraats lived in Rotterdam in 2017. Their past work considers similar interactions with the objects, found fabrics and sculptural elements which, through echoed movement, reveal the quiet intimacies that connect their practices.

Performance together with Marika Vandekraats, conjoined suit, bowling ball, scissors, ceramic cup, wine, a candle with two ends, 2018

Project was shown with #3 Gallery at CSA space, Vancouver.

Documentation courtesy of Sahand Mohajer.

Suit tailored with the help of Annebel de Kok.

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