“UN/FREEZE” by Kama La Mackerel
Wednesday, Nov 23
Main Entrance, Faculty of Education
3700 McTavish (**NOTE: Because of safety concerns, the city of Montreal has prohibited pedestrian traffic on upper McTavish Street until at least December 7. Those who need to get to the Faculty of Education will have to use pathways from Peel Street)
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UN/FREEZE is a durational interactive performance piece that also functions as an art installation. I explore the embodied and emotional reaction of “freezing” when experiencing a microaggression.
In this 2-hour durational piece, I occupy and move through a space that is also an installation made of cages constructed out of chicken wires. I wear chicken wires around my body to restrict my movement, I move extremely slowly, slowing down time to instill the discomfort of freezing. This durational piece seeks to explore and translate the hardness, pain and discomfort of the marginalized body in spaces that are not safe. The performance-in-installation takes place between two sets of doors, in a liminal space, at the cusp of the entrance/exit of the Faculty of Education at McGill University.
THE AUDIENCE IS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE in the performance by writing an anecdote, a story, a testimony of a time when they experienced a microaggression within an institution. They are then invited to roll their testimony, to tie it with a chicken coop wire and to come into the performance space. Once in the performance space, they are invited to think of the narrative that they wrote, to take a deep breath and then breathe out and let go of everything they need to let go of. They then let go of their written testimony by leaving it in the installation. As the performance happens, the installation evolves and grows heavier as each of the participant lets go of their testimonies and feelings.
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Kama La Mackerel is Artist-in-Residence with the Department of Integrated Studies in Education, at McGill University's Faculty of Education.