Arkadi Lavoie Lachapelle

Canada, Quebec

Born the year of the fall of the Berlin wall and the Polytechnique massacre, raised by a middle-class family in rural Lanaudière, and currently living and working in Montreal, Arkadi Lavoie Lachapelle’s academic experience was influenced by intellectualism, the performative, the student movement of 2012, and by a number of mentors. Since 2008, her artistic adventures, at times anonymous and clandestine, have been realized in her home country, as well as in both small and large European cities.

Arti Grabowski


Arti Grabowski graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland, where he obtained a Diploma (MA) with distinction in the Multimedia Department of Professor Antoni Porczak. He also holds a degree from the Universidad Castilla la Mancha in Cuenca, Spain.

In his 15 years of artistic activity, Grabowski has realized over two hundred actions of striking visual impact, charged with physical energy and an intrinsic sense of humour, as well as thoughtful criticism. Entertaining, horrifying, challenging, and never boring, the physical action images created by Grabowski reveal the absurd, chaotic, and ironic layers of society and human behaviour.

His work has been included in many reknowned performance art, theatre, and video art festivals in Europe, Asia, North and South America. For the past several years, he has also collaborated with ‘Body Snatchers’ Alternative Theatre.

Presented by VIVA!/ Art Nomade

Boryana Rossa


Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Boryana Rossa is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and curator. In 2004, together with the Russian artist and filmmaker Oleg Mavromatti, Rossa established ULTRAFUTURO, an art collective engaged with the social implications and issues of technology and science. In this context, she has shown at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technologies (FACT), Liverpool and the Society for Art and Technology (SAT), Montreal.

Rossa’s individual works, which engage strongly with feminist and gender issues, have been shown internationally at Kunstwerke and Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; Exit Art, NY; Rapid Pulse Performance Art Festival, Chicago; Rencontre internationale d’art performance (RIAP), Quebec; the Moscow Biennial For Contemporary Art, Moscow; the Thessaloniki Biennale, Thessaloniki; the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, NY; and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MUMOK), Vienna.

Rossa completed her PhD on Post Cold-War Gender Performances in Film from the Department of Arts, at Rensselaer, Troy, NY and currently is an assistant professor in the department of Transmedia at Syracuse University, NY. Together with philosopher and activist Stanimir Panayotovand and Oleg Mavromatti, Rossa also co-directs Sofia Queer Forum.

Presented by La Centrale

Dana Michel

Canada, Quebec

Dana Michel is a choreographer and performer based in Montreal. Before obtaining a BFA in Contemporary Dance at Concordia University in her late twenties, she was a marketing executive, competitive runner and football player. She is a 2011 danceWEB scholar (Vienna, Austria) and is currently an artist-in-residence at DanceMakers (Toronto) and at Usine C (Montreal).

An amalgam of choreography, intuitive improvisation, and performance art, her artistic practice is rooted in exploring identity as disordered multiplicity.  She works with notions of performative alchemy and post-cultural bricolage – using live moments, object appropriation, personal history, future desires, and current preoccupations to create an empathetic centrifuge of experience between her and her witnesses.

In 2014, Michel was awarded the newly created ImPulsTanz Award (Vienna) in recognition for outstanding artistic accomplishments, and was highlighted amongst notable female choreographers of the year by the New York Times.

Danny Gaudreault

Canada, Quebec

Danny Gaudreault is an interdisciplinary artist based in Montreal. Over the past decade, Gaudreault has presented his work in performance art festivals and events across Canada (Toronto, Montreal, Québec, Saguenay) as well as in Helsinki, Finland. Often he invents performative actions using everyday objects with fetishized, sacred, or other symbolic associations for both himself and the audience, and often occupies unusual public spaces. In addition to his performance practice, Gaudreault also creates installations, drawings, photos and videos.

Presented by VIVA!

Dorothea Rust


Born in Zug, Dorothea Rust is a visual artist living in Zurich. She is also a cultural theoretician and received her MAS in cultural studies at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Rust’s background is in dance, which includes collaborations with dancers, choreographers and musicians in New York in the 1980s, when the experimental spirit of the Judson Dance Group of the 1960s was still vivid. These experiences have influenced her work up until today.

Since 1986, Rust has been presenting solo performances, teaching activities, and collaborations in museums, art spaces, and off-sites, as well as in dance, music, and performance art festivals in the USA, South America, Asia, and Europe. Her work includes performance art, live actions, lectures, and installation.

She is an organizer and a member of the programming boards of a number of performance events in Switzerland and abroad including, amongst others, DER LÄNGSTE TAG, 16 hour nonstop outdoor performances in Zürich (since 2004 at irregular intervals), GNOM groupe for new music Baden (since 2009), stromereien I Performance Festival Zürich (2010/2011), and Delhi Workshop and Performance Day 2013.

Presented by VIVA!/ FADO


Canada, Quebec

The artistic research of Doyon/Demers, a duo founded in 1987 by Hélène Doyon et Jean-Pierre Demers, principally addresses the relationship between art and life. In a time of cultural democracy and the multiplication of accounts and truths, their creative process inscribes itself in an interdisciplinary practice that strives to resemble the constant selection and identification processes we perform in order to realign ourselves in the quotidian. Thus they examine different fields of activity, productive or not, with the aim of decoding systemic modes of inscription which allow them to create in situ and in socius situations. Yet, a recurring characteristic of Doyon/Demers’s practice is to present work in its own state of accomplishment.

Through performance and participatory devices, they seek to experiment with the immediacy of an artwork
in the same way that daily contingencies are apprehended, within a tense harmony between the familiar and the unknown.

Doyon/Demers have published a number of articles, including the more recent « Ratisser le réel » in Alain-Martin Richard – Performances, manœuvres et autres hypothèses de disparition and « Weaving an undisciplinary research methodology » in Artes e Seus Territórios. Their work has been presented in Canada, Europe, Brasil, Cuba and Japan.

Emilie Monnet

Canada, Quebec

Part Anishnaabe and French, interdisciplinary artist Emilie Monnet founded ONISHKA in 2011 to herald performance-based work created from unique collaborations between artists of different cultures and disciplines. Her work experiments and creates from a place where languages, imagination and memory intersect; telling stories with theatre and media art forms that weave together the symbolic realms of dreams and mythology – both personal and collective.

Under the guidance of Marie Brassard, Monnet created, co-directed, and performed Bird Messengers, which was presented in Vancouver and Montreal and awarded the LOJIQ prize for best Art/Culture project of 2011. In 2012, Monnet directed the musical and theatrical performance Songs of Mourning, Songs of Life, in collaboration with the Aboriginal women’s drum group Odaya and the Rwandan music ensemble, Komezinganzo, to reflect on the individual and collective imprints of genocide. Her artistic engagement is inspired by years of social activism with indigenous organizations in Canada and Latin America, as well as community art projects with incarcerated women and Aboriginal youth.

In addition to graduating from Ondinnok’s First Nations Theatre training program (a partnership with the National Theatre School of Canada) in 2007, Monnet has also studied media arts, and holds an MA in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution from Deusto University, Spain and Uppsala University, Sweden.

Presented by articule

Francys Chenier

Canada, Quebec

Currently pursuing his master’s in interdisciplinary art at the same institution, Francys Chenier received an undergraduate degree in visual and media arts from the Université de Laval in 2010). That same year, he was awarded a dissemination grant from Première Ovation and, in 2013, a research grant from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture (FRQSC). His work has been presented by Est-Nord-Est (2014), Dare-Dare (2013), Folie Culture (2011), la Galerie des Arts Visuels (2010, 2011), and le Festival international du film sur l’art (2009), as well as by Artexte and Praxis Art Actuel (2015). In addition, his works are often realized independently and furtively outside of traditional exhibition spaces.

Jacqueline van de Geer

Netherlands/ Canada, Quebec

Originally from the Netherlands, Jacqueline van de Geer crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 2005 to live and work in Montreal.

Since her immigration to Canada, she has performed for several companies including Le Pont Bridge, Joe-Jack and John, Nervous Hunter, and Compagnie Mobile Home. In addition, her solo performances have been presented across North America. These experiences have provided her with opportunities to collaborate with a wonderfully eclectic community of artists in various domains including dance, integrated arts, theatre and performance.

Van de Geer’s performances draw inspiration from universal themes such as heritage, family, democracy, warring, and the politics of exclusion. She loves working with absurdity, dark humour and irony. In her process, Van de Geer privileges surprise, and seeks to share the excitement of the unexpected with the public. Spectators are invited in a non-invasive manner, to become part of Van de Geer’s live performative experiences; they are drawn in and addressed directly, as if they are in her living room. As a result, creating intimacy and garnering trust are critical to Van de Geer’s practice.

Presented by Skol

Jason Lim


Jason Lim was born in Singapore in 1966. His repertoire of works encompasses ceramics, photography, video art, installation, and performance art. In 2007, he presented Just Dharma and Light Weight at the Singapore Pavilion in the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2010, he was invited as a guest artist to join performance art collective Black Market International in their twenty fifth anniversary celebration tour of Poland, Germany and Switzerland. Over the span of his career, he has been invited to present performances in more than twenty countries.

In addition to his work as a visual artist, he has also organized and created various platforms for alternative art practitioners to meet and collaborate. He was co-Artistic Director and Artistic Director of Future of Imagination 2 (2004), 5 (2008), 7 (2011) & 8 (2012).

Since 1994, Lim’s artistic projects, residencies and travels have been recognized, supported, and awarded with numerous grants and awards from the National Arts Council. He current teaches at the School Of The Arts in Singapore.

Presented by VIVA!

Jean-Philippe Luckhurst-Cartier

Canada, Quebec

Jean-Philippe Luckhurst-Cartier is a multidisciplinary artist working in action art with an interest in mediation, appropriation, and both historical and quotidian journeys. The contexts in which he creates frequently become the source material for his artworks. Whether they emerge from within found objects, installations, paintings or performances, the environments that he explores are personal, micro-political, or potential reflexions on the public and intimate spaces that inhabit us.
His work has been presented by various platforms and organizations such as Espace Projet, articule, Péristyle Nomade, Cercle-Carré, la Maison des arts de Laval, la maison de la culture Maisonneuve, Off-RIAP, and, soon, Folie Culture.

Presented by Skol

John Court

United Kingdom/Finland

John Court explores issues of physical endurance by pushing his body to its absolute limits. Time is also a particularly significant element of his performances, which take the form of endurance pieces always based on the unit of the eight-hour working day.

His practice includes performance, sculpture and Video; however he considers all his work to be fundamentally concerned with drawing, a form that connects the elements of line, movement, space and time.

Court suffers from severe dyslexia and therefore letters appear to him as interesting visual forms rather than comprehensible symbols. At the age of nineteen, he began drawing as a means to comprehend and come to terms with the difficulties he had gone through at school because of his disability, thereby gaining self-confidence and learning to read and write in his own singular way. The mastering of letters and words through repetition is central to the drawings and performances of John Court, as is his playing with language to create new meanings.
Court’s performances have captivated audiences worldwide at events such as Infr’Action Venezia in Venice, Italy (2013); SpaceX Gallery in Exeter UK (2012); Guangzhou Live Art Festival in China; ANTI Contemporary Art Festival in Finland (both 2010); the Venice Biennale (2005); and the Liverpool Biennial (2004).

Presented by DARE-DARE

k.g. Guttman

Canada, Quebec

k.g. Guttman is an artist, choreographer, and researcher who divides her time between in both Amsterdam and Montreal. Her work has been screened, performed and exhibited nationally and internationally at institutions such as Mediamatic (Amsterdam), the Palais de Tokyo and Galerie Khiasma (Paris), the Ottawa Art Gallery (Ottawa), Art Metropole (Toronto), and Galerie La Centrale (Montreal). Her choreographic works have been commissioned by the Canada Dance Festival, Dancemakers, Le Groupe Dance Lab, and the University of Sonora, Mexico. Her performance publication Elapse I & II is in the collection of the Library and Archives of the National Gallery of Canada.

Guttman was a member of Le Groupe Dance Lab from 1999-2004, under the direction of Peter Boneham. From 2008-2013, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Contemporary Dance at Concordia University, Montreal. Currently, Guttman is a candidate in the PhD Arts program of Leiden University and the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague, the Netherlands. Her work, funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, considers relationships between colonialism, choreography, and site-specific interventions.

The artist thanks Martine Viale, Christian Bujold, Kelly Keenan, Marie Claire Forté, and Katie Ward.

Presented by DARE-DARE

Marilyn Arsem


For VIVA! Art Action, Marilyn Arsem presents Spring Arrives So Slowly, a durational work best viewed from the plaza by the walking bridge behind the Atwater Market.

Since 1975, Marilyn Arsem has been creating live events ranging from solo performances, to large scale, site-specific works that incorporate installation and performance. Her work has been presented at festivals, conferences, alternative spaces, galleries, museums and universities in 27 countries in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Many of Arsem’s works are durational in nature, minimal in actions and materials, and located in peripheral spaces in the context of larger events. Viewers often discover the work on their way to seeing other performances. Arsem has focused on creating works in response to specific sites, engaging with the immediate landscape and materiality of the location, its history, use or politics. Selected sites have included a former Cold War missile base in the United States, a 15th century Turkish bath in Macedonia, an aluminum factory in Argentina, the grounds of an abandoned tuberculosis sanatorium in Poland, and the site of the Spanish landing in the Philippines.

Arsem is a member of Mobius, Inc., an interdisciplinary collaborative of artists which she founded in 1975. She taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for 27 years, establishing one of the most extensive programs in visually-based performance art in the world.

Presented by DARE-DARE

Sandra Johnston

Northern Ireland

Sandra Johnston lives and works in Northern Ireland and since 1992 has explored the areas of site-responsive performance, video installation and drawing. Her practice has often proposed alternative approaches to considering the aftermath of trauma, particularly in relation to ideas of location, testimony and empathetic communication. Experiential in nature, her performance actions are directly improvised in selected situations and assembled mainly from found objects. In this regard, the actions often behave like relics salvaged from a forgotten moment – flawed, inexact and silent.

Johnston has been involved in several University teaching & research positions since 2002, including an AHRC Research Fellowship at the University Of Ulster in Belfast, investigating issues of ‘Trauma of Place’. In 2007 she was the ‘Ré Soupault’ Guest Professor at the Bauhaus University, Weimar. Currently, she is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Northumbria University in England. In 2013 she published her PhD project, Beyond Reasonable Doubt: An Investigation of Doubt, Risk and Testimony Through Performance Art Processes in Relation to Systems of Legal Justice, with LIT, Munich. Additionally, she is a co-founder and committee member of various artist-run collectives in Belfast, such as: CATALYST ARTS, BBEYOND, and AGENCY.

Presented by articule

Soufïa Bensaïd

Tunisia/Canada, Quebec

At 5 years old I am an artist.
At 10 years old I am a detective.
At 15 years old I am a researcher.
At 20 years old I am a student in math and physics.
At 25 years old I am a hydraulic engineer.
At 30 years old I am a Canadian immigrant.
At 35 years old I am free.
At 40 years old I am an artist.

Soufïa Bensaïd was born in Tunis in 1970. As a self-taught artist, her professional training has been tailored by national and international artists in the context of workshops at Studio 303, Circuit-Est, the RAIQ and artist–run centres. In 2012, she was the recipient of a mentorship grant awarded by Montréal, arts interculturels for career development. Her work has been frequently presented locally, most notably as part of the Edgy Women festival, the MAI’s Eclektic festival, and Art Souterrain, as well as at Studio 303, articule, Dare-Dare, Eastern Bloc and Fonderie Darling. She has also presented her work outside of Montreal through platforms such as Visualeyez in Edmonton; Fado in Toronto; the Torino performance Art festival in Italy; the Cyprus International Performance Art Festival workshops; as well as in artist residencies and academic contexts in France. Currently, her work is part of the travelling exhibition Imago Mundi, commissioned by the patron Luciano Benetton.


Presented by Praxis Art Actuel

Sylvie Cotton

Canada, Quebec

Each night of the festival, at cocktail hour, Sylvie Cotton will offer a short participatory action, for which instructions will be given at 6pm. Since 2001, Cotton has made a regular use of “blind-folded” work and silence to shape and practice performance in different locations, in solo or duo. She will invest once again these specific sensory conditions, but in the broader context of a captive assembly and reversing the order: it’s your turn to practice! With this simple guideline as a starting point, she will create an immersive variation every night, turning it into choreography.

Sylvie Cotton inhales the ordinary, tragic, and magical situations offered by life, exhaling them into the field of art as simply and as directly as possible. In fact, this is what she enjoys making art do and what art enjoys making her say: showing things the way they are, without much manipulation, and appreciating the fact that circumstances of existence (encounters, chance, accidents, the unpredictable) are often in and of themselves naturally aesthetic. In other words, art allows truth to be unveiled or, as she has herself stated, “Art consists of showing what we hide”.

To create her artworks, which she names “projects” because of their constant movement, Cotton draws from diverse artistic forms: performance and action art, drawing, photography, installation, and writing (aphorisms and diagrams). The chosen form responds to the punctual necessities of her projects, which often include people—whose presence enables the living and vibrant dimension of the artwork to emerge. “Without others there is no art. The present and the other is all that we have. An artists is nothing without the alterity that speaks to them and awakens them to the world, which precisely alters and de-alters.”

Presented by VIVA!

Victoria Gray

United Kingdom

An action may be gentle, but it is not benign.

Victoria Gray is an artist and practice-led researcher. She has presented work in galleries and performance festivals in the UK, USA, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain.

Often durational, her actions utilise slowness and stillness, which, in conjunction with performing unsighted, brings a cellular-attention to kinesthetic sensations. Specifically, she is interested in that which subsists at the sentient level of the bones, muscles, organs, fluids, glands and nerves. This cellular-attention aims to disturb “common-sense” hierarchies of sensory organisation, activating the political potential of a body that is intimately attuned to affective experience. Each work is highly contingent upon the audience’s particular presence, and the specificities of each performance space. In this sense, like time, affect becomes a material in performance; it is “shaped” moment-by-moment in an immediate exchange between performer, audience and site.

Alongside Nathan Walker, Gray is co-director of Oui Performance (York, UK). Currently, she is a PhD candidate at Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London.

Supported by the Artists’ International Development Fund, awarded by Arts Council England and the British Council.

Presented by VIVA!/ FADO