Western Canada: Performance Art of the Pacific Rim

Thursday, October 27, 2005 — 7:30pm
Nickle Galleries

A brief and informative view of the artistic practice of John G. Boehme. John’s work integrates new practices with a trans-disciplinary approach, which often incorporates the vocabulary of sculpture and painting, performance, photography, video, digital technology, and installation. As you will see from the attached curriculum vitae, over the past thirteen years John has developed an extensive exhibition record both nationally and internationally. United States (Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland International Performance Festival Boston, Seattle), Canada (Toronto,Ottawa,Newfoundland,Calgary,Vancouver, Saskatoon, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Toronto, Sackville, Montreal, Banff Centre for the Arts, Australia (Brisbane,Melbourne,Sydney), China (Beijing,Xian,Chengdu), France (Paris, Marnay sur Seine), and Mexico (Mexico City) Wales (Cardiff) Poland(Gdansk), Finland(Vaasa,Helsinki), Germany (Berlin) N.Ireland, (Belfast) Chile (Santiago) Argentina (Buenos Aires), Serbia, (Nova Sad,Odzcii,Belgrade,Montenegro, Brussels (Belgium)Italy(Monza,Venice,), Netherlands(Amsterdam)Scotland(Glasgow) .Critically, John is engaged with theory and practice surrounding performance, installation, video and interactive media. John is the receipient of numerous International,Federal and Provincial Grants. He is presently teaching Video Art at University of Victoria Ceramics,Intermedia and Sculpture at Camosun College.

“Labour, Leisure and Sport are a set of inter-related phenomena: we labour to procure leisure, yet leisure activities are often labourious – the challenge to perform is common to both activities. Although its generally obvious that labour requires applied effort, consider as well the fixed determination that we apply to ‘recreation’, for example, “craft marathons”. I see Labour, Leisure and Sport as facets of the same unconsidered compulsion to fulfill societal expectations. Canine Freestyle channels this observation.

As regards multi-disciplinarity, I prefer the alternative terms “inter-disciplinarity” or “trans-disciplinarity”. Theses terms refer to integration between media, as opposed to, say, a sequential use of different forms – for instance, I employ performance, video, audio and objects simultaneously in a number of my pieces. I am not constrained to any particular mode, rather, I utilize integrated approaches to realize the work.

Live artwork presents a direct relationship with material, with action and process, with human interaction. As I understand it, physical involvement is the most thorough and embodied way in which to create meaning. Through durational works both the artist and the audience become privy to knowledge available only through this kind of commitment.

I produce art works that engage a durational aspect of experience. This is of course the archetypal modality of ‘performance art’, an experience that unfolds through a set period of time. Nothing can replace that learning, that specific duration of being. But although there is no alternative to the durational aspect of performance per se, I remain interested in the question of representation of performance, the very clear and obvious problem of making the ephemeral available to a larger audience at a different time. ”

Western Canada: Performance Art of the Pacific Rim


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