The 7th Sense: Practicing Dialogues / Practicing Workshops / Practicing the Daily Performative / Practicing Performance Art
A collaboration between TouVA Performance Art Research Collective and M:ST.
The journey began in 2007, when Sylvie Tourangeau, Victoria Stanton and Anne Bérubé came together to lay the foundations for a publication that exemplifies their shared passion for performance art, and for that which continually transforms, feeds and makes this practice come to life: the performative.
For the last 10 years, as artist-authors, TouVA has been collaboratively reflecting on the practice of performance art through multiple frameworks and methodologies. This adventure has brought the trio in all kinds of unexpected directions, pushing them to concretely experience that which they were researching. Based on a vocabulary developed by Sylvie Tourangeau throughout three decades worth of workshops—which the collective has since appropriated—TouVA hit the ground running, uncovering the vast terrain of the performative’s varied paths.
Over time, as the project kept unfurling, the collective additionally presented their findings through artist talks and performances in festivals, various artistic events and expanded scholarly contexts. These diverse facets have produced parallel forms of research, pedagogy and practice. This in turn has informed a transmission (of experience and language), helping us to be able “to language” (convey an understanding through precisely naming) how, when and where, the performative happens.
This performative in action takes many forms that we’re not always able to identify—it is furtive, it is transformative. The performative has agency. It is not bound by the body, time or space; it deterritorializes and multiplies. The performative doesn’t categorize or hierarchize; that is why our observation of the performative has extended to encompass a study in presence; an overarching performative presence, as practiced in live art, in workshops and in the everyday: an embodied performative as a way of life. TouVA turned its attention to this agent of transformation. We have taken it on as another sensory faculty to be acquired: a 7th sense.
The 7th Sense is itself, therefore, a particular language act: a critical and dynamic discourse on the ever-shifting performative.
Founded in the spring of 2007, the TouVA Collective (Sylvie Tourangeau, Victoria Stanton and Anne Bérubé) – a group of artist-researchers interested in a profound exploration of “the performative” – has been researching the practice of performance through multiple frameworks and approaches: presenting relational/site-specific performances and dynamic artist talks, along with conducting workshops and offering coaching to artists in a variety of contexts – including international festivals.