by Paula Citron
Performance art is the ambitious fusion of visual arts with one or more of the performing arts, and more often then not, it is an uncomfortable mix of bedfellows.
“Uqquaq, The Shelter”, being performed at Juxta Studio, is the collaboration of Montreal choreographer Geneviève Pepin and Inuit media artist Laurentio Q. Arnatsiaq. The installation itself is gorgeous. The heart of the piece is the building of the shelter. Arnatsiaq twists seal skin ropes to create a tent-like skeleton grid. Pepin then weaves skeins of wool between the ropes to complete the shelter.
There is also a film component shot by Pepin and edited by Arnatsiaq that contains scenes from the high Artic and Montreal. Pepin does do some contemporary dancing, while Arnatsiaq performs his Inuit drum dance.
My problem with the piece, like many performance art productions, is that the various parts seem gerrymandered into the work. All I could do was admire the artistry of the separate parts.
“Uqquaq, The Shelter” continues until Sunday.
From Juxta Studio, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.