website SITE is intended to offer an ever evolving insight into my practice: both as an artist and a worker. I am using the categories of Projects, Services and Collaborations to provide multiple entry points into my work. Ideally visitors will be able to make links between each of these sections, as an important aspect of my artistic production is recognizing the ways in which all of my labour (artistic and otherwise) overlap in ideas and ideals.
I am not restricted by medium, instead my works take on the forms required to best represent the ideas and concepts considered by each project. In many of my works I bring everyday items into the rarefied space of the gallery, and it might not always be clear what constitutes the work. My practice produces a minimal amount of waste.
I take on many different roles and positions in order to make it possible for me to make my work and my life sustainable. Gig work, such as cooking and preparing crew lunches, providing education workships, djing parties, working as a house painter or as a barista in a coffee shop, allows me time and flexibility to make work as an artist.
As I am not tied to any specific medium I often work with others to produce aspects of my work. This assistance is integral in helping me to realize my vision into material. With such a focus on labour in my work, it is important that these workers are paid fair labour costs when helping to produce work.
Suggested Instructions / Performing Pedagogies
Union Gallery Queen's University (Kingston/Ontario), Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina/Saskatchewan)
Curator (Union Gallery Queen’s University): Shalon Webber-Heffernan
Curator (Dunlop Art Gallery): Blair Fornwald, Jennifer Matotek, and Wendy Peart
Suggested Instructions (photographs and text#1-#6) were featured in Almanac / Maggie Groat / Suggested Instructions
ALMANAC includes contributions by artists and writers that draw upon and subvert subjects typically found in traditional almanac compendiums, including entries pertaining to the botanical, zoological, mycological, environmental, instructional, historical, astrological, geological, edible, predictive, narrative, and sub-cultural. While a traditional almanac typically spans an annual cycle for the seasons ahead, the collected works and contained knowledge in this book favour alternative, non-linear and marginal understandings of encounters in-the-world, orders and epistemologies
Published by the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
Softcover, exposed Smyth-sewn binding, full colour, illustrated.
Performing Pedagogies : a week-long series of performances and campus-wide events curated by artist-scholar Shalon Webber-Heffernan in partnership with the Union Gallery. The series emerged through critical considerations of the “pedagogical turn” in contemporary art practices and the seeming unsustainability of Humanities education in a period of permanent crisis and austerity, professionalization, and instrumentality. With talks and symposia hosted by Cultural Studies Speaks and the Department of Film and Media, Performing Pedagogies will foster conversations about the meanings and limitations of education today. In addition to these student-led events, the series will also feature performances by national and international artists at the Union Gallery on March 15th 2016. These works will explore radical as well as everyday public pedagogies through the medium of performance art and pedagogical processes – with emphasis on the urgent need for radical pedagogies within existing neoliberal educational paradigms. Performing Pedagogies considers performance as a way of knowing through various embodied, affective, relational, and experiential processes. This series prioritizes subjugated knowledges by drawing upon embodied methods for unlearning and the presentation of alternate curricula. This project also establishes a cross-Canada collaboration with Queen’s Department of Film and Media’s undergraduate class, Contemporary Issues in Cultural Studies and the Vancouver-based artist-run free school, The School for Eventual Vacancy (TSEV ) – led by Caitlin Chaisson and Justin Langlois of TSEV. This project represents the first of its kind between Film and Media and TSEV and will involve counter-institutional workshops and exchanges that challenge where and how (un)learning can take place and what counts as knowledge. As part of the Performing Pedagogies series, students will create ‘distance education packages’ which will eventually be sent back to Vancouver as part of an unlearning symposium at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Students will exhibit their work in the Isabel’s new Art and Media Lab during the week of March 11th. To conclude events, participating performance artists will discuss their works and interest in the relationship, challenges and potentials between art and critical pedagogy during a panel discussion taking place March 16th 2016 as part of Cultural Studies SPEAKS series. This will be an opportunity for students, faculty, and community members to take place in a larger dialogue about knowledge, learning and art. (Shalon Webber-Heffernan, 2016)
MEZZE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTION
1. Rip the pita bread in half.
2. Give a piece to whoever you are eating with.
3. Tear a smaller piece of the pita bread and pinch to create a scoop.
4. Swiftly dip your pita bread in the mezze from the side of the bowl
closest to you.
5. Carefully pick up one olive from the bowl, making sure not to disturb
any of the others.
6. *Refrain from crossing the pool of olive oil. Stay on your own side.
SUGGESTED INSTRUCTIONS: is an instructional work initiated for VIVA ART
ACTION Montreal in 2013 while running the artist’s kitchen project. I have
instructed guests the etiquettes of eating certain dishes (Mezze) before serving
them the main dish. The instructions evolved every evening, and attempted to
bring people closer and more intimate.
SUGGESTED INSTRUCTIONS was performed at Union Gallery Queen’s University (Kingston/Ontario), Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina/Saskatchewan)
Credits and Thank You's:
Thank you Shalon Webber-Heffernan and Blair Fornwald, Jennifer Matotek, and Wendy Peart
Photo assistance (image 1-6): Ibrahim Abusitta
Photo credit (documentation 7-12): Dominque Helie