Cover of Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report

Monomyths Stage 11 / 2894 Refusal of Monomyths / claude wittmann

claude wittmann

FADO Performance Art Centre presents
In Association with The Theatre Centre

MONOMYTHS
Stage 11: Refusal of the Return
2894: Refusal of MONOMYTHs by claude wittmann

Tickets: $10 donation (available at door only)
Audience is welcome to come and go throughout the performance
The theatre is wheelchair accessible.
***This event will be ASL interpreted.***

claude wittmann’s on-going project entitled “2894” asks participants to read outloud from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report (TRC report, 2015.) Each participant reads the report to a live streaming radio station with the aid of a cell phone and streaming software provided by the artist. Readers start where the last one left and read as much as they want. Sometimes the readings take place in a specific location, but mostly, participants may read anywhere they choose–in their homes, or in public. Participants read as much or as little as they can. Listeners can similarly be anywhere, listening on any device at any time. The connection of the radio provides a special kind of intimacy between readers and listeners. This project started in April 2016. It is on-going, until the entire report (all 2894 pages) has been read or until the project transforms into something more relevant to social change. 2894 is not a Truth and Reconciliation project. It is a Truth project. It is currently co-managed by claude wittmann and Adam Herst.

In this iteration for MONOMYTHS, entitled “2894: Refusal of MONOMYTHs”, claude and Adam facilitate a 3-hour reading session at The Theatre Centre. Audience is invited to attend to listen to readings of the report. Audience is invited to become readers should they wish to. Readers read as much or as little as they choose, to the assembled audience of witnesses.

“It is when I perceive myself as completely separate from others, incapable of knowing them, that I feel their and my human vulnerability and mortality and our equality. However much empathy I am able of, there is always something that my bodymind can’t receive or face of or with the other. There is always separation. A cold air of death. A beautiful hair of death. Death. Safe death. Even if I deny it. Even if I start to invent my own narrative. Even if I believe in this narrative. Even if this narrative is useful for my own therapy. Even when it apparently naturally shape-shifts into a “hero’s journey”. Especially when I start to believe that I can “help”. Especially, when I start to feel justified tocolonize
and erase the other.”
~claude wittmann

To read more about the work:
http://www.performanceart.ca/index.php?m=program&id=312

ABOUT claude wittmann
claude wittmann was born in Switzerland where he worked as a molecular biologist and now lives in Toronto; works as a bicycle mechanic and in performance art. his most recent projects include Radio-Equals (one-on-one egalitarian conversations about equality, broadcast on FM radio and/or internet radio) and 2894 (participative reading on an internet radio of the Truth and Reconciliation’s Commission report). claude is concerned by the (in)ability of art in triggering social change.

ABOUT MONOMYTHS
MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

Joseph Campbell’s influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) prescribes a common pattern to all of the world’s mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero’s journey, trials and obstacles must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell’s concept of the monomyth (‘one myth’) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports, and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine–from the get-go–would make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed. While each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience’s collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative.

The year-long MONOMYTHS project is presented in three sections starting in February 2016 and concluding in February 2017. The series is conceived and curated Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane.

Part 1 (February 3–7, 2016)
Stage 1: The Ordinary World/Call to Adventure
Stage 2: Refusal of the Call
Stage 3: Meeting of the Mentor
Stage 4: Crossing the Threshold
Stage 5: Belly of the Whale

Part 2 (May 2016–January 2017)
Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies
Stage 7: Ordeals
Stage 8: Atonement with the Father/State
Stage 9: Apotheosis/Journey to the Inmost Cave

Part 3 (February 15–19, 2017)
Stage 10: The Road Back
Stage 11: Refusal of the Return
Stage 12: Mistress of Two Worlds
Stage 13: Freedom to Live
Stage 14: The Return Home