Leah Decter

Performing Canada

performance collaboration with Peter Morin and Ayumi Goto

Performing canada was an experimental performance-presentation that confronted ideas of canadian colonization and the body, and invited viewers to take on their own experience of the nation called canada.

In this performance we investigated how our bodies perform, and can unperform, canada, exploring movements of irrelation to the land. What then is the urge to belong in a space where one's feet have never felt the ground, overtrodden with ideals, fantastical wishes for the better life, an unexpected escape route from historical pasts beleaguered by the dictates of ownership, the ghosts of imperialism? Yet, in unexpected escape lay hidden from view the precipitates of culture, cultivation of the ineffable.

his durational enaction was the culmination of a month long immersive performance research project. In it a back-trace of translocation disturbs inhered patterns and cycles. Corporeal and social topographies, land/scapes, conveyance and icon are drawn into proximal relation to contend with perpetuation and resistance, differentiation and conjunction, inertia and agency. The gesturing of evidence summons the everyday of ritual as un/doing to reverberate through histories and presents into the fissures of possible futures.

These acts, when facing toward something beyond the prescriptions of nationalism and self-rightful emplacement, potentially create engagements with others, the formations of witnessing that invite respectful regard. Ultimately, the juxtapositions, cross-sectioning, and transgressions of the cultural act transform the migration of the self into selves, shape-shifting power, knowledge, and spirit that exceeds the habituated categorizations.

Peter Morin, Ayumi Goto, Leah Decter

︎  ︎