Theo Pelmus
LIVE PERFORMANCE
-programing and wireless technology Ken Campbell-
Prezentat de Muzeul de Arta Contemporana Sangeorz-Bai
Eveniment finantat de Ministerul Culturi din Romania, Consiliul de Arta al Canadei, si Consilul de Arta Winnipeg
Presented with the generous support of Minister of Culture Romania, Canada Council for the Arts and Winnipeg Arts Council

Pieta: A Sacred and Profane Representation of Belief

My process of work can be described as a continuous construction and deconstruction of systems of belief. I have been exploring through my practice the crossover between new media, technology and performance art under the umbrella of glamour and excess. Through the means of technology I have developed performative tools, I.e. wearable technologies, that mediate and become the work of art. This aspect helps me identify specific attributes that align with my multi-sensorial performance discourse, such as: technology as a mediation platform, the infiltration of new technological developments into new-media, the role of the artist as an interface between technology and new media.
The intention of this new media performance project is to make use of video works that were created in Canada, more specifically in Pine Creek Reserve, and see how they re-activate through performance into a different location, which is my country of origin. Conceptually this effort represents a geographical and cultural collage. The specificity of the landscape of my country of origin will be put in contrast with video-works that I have been created since I moved to Winnipeg. Since I have been here, I have created new video works that were shot in the Ojibwa and Cree reserve of Pine Creek, which my partner Kristin Snowbird introduced me to. Pine Creek is a First Nation in Manitoba and is located on a major highway and is in close proximity of a few towns – Camperville, Swan River, Dauphin – which are all mainstreamed communities and towns. What intrigues me about this place is the similarity to villages from my own homeland of Romania. What I witnessed were experiences that echoed my past. The houses I visited had remnants of my homeland, which for the most part were echoes of a Catholic belief system. Almost every household had in prominence, the picture of Jesus’ Last Supper – most of which were ‘made in China’ replicas. However, what was of most intrigue was the consistent way in which all of these houses simultaneously displayed pop icons on their walls. Posters of Elvis, Madonna and Johnny Cash created a memorial within more than one household on this reserve. What was also of consistency was an eclectic altar-like arrangement of objects within these homes; statues of Jesus; Virgin Mary adorned with plastic flowers; and porcelain leopards and other wild animals. The irony of how colonization, religion, and mainstream pop culture displayed in this way, spoke to the discussion of the sacred and profane. My work in itself has been dealing with the catholic and byzantine representation of belief and how they translate and cancel each other within their interaction with profane.

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