In Montreal — with support from Concordia’s Fine Art Student Union, Sexuality Studies Department, Simone de Beauvoir Institute, and Queer Student Union — we brough L.A.’s Silas Howard, and teamed up with local event-producer/performance artists Jordan Arsenault and Laura Boo MacDonald to create HTBAF Queer Sans Fin Convergence, which was hosted at Mise a Jeu on January 8, 2011.
About 30 students and local artists came out during the day for our workshops, which included Fear Drag, Open Source for Performers, and Creative Strategies for Resistance. Our evening performance travelled a queered landscape to create legacies while telling our tales of desire and survival through a Damien Luxe’s freak church service for magical creatures, Heather Acs’ fragmented memory, movement and costuming, Laura Boo’s endurance-centred fit channeling, and Silas Howard unravelling narratives.
As working artists who identify variously as working-class, anti-racist white people, sex workers, genderqueer, cisgendered, trans, femme, survivors…we’re proud to include our necessarily politicized stories and viewpoints in both our art and our approaches to teaching. One thing we love about the workshop/performance coupling is that we get to present our work in a live format and then get to interact directly with folks who attend, answer technical and philosophical questions, learn from one other, and directly hand off critical tools for creative production.
At the Q&A after the performance, we began a disussion about the relationship of art and activism. We see our work as drawing from strategies of creative production such as used by Bread & Puppet Theatre, ACT-UP, Theatre of the Oppressed, and Critical Interventions, and we’re really excited to be continuing such a legacy and to empower other voices to create space as well.