empty mountain

Victoria Hunt


… and in that forest


multitudes of spinning planets

and in those planets

the most extraordinary lives

  of beings not yet

imagined by you …


empty mountain is a meditation, a filling up followed by an emptying, a layering and unlayering. A moment of rest, echo, and surrender. As an audience member, you are invited to attend part one, part two, or both. Expect slowness, spaciousness, expansion, and letting go.

Rajni Shah’s practice focuses on listening and gathering as creative and political acts. They have invited plural beings Fili Apothicaire and Ses Seçkin Kaya Çınar to make and perform with them over one year. This performance will mark the end of that year-long process.

1+1=0: performances in preparation for death (annulée)

Alexandra Gelis

1+1+0: performances in preparation for death is a participatory art ritual inspired by the ceremony of washing and dressing the deceased, as featured in the 2008 Japanese film Departures, as well as the non-dualistic Buddhist concept of ‘self/Self.’ As a site for numinous research and a death meditation on intergenerational, queer and cross-cultural sites of love, this ritual and installation offers access to shifting and simultaneous layers of meaning accessible through perception, affect and energetic sensing. 

[ field ] is an ongoing series of performance and installation collaborations between architect-installationist Brian Smith and performance artist Coman Poon.

sheuetamᵁ (suspended indefinitly)

© Hugo St-Laurent

[highlight background=”#e2011e” color=”#ffffff”]— Montreal is in red zone since October 01, 2020. This performance is suspended until further notice. See MAI’s latest updates related to COVID-19. — [/highlight]

Created by Innu interdisciplinary artist Soleil Launière, Sheuetamᵘ is a performative and auditive installation that unfolds continuously over 5 days. The piece convenes the presence of a two-spirit being, caught in conversation with its surrounding territory and technology.  

The performer-forest summons a bodily state of porosity, and in-so-doing merges with the plant beings surrounding her. Thanks to the use of experimental technology that relies on bio-data sensors, her relationship to the territory is expressed through vocal chants, sounds, and images. 

Interweaving the past, the present and the future, this powerful ritual-performance amplifies Indigenous presence and disrupts the narrative of capitalist and colonialist modernity. Audiences can immerse themselves in the piece at any time of the day, and come and go as they please.


© Marwan Tahtah

Hanane is a woman in her 50s who goes for a jog every day in the streets of Beirut, warding off osteoporosis, obesity and depression. As she runs, she revisits her dreams, desires and disillusions. This daily routine has contradictory effects: it stimulates two hormones in her body – dopamine and adrenaline – which are, by turns, destructive and constructive, against the backdrop of a city which destroys in order to build and builds in order to destroy. Alone on stage, Hanane, wife and mother, unveils her identity as she embodies different faces of Medea. Actress, author and cultural activist, Hanane Hajj Ali is an eminent figure in the Lebanese cultural and artistic scene.

walking at night by myself (cancelled-covid19)

Walking at night by myself
Nancy Tam - crédits Nancy Tam

Vancouver based performance trio A Wake of Vultures (Nancy Tam, Daniel O’Shea and Conor Wylie) melds together highfalutin ideas and low-fi aesthetics in their new work, Walking at Night by Myself. They present a world of abstraction, distraction, and overlapping patterns through which we slowly examine the plasticity of human perception and open up to questions of how notions of familiarity, difference, and impressions are constructed. Featuring Nancy Tam and Anjela Magpantay, this work explores connections between movement, sonic, scenographic, and conceptual ideas with hypnotic repetitions, twin-like presentation, afterimage, and moiré to transcend the spectacular to the phenomenological; from seeing to experiencing.

phantom stills & vibrations

Places and bodies – broken, betrayed, defiled. Secret, hidden stories gush to the surface in Phantom Stills & Vibrations, an immersive experience that pays tribute to the victims of the former Pelican Falls residential school in Sioux Lookout in northwestern Ontario. A cultural genocide that continues, that leaves traces and open wounds. Inspired by visits to the land of her ancestors, choreographer Lara Kramer has crafted a performance art exhibit in collaboration with Stefan Petersen, a reminder of the repercussions of the traumas passed on from generation to generation.

A photograph of the former residential school (now a high school) and a soundscape of the north underpin a minimalist performance. Kramer portrays the excruciating reality of abused children and questions the possibility of moving forward. How can there be a rebuilding when violence is perpetuated? The exhibit stirs, disturbs, leads to reflection and meditation. A work of essential, powerful remembrance.

Lara Kramer is an Oji-Cree choreographer and multidisciplinary artist. Her works have been hailed by critics including Native Girl Syndrome, which exposes the marginalization and victimization of Indigenous women and the effects of cultural genocide.

older & reckless - eclectik 2018

Pythia, solo de Jacqueline Van de Geer (Edgy Redux, 2015) © Valerie Sangin

Eclectik 2018 brings to a head MAI’s four year focus on the older artist and which draws inspiration from Older & Reckless, an acclaimed dance series of mature dance produced by Toronto’s MOonhORsE Dance Theatre. Âgés et déjantés featuring artists 55 years old and older of cultural and racial diversity, advocates for an increased awareness of the challenges faced by older artists. It addresses the language currently used to discuss old age and generational relevancy and/or redundancy as it relates to art, to life.

At the very centre of this initiative is, to borrow a term, lastingness, a means of resistance, of maintaining or regaining visibility. Of celebration.

taking place <br/>performance art series

Bryan Campbell, "Marvelous" Ⓒ Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker
Bryan Campbell, "Marvelous" Ⓒ Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker

2016/2017 marked a number of anniversaries in Canada’s settler history. To engage in ongoing conversations dealing with identity and space, we launched Prendre Place / Taking Place. Conceived to take up transdisciplinary considerations of space and its accompanying baggage, it is also a place for artists to take that place/their place, to claim it, to own it, to inhabit it. This, the 2ndedition, furthers those questions with seven international artists driving the narrative through stop signs, veering off path.

muy serio

Carlos Maria Romero, "Muy Serio" © Carlos Maria Romero
Carlos Maria Romero, "Muy Serio" © Carlos Maria Romero

“Serio” is Colombian gay slang for “straight acting” and is used disdainfully as the opposite of effeminate, queer, faggot, or sissy. “Muy” is an intensifying adverb with strong “camp” potential. In this series, dance artist Carlos Maria Romero uses traditional pieces of masculine clothing as the sculpting material for a variety of queer performance gestures, extracting their symbolic power through staged rituals.

Carlos Maria Romero is a London-based Colombian performer, choreographer, and multidisciplinary artist working in the fields of performing and visual arts, heritage and architectural activism, as well as pedagogy and curating.