Friday, April 17, 2015

ECSTATIC TIME: Media Works in Progress by Lauren Marsden

Friday 17 to Friday 24 April, 2015, at Alice Yard
7 pm to 10 pm each night

For the next seven nights, Alice Yard artist in residence Lauren Marsden will be screening new video works in the Alice Yard space. Each night, a different image from her project ECSTATIC TIME will be on display. Come by and meet the artist and see her work in progress.

As part of the Trinidadian diaspora, Marsden has been using her time at Alice Yard to respond to a sense of place, through the mediums of slow-motion videography and animated photography. Expanding on filmmaker Hollis Frampton’s notion of “Ecstatic Time,” her project at Alice Yard involves the creation of an index of short looping videos and animated GIFs that document a series of performative gestures in Port of Spain and the surrounding area. Using family members, friends, acquaintances, and local dancers as her subjects, these brief gestures (some staged, some spontaneous) have been documented and edited to portray a sense of redundancy, futility, and slowness in a local cultural context.

Zong!: Hearing Voices

Tuesday 21 April, 2015, 7.30 pm

Alice Yard invites you to a reading/performance by M. NourbeSe Philip, from her celebrated book Zong!

Professor Patricia Saunders of the University of Miami will introduce the event.
— It can’t be told; it must be told! It can only be told by its untelling. Hauntological and polyvocal, Zong! addresses the lacunae in the fabric of “History“ and tempts, even as it attempts, a remembering, an unforgetting. Through modes of repetition in the unequal exchange of sound for silence,  Zong! limns the poetics of the fragment to ex-aqua the infinite in memory. —

M. Nourbese Philip is a poet, essayist, novelist, and playwright (and former lawyer) who lives in the space-time of the City of Toronto. Author of five books of poetry, one novel, and three collections of essays, her most recent work, Zong!, is a genre-breaking, book-length poem which engages with law, history, and memory as they relate to the transatlantic slave trade. Winner of many awards, including Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships and the Arts Foundation of Toronto Writing and Publishing Award, she is also a Dora Award finalist for her play Coups and Calypsos.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Introducing Lauren Marsden

Artist in residence, March to May 2015

Alice Yard’s current artist in residence, during the period March to May 2015, is Vancouver-based Lauren Marsden.

Her practice involves various forms, including performance, video, photography, and texts. Using devices such as voice-over narration, ritual gestures, camera movement, and descriptive text, her projects interact with contentious sites, often through the perspective of a misplaced or unreliable narrator.

Marsden is interested in challenging what might constitute a performance and how it is recorded or circulated. For example, she has staged events involving choreographed etiquette drills in a public library, hired paparazzi photographing inanimate objects, a flag-raising on a demilitarised island, the filming of a horror movie with no actors, and conducting an auction that sells itself. She works in collaboration with a range of creative professionals, using a style of direction called structured improvisation, which allows others to articulate their unique skills within the conceptual parameters of a piece.

Her project at Alice Yard will involve creating an index of short looping videos and animated GIFs that will document a series of performative gestures in Port of Spain and the surrounding area. Expanding on filmmaker Hollis Frampton’s notion of “Ecstatic Time,” these brief performances will manifest a sense of redundancy, futility, and slowness in a local, cultural context. See more at her project Tumblr page,

Lauren Marsden as Miss Department of Energy. Shot on location at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, San Diego, California

Marsden, who has family roots in Trinidad, received a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria and an MFA in Social Practice from the California College of the Arts. She has recently exhibited her work at the Victoria Film Festival, Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, LIVE International Performance Art Biennale in Vancouver, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Frutta Gallery in Rome, Italy. She is currently teaching at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, and is the editor of Decoy Magazine, a Vancouver-based online platform for critical arts writing.