Saturday, May 25, 2013


By Kate Barry

Skillfully chosen as the site for QUEER NOISE SOLIDARITY, Christie Pits Park has a long history of resistance after the legendary race riots that took place there in 1933. More recently this beautiful green-space and recreational park has been the location of a number of assaults on women. QUEER NOISE SOLIDARITY descended on Christie Pits on Friday evening as a way to respond to this violence, while linking feminism and the LGBTQI2S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgenered, Queer, Intersex and Two-Spirited) communities with live art.  

The performance itself consisted of drumming in the park – not your stereotypical feminist, bongo-style, peace-loving drum circle, but rather it was a loud, experimental, triangulated fury of noise. During the performance, Calgary artist Wednesday Lupypciw acted as the conductor as she stood in the middle of a triangle (vulvic) shape of twelve all-female drummers: Celina Carroll, Tyla Crowhurst-Smith, Shavonne Tovah Somvong, Eleanor King, Conny Nowe, Karen Frostitution, Samara Liu, Laura Hartley, Rita Mckeough, Heidi Chan, Simone Baril, Alaska B. This large, loud, all-female ensemble puts the traditionally male-dominated world of rock n’ roll to shame. 

Karen Frostitution (left) and Heidi Chan (right), 2013.   

Born from a small scale, feminist drum circle (with actual drum kits) that Lupypciw originally created for the visual arts component of Calgary’s Sled Island festival, she worked together with FADO performance art centre and the Feminist Art Gallery (FAG) to bring things to the next level. Lupypciw created QUEER NOISE SOLIDARITY specifically for Toronto audiences.

By occupying Christie Pits Park QUEER NOISE SOLIDARITY adeptly positions itself as a unifying tour de force.  To paraphrase artist Allyison Mitchell, if anyone thinks feminism is dead in Toronto, they couldn’t be more wrong! 

Above drum triangle photo credit Coman Poon.
All the other photos were taken on my iphone. 

Wednesday Lupypciw (in red) standing in the middle of the drumming triangle.


FADO Performance Art Centre


Sunday, May 19, 2013


Performance Ar13 features local and international live art and performance based work. I understand art to be an ongoing conversation and in that spirit, I will include some of my own work.  

This Blog is performative itself as it stems from life and my motivation to make work that asks, “What is it like to be a female artist in the 21-century?” and to touch upon some truth in our common experience. I’ll feature artworks that engage in genderqueer, feminist and other forms of transgressive or radical dialogue.

Today, I am inspired my some female performance artists in China.

Three lesbian couples protested against discrimination with performance art staged at Houhai in Beijing on May 16, 2013, in conjunction with the International Day Against Homophobia, which falls on May 17 every year.
Click here for the link

These female performers and activists are demanding basic human rights, illustrating how performative protest can speak volumes and how news & images can travel so readily over the Internet. 

This International Day Against Homophobia protest is especially relevant in light of renowed Chinese artist Ai Weiei, and the incredible documentary, "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" 2012, a film directed by American filmmaker Alison Klayman. With a special appearance by one of my favorite chinese performance artists Tehching Hsieh. If you haven't seen it, you should watch it now, click here: Never Sorry