A year in the life

This last year included a lot of huge life events for me! My partner and I had our third commitment ceremony and 5th year anniversary with both our parents, extended family and friends during a love ceremony offered by our good friend and minister Aaron Miechkota. We found a place near Jean Talon market with a ton of light for my ever growing plant collection which you can meet on my instagram. I haven’t had a lease in my own name since 2006 in London England so having stable housing had been a struggle for me. My partner was able to become a permanent resident this year too and now has free health care! Thank you Canada and all the help from friends and family we’ve had along the way to get here. A deep thank you to our friends who helped us DIY renovate our home which turned out to be an epic undertaking. And now onto art which I’ve managed to squeeze in amongst life’s goings ons, ups and downs.

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A lot of random people I know and don’t know have been editing my Wikipedia Page which you can view below. Thanks to friends and strangers for doing this! You can read my page here. Also while randomly googling my name I was delighted to find it on this list.

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Last January I did a workshop and a performance at Fresh Festival in San Francisco as a part of Ponderosa On the Road curated by Adi Brief. Thank you to all my brave workshop participants and performers who did the somatic release of Choir of Emotions. We unfortunately don’t have a lot of photographs of this but here is some documentation I found on line of the project which I also did in Athens Greece at the wonderful festival Sound Acts. I’m so grateful they documented this project so well!

I took over Betonest for the last incarnation of my artist residency program there. Caitlin Fisher was my steady collaborator and many waves of artists came throughout the month including our largest residency called THAW. I hope to create residences outside Berlin after COVID, but next time I will be doing them at a smaller space called Quecke. This location is located near a forest and a beautiful Creek. I have collaborated with these hard working queer feminists before and their space is gorgeous.

Here are some photos of this residency time period April 2019. I don’t think I have worked so hard in my entire life, but giving time and space to the artists was worth it. To carve that space and time for conversation, collaboration and pure creation is so valuable.  I just wish there was more resources given to what I do. My gardening actually funds these residencies! Canada Council for the Arts has told me that there is no funding for running residencies. If you have any ideas around this let me know. It’s been four years now of running successful incredible international artist residencies with no funding.

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Also my dear friend E Hearte helped me apply to be a Media Artist, A Visual Artist and a Curator on the new Canada Council for the Arts portal. The curator bit was the most exciting for me to be acknowledged by Canada Council as a curator after over ten years of radical curations at all sorts of venues all over North America and Europe. A lot of queer artists have heard of me, or I have curated them or their friends, so it was nice to finally get some professional recognition. Now I just need to get a grant! In all these years of art making Canada Council has yet to offer me one, so if you are a proofreader let me know.

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Last April I was in this curation by my longtime friend Kimura Byol.

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This is the work that was screened. I filmed it in my kitchen holding a black sheet and my sweet ex boyfriend Logan Curley is the model.

In September my lovely Newfoundland aquaintance Eva Crocker got this article published about being in the Fake Orgasm Choir.

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In September Women With Kitchen Appliances had our last show at VIVA and our 20th year anniversary. This project is still the most successful collective I have ever founded! un grand merci à Lamathilde pour toute son organisation.

 

While I was on 6 week silent retreat my partner and my distributor gave permission for my film Arrangement to be screened in Korea a country that I lived in and love dearly.

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In July I was curated in a program at Eastern Edge by Jason Penney which you can view here alongside among excellent artist company. Arrangement was screened which you can view here:

Arrangement from Coral Short on Vimeo.

This past summer a bunch of Montreal witches and I took a road trip to Faerie Camp Destiny where I was able to upkeep my Earth thrones I created with Troy Davis, Sunny Doyle and K Hanley. Here’s an image of the Toad Throne by the Maypole which is doing quite well. We were able to replant and take care of  the native plants on the Ancestor Throne which actually has dead faeries ashes in it inside the sacred ancestor circle and cut back the Chaise Lounge throne which had become very overgrown in the meadow too.

FLORAL SLEEP grows and grows!

 2 radio shows, 2 WORKSHOPS and 2 SHOWS last year!

Last July Ryan Backer and I performed our project Floral Sleep at my work’s 10 year Anniversary party in July. And then we performed in October for True North Insight’s Birthday party for our founders Daryl Lynn Ross and Pascal Auclair. And then I gave a workshop for adults with Winnie Superhova and one for kids with Lari Jalbert. Thank you Studio XX for paying us well and giving us an ample budget for supplies. Goddess bless that feminist organization! And a huge thank you to my beloved friend Lucas Crawford for writing about my work.  Thanks also to xx files for interviewing us about the work which you can listen to here.

WELLNESS is the Watchword

“This word appears everywhere as the reason for us to slow down, most often attached to a product that promises to save you hours of time via speed. Paradoxically, if today’s wellness discourse were a slogan, it might be: hurry up and slow down!

Coral Short’s new project engages ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), in which exposure to everyday stimuli (usually noises, eg. nails tapping; eating sounds; whispering) induces tingling sensations and euphoria. ASMR seems built for speed, given its extreme popularity on Youtube. But where high-tech folks seek the latest watch to capture their running speed, Short’s technology of wellness here is like good BBQ cookery: “low and slow.” They move plant boughs around a circle of laying participants, stimulating them gently with plant sounds.

Corporations market WELLNESS as a series of inward-looking products. But Short’s work redefines wellness as the connective, outward-looking potential of queer pleasure. The tingling of Short’s plant-based ASMR isn’t about a romanticized notion of stopping to smell the roses – even if it is about listening to the breeze of leaves. The tingling is literal; ASMR is often described as arousing, and Short describes this project as “eco- sexual.”

We buy cutting-edge quick-fixes. Short’s project is slower and more direct: it provokes bodies to feel better on the smallest scale. This is wellness redefined as feeling good, undertaken at the level of the goose bump.

Coral Short has long thought about wellness in exciting ways. Where foodie blogs luxuriate in the slow self-care of “stress baking,” Short tuned up queer rhythms via an experimental band, Women With Kitchen Appliances. WWKA didn’t take up the ‘time- saving’ kitchen tools of gendered domestic labour as escape, but instead as slow public experiment.

Where fitness media often dangle a fat-phobic wellness carrot – the self-pride that supposedly follows when we can wear the new (smaller) shirt or new (sexier) boots – Short has again flipped the game in advance. They have sculpted and wore “Butter Boots,” aptly named. Similarly, at a Vancouver arts show, Short and their team of servers moved through the crowd, offering the show-goers fudge: “How would you like your fudge packed?”

Whether laughing or crying – witness “Crying Machine,” in which attendees sit next to Short while they chop onions – connection and wellness happen queerly in Short’s work.”

Lucas Crawford (Fredericton) is a trans/fat/queer academic and poet.

 

Here are some photos of our performance Floral Sleep.

During the pandemic my much anticipated spring residency BELTANE at Ponderosa has been canceled much to the dismay of myself and the 20 artists who had bought plane tickets to come. Looks like we may have to skip a fall residency with COVID and return hopefully in a year for our next residency.

twinkle and I were able to pull off moving our Queer Healing event from an IRL event into a URL event in record time. The learning curve was very steep but we managed to pull it off! Over 100 people came from North America and Europe. Thank you to all our workshop leaders, volunteers and participants! And thanks to Christeen Francis for the beautiful posters. This event I believe has become a part of my greater art practice as it is attended by many artists. Gen Darling created a banner for our new group Queer Healing and Resilience if you are looking for nourishing queer friendly online events during the Pandemic join this group we made for local and international queer healing events.

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During the pandemic Winnie Ho and I created an online performance experimentation curation from the visual arts and dance communities we are a part of internationally. There was no audience just creators creating for each other – trying to process what is happening in visual and movement based practices. We hope to create another event like this next month.

You Do You

Zoom Screencap by Kimura Byol

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Alexis O’Hara (Montréal)
Cait Fisher (Berlin)
Cindy Baker (Lethbridge)
Coral Short (Montréal)
Eddy Levin (Berlin)
Eshan Rafi (Toronto)
Eva Wǒ (Philadelphia)
Holly Oakley (Chicago)
J’ean Park (Berlin)
Joachim Magdalena & Gambletron (L.A.)
Kimura Byol (Montréal)
Lailye Weidman (Turner Falls, MA)
Londs Reuter (NYC)
Magdalena Hutter (Berlin)
Rebecca Ladida (Eastern Townships, Québec)
Sarra Bouars & Kristianne Salcines (Berlin)
Winnie SuperHova (Montréal)
Andrew Tay (Montréal)
Lara Oundjian (Montréal)
Sasha Kleinplatz (Montréal)
Justin de Luna (Montréal)
Nien Tzu Weng (Montréal)
Lenore Claire (Montréal)
Zi Ro Buch (London)
Thea Patterson & Jeremy Gordaneer-Paintings/Sculptures (Edmonton)
Anouk Thériault (Montréal)
Aisha Sasha John (Toronto)
Kinga Mi (Montréal)
Pam Tzeng (Calgary)
Maxine Segalowitz (Montréa)
Moe Clark (Montréal)
Ralph Escamillan (Vancouver)
Nate Yaffe (Montréal)
Benoît Lachambre (Montrèal)
Victoria Hunt (Australia)
River Halen Guri (Montrèal)

Here are a few screen caps of the performances. Not in order artists are: Moe Clark, Magdalena Hutter, Ralph EscamillanLenore Claire, Sarra Bouars & Kristianne Salcines, Cait Fisher and Cindy Baker and last but not least Pam Tzeng.

It was our friend Indigo’s birthday the other day and the neighbourhood got a surprise! We got on a lot of strangers’ social media as there were cameras out wherever we went and many confused and delighted facial expressions. Thank god for my gay husband Troy Davis who stored this work while I was in Berlin for 3 years!

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This entry was posted in Alexis O'Hara, artist residency, betonest, brandenburg art, choir, community art, coral short, lucas crawford, montreal art, performance art, performance art curation, ponderosa, queer art residency, queer artist residency, video art, video curation. Bookmark the permalink.

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