MONOMYTHS: Part 1 is almost upon us! Looking forward to participating in this heroic midwinter performance art event.

February 3-7, 2016

Limited seating / Reservations suggested vailable through Eventbrite starting Jan 1 

The Theatre Centre
1115 Queen Street West, Toronto

Maria Hupfield (Anishinaabe/Canada/USA)
Ursula Johnson (Mi’kmaw) and Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Cree/Métis/German)
Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan (Winnipeg, Canada)
Feminist Art Gallery (Toronto, Canada)
Armando Minjarez (Mexico/USA)
Jefferson Pinder (USA)

Conceived and curated Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane
Presented by FADO Performance Art Centre as a part of Progress

Performed in English / Nêhiyawêwin / L’nuwi’ktuk
Some performances will be ASL interpreted (details coming soon)



“MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars and activists to revision Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a feminist cultural, political and social re-vision of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey favours dispelling the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

Joseph Campbell’s influential 1949 book The Hero with a Thousand Faces subscribes a common pattern to all of the world’s mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero confronts a great test and is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero’s journey, many trials must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell’s concept of the monomyth (one myth) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine–from the get-go–would make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed.

Each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, however the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience’s collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative.

Radically interpreted by artists from First Nations, Canada, Mexico and the US, part one of MONOMYTHS at Progress presents the first five stages of the journey: The Ordinary World/Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Call, Meeting of the Mentor, Crossing the Threshold, and Belly of the Whale.”

Designer Lisa Kiss will create a collectible artist multiple in the form of a talisman or token for each artist’s project in MONOMYTHS. These unique multiples will be available at each stage of the project.

Wednesday, February 3

To reserve seats for this performance, CLICK HERE.

Nikamon Ochi Askiy (Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew): The Land Sings is an audio-based endurance performance by Ursula Johnson created in collaboration with Cheryl L’Hirondelle, and is offered as an apology to the land for the ways in which our human impact has shifted and shaped the landscape, displacing the voices of many First Nations.

Following The Land Sings, Maria Hupfield presents a hybrid performance and conversation with Ursula Johnson and Cheryl L’Hirondelle on how revitalization, collaboration, and the act of refusal are used in performance art to shape current dialogue on Reconciliation.

Ursula Johnson and Maria Hupfield’s works are presented in conjunction with #callresponse, a Canada Council {Re}Conciliation initiative project. #callresponse positions the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities. This socially engaged project focuses on the “act of doing” through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples. #callresponse is a multifaceted project which brings together five site-specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions, culminating in an exhibition in October 2016 at grunt gallery in Vancouver, BC. The The fifth visitation of Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew: The Land Sings will be a part of this exhibition.

Thursday, February 4

The Call Refused or Your Local Sky Tonight is a new performance turn by Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan. Part planetarium show, part rumination on Alice in Wonderland, the nature of rabbits and heros, Dempsey and Millan deliver an off-kilter guide to the stars tonight.

Collaborators since 1989, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan were catapulted into the international spotlight with their performance and film We’re Talking Vulva (1986/1990). Their humourous, feminist, and provocative works work has been exhibited in diverse venues as far ranging as women’s centres in Sri Lanka to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. To most, however, they are known simply as the Lesbian Rangers of Lesbian National Parks and Services.

Friday, February 5

The Exquisite Course, presented by the Feminist Art Gallery (FAG), is an evening of short lectures by feminist and/or queer artists and creative folks from a variety of disciplines, interests, and positions. A mixture of fiction and non-fiction, The Exquisite Course collages real-life stories and performance mythologies around the microphone campfire to stitch together tales of meeting real-life mentors.

Invited speakers will be announed in January.

The Feminist Art Gallery is–a response, a process, a site, a protest, an outcry, an exhibition, a performance, an economy, a conceptual framework, a place, and an opportunity. We host we fund we advocate we support we claim. The Feminist Art Gallery (FAG) is our geographical footprint located in Toronto and is run by Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue.

Saturday, February 6
1.00–3.00pm (workshop) / 6.00pm (performance)

Armando Minjarez presents an afternoon Artivism workshop followed by an evening performance as part of his long-term international participatory art project, AlieNation: A Visual Story of our Generation’s Global Migration. AlieNation examines mass migration and the disturbing trend of dehumanizing the migrant–an alien without a home, without rights or a defined identity.

For a desciption of the workshop CLICK HERE.

Armando Minjarez is a Mexican visual artist and social justice activist. In 2004 he became involved in the national campaign to pass legislation entitled the DREAM ACT (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), and in the same year became the first undocumented student at Garden City Community College to enroll through the In-State tuition legislation passed in his new home state. His organizing experience has evolved into a multidisciplinary social practice where collaboration and community engagement are guiding themes.

Sunday, February 7
4.00pm (reception to follow / artist and performers in attendance)

In Jefferson Pinder’s Thoroughbred, four performers work themselves to exhaustion running on treadmills that are remote controlled by the artist who sits at a single controller. Thoroughbred, “skillfully exhumes a corpse of black captivity and subjugation of black bodies in America that started four hundred years ago and brings it in into the foreground into our present day experience.” (Fo Wilson, The Evidence of Things Not Seen)

Performers to be announced in January.

American artist Jefferson Pinder works in video, installation, and performance. His work explores the tangle of representations and misrepresentations, visual tropes, and myths–often referencing historical events and invoking cultural symbolism. His work portrays the black body both frenetically and through drudgery in order to convey relevant cultural experiences.

POST-PERFORMANCE join us for in the Theatre Centre café for a reception where audience is invited to meet and speak with the artist and performers of Thoroughbred, and to celebrate the last performance in MONOMYTHS and the closing of Progress.

The MONOMYTHS venue:

The Theatre Centre
1115 Queen St. West, Mainspace

Box Office

ADMISSION: The events in the MONOMYTHS series are offered by donation. Please note that there is limited seating for each performance. Reservations through the individual eventbrite pages is suggested.


SummerWorks, in partnership with The Theatre Centre and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including Aluna TheatreDancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre, SummerworksThe Theatre Centre and Volcano Theatre brings the world to Toronto with Progress: an International Festival of Performance and Ideas, January 14–February 7, 2016.

The Theatre Centre is an accessible facility, with barrier-free washrooms and an accessibility lift to facilitate movement between floors. If you are planning a trip to The Theatre Centre and have any questions about accessibility or would like to make any special arrangements, please call our box office at 416-538-0988.  We will be happy to make any arrangements to help facilitate an enjoyable visit to The Theatre Centre.


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