A year-long, site-specific performance series created by Tedi Tafel


Approaching Stillness

A Collaboration between Vida Simon and Tedi Tafel
Co-produced by articule


June 21
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: performance
6 p.m. – 10 p.m.: performance
10 p.m.: reception

Approaching Stillness is a long duration performance (7 hours) divided into two parts, morning and evening. The public is invited to come at any time (both day and night, if possible) and to stay as long as they please. The performance will be followed by a reception – all are welcome!

Approaching Stillness looks at the Summer Solstice as a kind of enveloping metaphor – the moment in time when the light is at its maximum, the day is at its longest and the apparent movement of the sun, north or south, comes to a standstill: sol (sun) sistere (to stand still).

This collaborative project by Vida Simon and Tedi Tafel explores the layering of installation, video, live projected drawing and gesture. Their process entailed a combination of in-gallery residencies and studio research at punctuated moments in 2009 and 2010. Vida and Tedi began with a series of questions: could the performances be microcosmic events encapsulating the entire cycle of dark to light to dark, created by the tilting of the earth? How does this inquiry play into notions of expanding and collapsing time and space? And finally, what is the intersection of performative, everyday and ritual actions? These questions are used as points of departure for the artists as they play, research and articulate.

 In June, the artists have been continuing their exploration with more specific questions and concerns: How to create an event where the audience/performer relationship is mobile, so that as the performance plays out in different areas of the space (both indoors and outdoors) the public participates in a wide variety of ways? How can the space be a container for the accumulation of actions, and then be de-constructed to reveal the simplicity of a moment? What is the relationship between the preparation of a performance and the performance itself? How can both be essential parts of the public event? This final residency has consisted of a private exploration in the space, leading to this durational performance for the Summer Solstice.

Vida Simon’s work has been presented internationally, in a wide range of contexts – galleries, hotel rooms, storefronts, theatres, rooftops, and books. Her work incorporates various media, combined to form site-responsive installations and performances. Linking all aspects of her practice is a passion for drawing, a form that most directly expresses her interests in visual storytelling, materiality, and embodiment. Much of her work plays with scale extremes, through live projected drawings or situating the body in relation to miniature worlds. In 2010 her work will be presented at Artspace (Peterborough), Interazioni Performance Festival (Italy), At Home Gallery (Slovakia), Turbine Giswil 9th International Performance Art Festival (Switzerland), Galerie Articule (Montreal), and TraficArt (Saguenay). Vida lives in Montreal.