Jacob Wren / PME-Art

A User’s Guide to Authenticity Is a Feeling



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All ages

*Show presented in English*

The bookstore Port de Tête will keep a literature stand before and after each show, including the works of Jacob Wren as well as a selection of books that have influenced the writing of "Authenticity Is a Feeling: My Life In PME-ART". Discussion with the artist on selected books on site. Audience is invited to ask questions after the performance.

To celebrate twenty years of PME-ART, co-artistic director Jacob Wren wrote a book entitled "Authenticity is a Feeling: My Life in PME-ART", a compelling hybrid of history, memoir and performance theory. But books about performance never feel like enough on their own. Addressing performance requires performance. Therefore we also created A User’s Guide to Authenticity is a Feeling. An artist talk turned inside out, a performance asking: why do we do it, why do we continue to believe so stubbornly in the fragile but essential act of “being yourself in a performance situation,” and how do we continue to hope against hope that our destabilizing tangle of art and politics might still, in some small way, change the world. The show also documents the reactions of PME-ART’s past and current collaborators. What they agreed with and what they found unfair, demonstrating that collaborative dynamics are always complex.

The work of PME-ART examines the performance situation with considerable openness to both artistic co-creators and audience. PME-ART has presented in more than fifty cities in Quebec, Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States, including the ICA (London, 2000), Kaaitheater (Brussels, 2006), Festival Spielart (Munich, 2015), and Kiasma (Helsinki, 2016). PME-ART has also participated in the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal’s Triennale Québécoise (2011) and La Biennale de Montréal at La Chapelle (2016). Past creations and achievements include the performances Every Song I’ve Ever Written, The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information, and HOSPITALITY 3: Individualism Was A Mistake. PME-ART was nominated for the 27th Conseil des arts de Montréal’s Grand-Prix (New Artistic Practices) in 2012.

Since the end of the eighties, Jacob Wren’s practice has freely mixed literature, collaborative performance and visual art. His books have been published in English, French and Norwegian, among them Unrehearsed Beauty, Families Are Formed Through Copulation, and Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed. Polyamorous Love Song was a finalist for the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and one of The Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2014. Rich and Poor was a finalist for the 2016 Quebec Writers’ Federation Paragraphe-Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. Much of his performance work is made as co-artistic Director of Montréal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART. He has also collaborated on projects with Nadia Ross (Sto Union), Lene Berg, Tori Kudo, and Pieter de Buysser, in Canada and abroad. He frequently writes about contemporary art.

Claudia Fancello is a collaborative artist, creator, and performer based in Montréal. Since 2008, Claudia has been co-creating and touring with PME-ART interdisciplinary group, producing projects for theatres, galleries, festivals and other contexts.  In recent years, she has created site specific performance projects for parks and dinner tables. She also creates relational food experiences, making installations for festivals and pop-ups. She has been an integral part of choreographic collaborations and performances with artists,  Ame Henderson, Matija Ferlin, Justine A. Chambers, Stephen Thompson, Antonija Livingstone, Zoja Smutny and Marie Claire Forté. Alongside these adventures, Claudia also participates in creations by way of costume design, artistic support, research and rehearsal direction.

Paul Chambers is a Montréal-based stage and lighting designer, educator and co-artistic director of CHA collective. Working with artists across different disciplines, collaborating on new dance works has always been a priority for him. Teaching workshops has also been an important part of his development as an artist and mentor. At Studio 303, he teaches a yearly lighting design workshop for artists, in addition to teaching part-time at Concordia University. From 2008 until 2013 Paul was Technical Director at Tangente Danse. Recent design credits include work with Public Recordings, Amanda Acorn, Dorian Nuskind-Oder, Catherine Lavoie-Marcus, Priscilla Guy, Maria Kefirova, Katie Ward, Parts+Labour_Danse, Lara Kramer Dance and Destins Croisés.

A lecture-performance by
  • Jacob Wren
with the explicit or implicit contributions from PME-ART’s collaborators
  • Claudia Fancello
Technical Direction and Lighting
  • Paul Chambers
Production and Technical Manager
  • Nikita Bala
  • PME-ART (Montréal)
created in residency and co-produced by La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines (Montréal), Inkonst (Malmö), and FTT (Düsseldorf) supported within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. With the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.