Odditorio | A Performative Installation

Iteration 2 | Canadian Premiere

Scenofest, World Stage Design 2022

Troy Hourie Installation Artist | Creator

enVide neFelibata Oddity Doll | Puppet Artisan

Andrew Gaboury Clown | Movement Specialist

Ryan Ahlers Composer | Sound Artist

Constantinos Soutos Media Specialist

Ben Rosenberg Media and Soundscape Associate

Special thanks to Teatro e Marionetas de Mandrágora

Artistic Directors: Clara Ribeiro, Filipa Mesquita and enVide neFelibata

Freaks | A Performative Installation has been renamed Odditorio | A Performative Installation to fully represent the integration of new methods of creating music and sound to the existing artwork.

Odditorio | A Performative Installation combines installation the art, puppetry, media and performance aspects of my practice. This artwork will merge two long-term creative projects I have speculated during my career into one immersive performative installation. (I have created the term ‘performative installation’ to encapsulate my intentions as an artist to include myself (or the creative process) as a performance element in an installation artwork). Firstly, I have been inspired by Carlos Vilardebó’s film documenting Alexander Calder at play with his artwork “The Circus” in which he builds a narrative through the animation of the artwork itself. The discovery of this piece has already influenced past works where I have inserted myself as a performer in the artworks I created. As a scenographer, the second creative work I have longed to experiment with is Sweeney Todd, based on a penny dreadful story String of Pearls. Several outcast characters have been re-envisioned as the members of the side show in an amusement park like Coney Island. I have merged the carnivalesque with steam punk to expose the mechanics of movement of the environment. Four characters have become oddity dolls/puppets, built from found objects and toys and inhabit their own cabinet of wonder which collectively have built a evocative installation landscape. Eventually, I speculate that the piece will evolve into a short performance where I unpack the installation through play in front of an audience, building the installation around them as I go. Once the space has been established, the audience will then be invited to interact with it.

This iteration began with a collaboration with Ryan Ahlers to  create a new musical instrument assemblage to replace the antique piano during the summer of 2021. This additional cabinet of wonder contained a large number of found instruments, an adaptation of a hurdy gurdy and a resonator pipe box found in many organs in the middle of carousels. A second workshop occured in June 2022 to begin to build a new soundscape providing specific sounds and melodies played on the assemblage and modified with computer software to distort and amplify these musical moments. The art installation now contains four fully realized cabinets, one for music and the other for the three characters of the oddity dolls.  This also meant that we have restaged the performative element as the soundscape is devised through the staging of animation of the space by the artist.

This iteration was featured in Scenofest at World Stage Design in Calgary in August 2022. This is an international event that brings together artists from around the globe to attend performances, exhibits and workshops with their peers.

Ryan Ahlers and Ben Rosenberg, recent graduates of the Theatre Studies program of the University of Guelph are new collaborators.

Copyright 2013
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