Artist-in-Residence - Ame Henderson

August 5 – October 9, 2014

Photo of Ame Henderson

Ame Henderson is the Artistic Director of Public Recordings, an atelier committed to experimental choreography.

Henderson’s residency focussed on the history of live performance at the AGO. Her research concentrates on how public performance is organized, collected and archived, both materially and via collective institutional memory. Archival and anecdotal research reveals key moments and spaces in the history of performance at the AGO. While some performances are remembered, others are left in the past. Some spaces still exist, while others have long since disappeared, shedding light on the shifting architectural history of the building itself.

Entitled rehearsal/performance Henderson’s work is simultaneously a rehearsal and a live event. Rehearsal is often understood as an exploratory and improvisational process, an embodied experience focused on preparing for a future event. Henderson’s work will eliminate the spatial and temporal shift between rehearsal and performance, as the gallery itself becomes her workspace. Due to the emphasis on rehearsal – an event designed for feedback and dialogue – the audience will be encouraged to engage in the rehearsal/performance process.

Henderson conducted four live rehearsals: August 27, 6 - 8pm; September 10, 6 - 8pm; September 24, 6 - 8pm; and October 2, during our First Thursday. These culminated in a 12-hour event for Scotiablank Nuit Blanche 2014 on the night of October 4th-5th. Over this series of public events Henderson and other performers enacted durational choreographic encounters inside the AGO lasting two to twelve hours. By moving through key sites of past performances at the AGO performers and visitors will explore tracing and reimagining histories as a form of embodiment. 

As a marker of her residency, Ame Henderson and her collaborator, designer Jeremy McCormick, have created an installation in the AGO's Margaret & Jim Fleck Gallery. The installation functions as a rehearsal notebook made public. This design allows Henderson to make her research process visible, providing a space where she will display archival findings and research notes. The live sites of rehearsal/performance will be marked by the signage that has been incorporated into the installation. This open rehearsal notebook will change and grow weekly as the residency continues. 

Ame Henderson with rehearsal/performance installation

Ame Henderson grew up on Vancouver Island and is now based in Toronto. Public Recordings’ commitment to a collaborative practice is both a political and an aesthetic engagement resulting in a range of projects including publications, performances, and exhibitions. She has created works in residence at Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Tanz Quartier Vienna, Gallery TPW (Toronto), OBORO (Montreal) and the Art Gallery of York University (Toronto) among others. Her recent works – Henderson/Castle: voyager (2014) and what we are saying (2013) – were both nominated for 2014 Dora Awards, with what we are saying winning for Best Ensemble and Best Production in the Dance divisions.

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