The performance took place in Firehall Arts Centre, a space with an intimate and communal atmosphere. The set was simple: Iwaasa at her piano, with a screen playing images of each planet as the backdrop.
Visitors of the Queer Arts Festival's Salon des Refusés are in for a surprise. Co-presented by Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium, the exhibit showcases explicit works by artists in Vancouver's queer communities. As her gaze shifts from a pair of handcuffs to a black and white photograph of a man in bed back to a 16” double dong, Helen Wong muses about censorship, art history and perception.
When I first met international Queer performance artist Coral Short at the Queer Arts Festival’s opening art party, she was wearing boxing shorts and a determined expression. Donning her gloves, she walked onto stage and began to perform her opening piece, Stop Beating Yourself Up, a literal boxing match fought entirely--and mercilessly--against herself. When I met Short a few days later for our interview, she was a radically different person. Relaxed, smiling, and I as I discovered later, a little concussed, Short was nothing like the fierce fighter I remembered from a few nights ago. As we talked performance, meditation, film and travel over afternoon coffee, I realized that Short is actually both of these people: open and friendly, but also strong and, honestly, intimidating. Despite her gentle nature and diminutive stature, Short clearly has no problem being ruthless when it comes to what really matters: creating powerful, boundary-pushing art.
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