Open Surgery 2001

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Open Surgery is a collaborative project between Oreet Ashery and Svar Simpson, curated by FADO. The project is a reflection on the self-help and new age industry, questioning the parameters of art as a social interaction rather than a visual experience. It was presented as an interactive performance installation in an empty open-plan office in Toronto.

One large social space was the ‘Waiting Room’, set up like a day centre where people could spend time with activities such as juicing, hair cutting, massage, a wish wall, etc.

A smaller room was the ‘Consultation Room’ where participants booked into an interaction with the artists. During the hour-long session, the artists performatively engaged with ‘Treat-Meants’ for the participant. These included; a social home-video watching night for a recent immigrant who wanted to meet people, a queer photo shoot for an aspiring actor, hand-made protective cycle wear, a picnic by the sea, and the words radical discontinuity hand-stitched onto hardware gloves for a gardener who also liked going to demonstrations.



Additional project information: FADO Performance Art Centre

Review: Daphne Gordon, ‘Live action artists’, The Toronto Star (September 2001)

Interview: Charlotte Huddleston, ‘One-to-One: Distance and Proximity’, Visit No. 8 (Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Publications: Summer/Autumn 2006)