An installation and workshop at Project will take as its starting point the documentary film ‘Artcirq‘ by Isuma Productions. Artcirq follows a project initiated by Guillaume Saladin, a circus student from Montreal, that took place in Igloolik a remote Inuit settlement of 1200 people off the North West Coast of Baffin Island in the Canadian arctic.
The project took the form of an amateur theatrical production made in collaboration with Inuit teenagers, which combined local stories, and performance techniques such as throat singing, with circus skills, juggling, acrobatics and rock music. The collaboration was initiated in response to a series of teenage suicides in Igloolik, with the idea that working together to stage a performance for the community would be an empowering experience as well as a way to reinterpret indigenous traditions and mythologies.
Project commissioned Dublin based artist Seamus Nolan to make a new work in response to Artcirq, which helped to provide a local context for the film. Nolan choose to engineer a seating arrangement for the audience using a street stall/structure spotted in Moore Street Market, which he imagines as a micro amphitheatre. Weaving his work (and to symbolic effect the screening of the film) into the economy of the city, Nolan constructed a new market stall for the donor which was installed in Moore Street where the old one was formerly positioned.
During the period of the screening at Project, Saladin and the group started rehearsing a new performance in Igloolik, which they hoped to tour through Canada and internationally. To initiate a dialogue between Dublin and Igloolik, Grant Watson (Projects Curator of Visual Arts hosted a public conversation with members of the Artcirq team, which was co-ordinated by Canadian curator Janna Graham. From this it was hoped that the groundwork was laid for a live performance at Project at some point in the future.
Isuma Productions is a film collective working out of Igloolik. It is Canada’s first Inuit independent production company using video, audio, TV and the internet to develop projects, which preserve and enhance Inuit culture and foster economic development in Igloolik and Nunavut. Isuma has received international acclaim for its representations of life from an Inuit point of view. It received the Camera d’Or prize for the feature film ‘Atanarjuat – The Fast Runner’ at the Cannes International Film Festival and ‘Nunavut – Our Land’ was screened as part of Documenta 11 at Kassel in Germany during 2004.
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