each hand as they are called by Reena Katz: Toronto: Oct 1-25 2009

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Maysie Maysie's picture
each hand as they are called by Reena Katz: Toronto: Oct 1-25 2009

Congratulations to Reena and Kim for persevering and succeeding.


each hand as they are called
October 1-25, 2009
Kensington Market, Toronto
Visual and sonic artist Reena Katz and curator Kim Simon are pleased to present each hand as they are called. This widely anticipated public site work reflects on Toronto’s Kensington Market as a nexus of multiple public histories, personal stories and political thought, fragmented by the inevitable cacophony of life in diverse and densely populated urban space. Katz’s poetic and experimental interpretation of Kensington’s origins as “The Jewish Market” embraces the complex processes and vibrant imperfections of this urban microcosm as soulful machine.  Approaching the contemporary culture of the Market through the lens of her own memory and experience, Kensington is a space and community essential to Katz’s coming out as a queer youth and a space which continues to inform her sense of possibility in the world.
Taking the ephemeral nature of experience in urban space to heart, Katz works with notions of transition, tension and movement in the development of both social and material space through a series of performances, relational gestures and temporary installations. each hand as they are called captures the spirit of the Market on any given day, filled with passing but penetrating vignettes.
From October 1-10, a temporary scaffold structure serves as the dwelling place for a series of performative and relational acts against the backdrop of Kensington Market’s tense relationship to urban development. Katz will be present in the space each day at sunset enacting a different gesture, at times inviting participation and conversation, at times simply sharing an aesthetic moment. The dwelling and structure of the acts are loosely inspired by the Jewish holiday Sukkot. As a harvest celebration, Sukkot traditionally involves the building of a Sukkah, a temporary dwelling where people eat, engage guests and come together to share, contemplate, discuss and debate. 
On October 10 at 6:44pm Christine Duncan and The Element Choir perform their incredible vocal experiments inside the scaffolding. Developed in consultation with Katz, Duncan’s composition speaks to the complexity of communication amongst diverse communities. Working within a process of structured improvisation, she leads the vocal choir using a unique visual code of hand signals. The signals for this performance were developed around the idea of communication itself, as conversation offers both mutual understanding and obstruction. In the context of Katz’s work, The Element Choir’s improvisations embody the creation of a space for individual expression within the leadership of public dialogue.
At odd and unexpected hours throughout the month, roaming, live vocal duets insert an experimental soundtrack of assimilation, anachronism and hybridity into the urban landscape of the Market. Based on the fusion music of Yiddish speaking sister duos from the 60s, Katz’s haunting compositions are a combination of popular music, Yiddish classics and jazz, composed backwards for two voices. The resulting absurdist lyrics create a hybrid language of calls and beckoning within the Market streetscape.
While each of Katz’s performative and social gestures are ephemeral, each hand as they are called will have a constant presence in the market through a series of interrelated street posters, designed by Katz with letterpress printer and text-based artist Leslie Topness.  Working in the tradition of concrete poetry and typographic experimentation, the posters consider language as obscured and encoded. The graphics provide additional context for the project while inserting a distinct visual presence amongst the eclectic mix of band-posters, announcements about lost pets, and other posted ephemera populating the Market.
Performance Dates:
October 1-9, daily at sunset: Scaffolding, south side of Nassau St, west of Augusta Ave.
October 10, 6:44pm: Christine Duncan’s Element Choir performs in the scaffolding 
Throughout the month: Sudden duets sing "backwards" compositions in the streets of Kensington   
For more details on the history of the project and the times of sunset Oct 1-10 please visit www.eachhand.org 
Media inquiries:
Reena Katz, radiodress@rogers.com
Kim Simon, kimsimon@rogers.com 

Please see past issues with the curation of this art show in this thread.

Maysie Maysie's picture


martin dufresne

Wow, this is such a tremendous project! One of these rare moments where I am sorry not to be a Torontonian.

Similar vibes from Italian gipsy jazz singer Lu Colombo - and this viral gem which I found myself singing on the street after hearing it on Radio-Canada Wednesday... although I have no idea what the words mean