C Mag


Experiments in Criticism: Peter Morin and Ayumi Goto

Event Details


8 Sep 2019 - 29 Sep 2019



Diving for a glorious future present

Delving deeply into ancestors, land and salmon
Guided by Peter Morin and Ayumi Goto
September 8, 15, 22, 29

Experiments in Criticism is a yearlong education program devised by C Magazine to nurture and promote interdisciplinary critical literacy around contemporary art. Participants in a series of workshops aimed at youth aged 18 to 30, developed with and guided by community leaders, explore unique approaches to art criticism, and a symposium in Spring 2020 offers a forum for presenting forms of experimental criticism.

In this first workshop series, Peter Morin and Ayumi Goto playfully complicate acts of reading and writing. Below, they introduce their thoughts concerning how bodies move through ideas, move through text and move across the land.

The body has the potential to rupture systems of power. The body performs meaning within these systems. The body builds. The body takes away.

Collaboration, and the coming together of bodies through performance art, can mean a revolution of experience. A series of experimental movements, a collection of gestures that becomes radical, looking at ourselves and each other moving through the land—these interlinked performance workshops offer participants opportunities to develop a deeper sense of what it means to look and to move one’s and many bodies.

Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin are best friends. We sing together. We laugh together. We cry together. We debate ideas and plan for the destruction of the European colonization of Canada. This best friendship is the foundation for the hard work that needs to happen while delving into learning from ancestors, land and salmon. Goto and Morin share their ongoing collaboration with participants through a series of experimental exercises and activations.

Sept 8, 6-10pm: A Dinner Party
Location: Peter and Ayumi’s Home
We will connect through and across ancestries by sharing a meal. We will talk with participants about values, thoughts, limitations of spoken and written language, and contemplate movement and the embodiment of language.

Sept 15, 12-4pm: Out in the Land
Location: Evergreen Brick Works
This session is shaped around the question: What is land agency? Performance exercises will respond to trees, fish, birds, wind, grasses and humans. Vocality will be investigated. We will begin to discuss how to transform these witnessing-based movements into a collaborative performance.

Sept 22, 12-4pm: Planning a Performance
Location: Evergreen Brick Works
We will collate the themes and lessons from the previous workshops: invitation, care, language, land, embodiment, witnessing, place, space, group transformations and practice. The group’s collective responses, movements, localities and witnessings will be incorporated into a performance intervention.

Sept 29, 12-4pm: Reflections
Location: Evergreen Brick Works
We will consider how actions and movements change in meaning with respect to a change in cadence, location and histories. Participants will create a response in their chosen medium to articulate their shared learning.

Ayumi Goto is a performance apprentice, currently based in Toronto, traditional territories of the Anishnaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca and Mississaugas of the Credit River. Born in Canada, she identifies as Japanese diasporic, drawing upon her cultural heritage and language to investigate notions of national culturalism, senses of belonging and activism in her creative practice. She enjoys working in collaboration with artists, scholars and communities writ large to explore creatively and critically reconciliation discourses and relational ethics. She has performed public interventions in Berlin, London and Kyoto, as well as focusing on developing human-nonhuman interconnections through performances in rural and forested areas. Ayumi has a PhD in Communication Studies, Simon Fraser University. In her thesis, she explores a performatively premised conceptualization of “collective responsibility” and relationality as expressed in the practices of Cree Métis artist, Cheryl L’Hirondelle; Siksika artist, Adrian Stimson; and, Tahltan performance artist, Peter Morin. Ayumi is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.

Peter Morin is a Tahltan Nation artist and curator. Throughout his artistic practice, Morin investigates the impact zones that occur when Indigenous practices collide with Western settler colonialism. Morin’s artworks are shaped, and reshaped, by Tahltan epistemological production and often take on the form of performance interventions. Morin’s practice has spanned twenty years so far, with exhibitions in London, Berlin, Singapore and New Zealand, as well as across Canada and the United States. In addition to his exhibition history, Morin has curated exhibitions for the Museum of Anthropology, the Western Front, Bill Reid Gallery and Burnaby Art Gallery. He was longlisted for the Brink and Sobey Awards, in 2013 and 2014, respectively. In 2016, Morin received the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award for outstanding achievement by a Canadian mid-career artist. He holds a SSHRC grant, Crossing media, Crossing Canada: performing the land we are, which explores the meeting up of media and durational performance. Morin currently holds a tenured appointment in the Faculty of Arts at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.

C Magazine acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Council for the Arts’ Sector Innovation program. We also wish to thank the sites, venues and hosts that participate in and support the Experiments in Criticism program, including Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin, the City of Toronto and Evergreen Brick Works.