Part of Fall 2006
J’Adore brings together Pascal Lièvre(France) and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (Canada) in their first collaborative show in Toronto, for an evening of performance and performance-based video. Often playing with the pop-music-video genre, both artists use a delightful array of source materials, ranging from love songs to political tracts. Madonna meets Lacan meets Celine Dion meets Mao… and beyond. In a programme that was recently featured at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema (Montreal), the European Media Arts Festival (Osnabrack) and the Festival Namo (Paris), Pascal Lièvre and Nemerofsky Ramsay pair individual videos and engaging live performances, ending with their recent collaborative video.
The Kiss of Orlan for One Dollar, performance, Pascal Lièvre, 15:00
Lièvre remakes the French artist Orlana’s famous 1977 performance in which she wandered around a French art fair selling kisses for five French Francs.
J’Adore Trailer, Pascal Lièvre + Nemerofsky Ramsay, video, 1:00
Je Changerais Dâavis, Nemerofsky Ramsay, video, 2000, 4:00, Multi-lingual
How do you say ‘I love you’ in the information age? A desperate love song is filtered through simultaneous translations, web cameras and weather reports.
Lacan Dalida, Pascal Lièvre, video, 2000, 6:00, French with English subtitles
The silhouettes of a man and woman perform a post-mortem karaoke. A text from French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan is sung with earnestness and admiration to the tune of a song by the late French popsinger Dalida.
I am a Boyband, Nemerofsky Ramsay, video, 2002, 5:00, English with subtitles
A cloned boyband co-opts an Elizabethan madrigal to express its heartbreak over lost love and to examine representations of masculinity in contemporary pop music.
ABBA Mao, Pascal Lièvre, video, 2001, 4:00, French with English subtitles
Lièvre symbolically paints his lips and face red, reminiscent of Bruce Nauman, while singing a passage from Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book to the tune of ABBA’s 1970s hit Money, Money, Money. To make effective art, one must use explicit language: that of the workers and peasants.
Live To Tell, Nemerofsky Ramsay, video, 2002, 6:00, English
A ubiquity of surveillance cameras becomes the audience for a choral rendition of a 1980s Madonna ballad.
Savoir Aimer, Pascal Lièvre, video, 2004, 2:00, French with English subtitles
French performance artist Rodolphe Cintorino sings a love song while receiving 32 slaps to his face during the performance. This video is a demonstration of resistance to violence with only a humanist song for armour.
Audition Tape, Nemerofsky Ramsay, video, 2003, 8:00, Russian and English
Gay white male, 5’11”, 155 lbs, 29 years old, good singing voice and co-ordination, desperately seeks job as performer in a Russian girl pop group. History, sexuality and identity collide in a musical monologue inspired by outtakes from American idol competitions.
Axis of Evil, Pascal Lièvre, video, 2002, 4:00, French with English subtitles
George W. Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ speech in French translation provides the lyrics for this faux music video, sung to the tune of Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora’s 1980s duet, And When the Rain Begins to Fall. An unlikely meeting between a theo-geo-political text and the language of love.
Lyrics, Nemerofsky Ramsay, performance, 7:00, Russian and English
The artist performs a live extract from his two-hour video installation, Lyric (2003), in which he performs a sung narrative based on lyrics sampled from 1,000 love songs. In this excerpt, Nemerofsky Ramsay builds a song based on songs that feature first names, 50 of which were sampled and strung together in alphabetical order creating a comical serenade to everyone and no one. A synchronized video projection accompanies the performance.
Patriotic, Pascal Lièvre and Nemerofsky Ramsay, video, 2005, 4:00, English
The language of anti-terrorism takes an unexpected form in this seductive propaganda video, in which the infamous American Patriot Act of 2001 becomes an eerie, electro-pop national anthem thanks to the melody from Celine Dion’s theme to the film Titanic.
Presented with the support of the Consulat général de France à Toronto.
This screening coincides with the exhibition of Patriotic as part of the Vtape Salon series, 401 Richmond St. W., Suite 452, September 23 — November 4, 2006. www.vtape.org