The second iteration of I’ve Only Known My Own was presented at Optica in Montreal, from April 21 to June 10, 2017. This group exhibition of performance-based work explores how the materiality of the body is represented through measurements, process, and documentation.
First realised in Houston in the spring of 2016, artists Nadège Grebmeier Forget, Ursula Johnson, Autumn Knight, and Michelle Lacombe were invited to revisit, re-perform, or reinterpret their earlier performances for the second iteration at Optica and to bring forward traces or echoes from the first exhibition. Writer Mikhel Proulx was invited to witness and respond to the performances in Houston, and his first-person account is included in the accompanying publication as another trace. In both iterations, the exhibition evolved over the course of its run, with objects, props, and actions set in motion during the presentation of each of the four works. The exhibition’s title (adapted from the title of Lacombe’s project) evokes the notion of knowledge that derives from a body, and is specific to a particular body; it is intended as a poetic echo of the themes in these works. The title also speaks to the gap between an individual experience of a performance and the traces that (might) be known or circulated afterwards. Together, the artists presented for this exhibition offer multiple positions from which to approach these ideas, and they open new avenues for considering the materiality and presence of the body within performance.
All photos above by Paul Litherland.