Joshua Vettivelu is an educator and artist working within sculpture, installation and performance. Their work seeks to explore how larger frameworks of power impact and manifest within intimate and personal relationships by utilizing the interiority of the body as an unknowable and imagined space. They have exhibited across Canada and internationally. Exhibitions of note include the British Film Institute’s LGBT Film Festival, Performatorium in Regina, SK, MIX NYC 2013, 011+91 | 011+92 at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, SUPERNOVA Performance Festival in Washington DC, Dreamworlds in St. John’s, NL and a performance/ installation for ART TORONTO 2012 presented by the South Asian Visual Arts Center (SAVAC). Vettivelu is currently an instructor at OCADU.
“Fort / Da! is an ongoing project where I play Freud’s Fort/Da with the ocean and large bodies of water, using the idea of the shoreline as a kind of threshold or barrier in which I can project or exchange desire from. The performance is an exploration in finding pleasure in making things be gone vs the anxious anticipation of their return. The name is taken from Freud’s equation of longing; where fort (“gone away!”) speaks to the taboo ability to transform of trauma into pleasure and da! (“there it is!”) as the realignment of pleasure to the return of the object. The video documents a performance of where I throw rocks at a distant horizon. The pleasure objects (in this instance, parts of the landscape) are expelled into the horizon and never returned leaving the cycle endlessly open. As the pleasurable act builds into anxious repetition, horizons and landscapes blur and shift into new borders. The video shows the transition from the shores of Brighton, UK into Toronto, CA into Ayr, Scotland. As I continue to travel and encounter different horizons I will continue to perform the game, adding to the video, allowing for the performance to span across literal oceans and large geographic distances.” -Joshua Vettivelu
TSG: Fall to Pieces is a 2 month exhibition of new projects created by LGBTTI2QQ artists about their experiences of disability, radicalization, class, and other intersectional experiences of identity. The show attempts to interrupt the idea of a homogenous queer community and reimagines what it means to talk about our lived experiences as artists from a diversity of backgrounds.