ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Barnwell Country Park
24 September – 9 October 2022
Preceding our Treewilder exhibition Johannes Zits was artist in residence at Barnwell Country Park, working with local people to develop a guided experience through a series of actions and exercises to develop the intuitive durational performance with a group of birch trees, moving as a group with the goal of staying connected to one another as humans and to the rest of the nonhuman world, aiming to stay in the moment, acknowledging what was in front of them with respect.
Dressed to reflect their surroundings there were moments where participants seem to merge with the spinney of trees and others where their movement patterns made them more visible and reflective of one another.
Documentation of the performance features as an edited video in our Treewilder exhibition at Barnwell Country Park, whereas for some of the participants and audience members the work was already about being “given permission to play and listen to and simply be with the trees.”
Johannes Zits’ multi-disciplinary practice focuses on the many meanings engendered by a body, both human and non-human; extending the notion of the performer to include nature itself. Based in Toronto, Canada, Johannes has presented work both across Canada and internationally since the mid-80s. In 2019 the Copenhagen Contemporary Museum commissioned him to create a performance score for their permanent collection and he performed at the International Biennial of Asuncion, Paraguay. In 2020, Johannes was the artist-in-residence at Western University’s McIntosh Gallery in London, Ontario, presenting the exhibition Listening To Trees.
Image: Moving to an old maple, Johannes Zits, 2019