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Margie Rauen

first performed on August 19, 2018
Artscape Gibraltar Point (AGP) Fireplace Room, Toronto Island, Canada
performed once in 2018


Curitiba, Brazil


“Performing_names” was devised as a site-specific work in process about ways in which naming practices affect identity, reinforce power, force invisibility, mark gender, and/or have been culturally accepted throughout the world, but should be questioned.

The work comprised of six scenes:

The text contains references to images and symbols that are edited for projection and convey traces of an imaginary lecture that is juxtaposed to the performer’s text. The script addressed Toronto and its name changes, the Inuksuk as a symbol of presence and mobility (but also of anonymity), the transmission of power through patriarchal names, women artists and writers resorting to pseudonyms (illustration), and anonymity as the status shared by outsiders, animals and the invisible, no matter how obscure society renders them: “Many names of places are marked by colonization practices of decentering and renaming, just as the aboriginal peoples were urged to take Christian names. Names carry the baggage of family history. They often mean a heavy weight that people would rather strive to get rid of. Names convey expectations regarding personal, social, and professional roles that were, so to speak, pasted onto them without their consent” (Rauen, 2018).

As we perform and re-enact our own names or the names of places and of any life forms, they may perform with or against us. The images that informed the AGP performance are available in Instagram at #performing_names.