Resting is Resisting: An Invitation to Do Nothing

On July 30, 1961 Ray Johnson presented the first in his series of non-performance events he called “Nothings,” what he considered “an attitude as opposed to a Happening” – the Happening of course being the more well-known antecedent of life-meets-art performance events initiated by Allan Kaprow and other Fluxus artists, leading to performance art as we understand it today.

Exactly 60 years later, this spring and summer, in various public sites and “non-places” across Laval, Quebec, I will be proposing six instances of Doing Nothing – non-actions as part of the series res(is)ting / repos comme résistance being hosted by Verticale – centre d’artistes in Laval (see Sept. 12th entry below).

Doing Nothing (as many of you know) is my ongoing proposal to resist. To resist the toxic culture of over-productivity. To keep pushing back against ubiquitous hyper-acceleration and find ways to create more sustainability for just everyday being. To approach living in a more restful way. To rest. Period.

I invite you to join me. Bring a book to read, a notebook to write in, a scarf to knit. Or bring nothing. We can sit and contemplate this past year: collectively mourn what (or who) we’ve lost, celebrate what we’ve (hopefully) gained, mull over what we’re still trying to transform, understand, learn. To breathe. Stopping long enough to appreciate the world that keeps turning all around us. And ultimately just hang out.

As per Covid protocols, space is limited to 8 people per gathering. If you’d like to attend contact me and I’ll give you more info.

Author: Victoria Stanton

Montreal-based performance artist, writer, and educator Victoria Stanton explores live action, human interaction, video, film, photography, and drawing.

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