Photo: Michael Ligon
Lisa Hirmer, as Dodolab - Guelph, Canada
A Quack Cure, 2013
Multi-media and street performance
72 - Queens Park Crescent East & Wellesley Street West
[ photographs ] [ video ]
Inspired by traditional mummers parades, A Quack Cure will bring to life a merry troupe of otherwise-extinct
creatures for a night of revelry aboard a float designed especially for these strange animals.
Dating back to the medieval ages, mummers parades were put on by groups of masked performers traveling
through the streets and into houses during holidays and festivals. A performance of some kind would occur
at one or more points during theses processions, often telling a story of combat that would result in
one of the characters being killed. In these plays a quack doctor would appear just in time, responding
to the assailant’s regret at having killed his opponent, and bring the dead character back to life.
At this point, with catastrophe avoided, the entire troupe would break into revelry and continue on their
This project is based on the same lighthearted reversal of consequences. This all-night performance
supposes that a “quack cure” has undone, for this festive night, the human-caused extinctions
of a small but lively selection of creatures.
Unfortunately, quack cures are never quite what they hope to be.
DodoLab is an art and design-based research program, directed by artist Lisa Hirmer, that engages
and responds to the public’s relationship with contemporary issues. Using experimental approaches
DodoLab emphasizes open participation and exchange in projects that are critical but playful and always
highly public. DodoLab has worked with art galleries, museums, universities, municipalities and social
service organizations across Canada and internationally.