The Sun is Crooked in the Sky;
My Father is Thrown over my Shoulders

by Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa
(100-hour continuous performance)
June 29, 7 pm - July 3, 10 pm

Photography; Miklos Legrady

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Globe and Mail review, July 1, 2005.

Fado kicks off its new IDea series with The Sun is Crooked in the Sky; My Father is Thrown over my Shoulders a continuous 100-hour performance by Guatemalan-born Canadian artist Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa. The Sun is Crooked in the Sky; My Father is Thrown over my Shoulders is a visceral, searching visual and action-based exploration of aspects of the artist's personal history. In his notes for the performance, Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa writes:

"The artist's family, like many other Guatemalan -- and Latin American -- families, has dealt with common, though taboo issues of class and race differences that have affected the family dynamic. In the case of Ramirez-Figueroa there is a history of indigenous women having the children of whiter men, men who become fathers unwilling to recognize the children as their own. By using metaphorical elements of his childhood -- like powdered milk -- and through sleep deprivation, Ramirez-Figueroa will push the limits of his endurance with the purpose of reaching an altered state of consciousness through which to meditate upon a genealogy of absent white fathers."

About the artist

Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa is a performance and visual artist based in Vancouver. For the past 7 years he has performed and exhibited at various Canadian artist-run centers and in galleries and museums in Latin America. Described by Canadian Art magazine as a "rising Vancouver star" whose recent performance work "merges humiliation and provocation into a stark spectacle that provokes uncomfortable questions of sexuality and identity", Ramirez-Figueroa attempts to create an opening for dialogue around ethics and inter-personal relations in relation to issues such as racial cleansing, economic globalization, and love.

About the IDea series

Issues of identity are at the centre of IDea, Fado's newest new multi-year international performance art series. The concept of identity has been at the forefront of art discourse since the 1980s. Performance artists have been particularly concerned with how our various identities are constructed, how they mark us and how they influence self-understanding. At the same time, artists have also used performance tactics to problematize and transform their identities. In recent years, the debate has shifted to examine identity issues in subtler, less didactic ways, using the territory of identity as a ground for complex and often ambivalent readings of subjectivity, hybridity and representation.

IDea considers a broad range of identity labels, including gender, skin colour, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, familial role, economic status, political affiliation and profession, to name a few of the more obvious possibilities. In blunt terms, the series will circulate around an underlying set of interrelated questions. How do we accept or resist these multiple identities? Which do we choose to embrace, and why? What identity labels are misleading, unhelpful or irrelevant, and in what ways? How do these labels intersect with one another? How do they determine the nature and quality of our lives? How do they contribute to a sense of belonging or alienation?

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