172 St Helens Avenue, Toronto ON, M6H 4A1 | 416 289-8855 | Tues-Sat 11AM-6PM

Past Exhibitions

Aug 28 2019

Living Diary - Tess Martens

Living Diary - Tess Martens
Artist in Residence 
Performance 29 Aug - 4 Sep and 
Exhibition 19 Sep - 19 Oct, 2019

Reception: Thursday 19 September, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

"Living Diary"
Tess Martens
Artist in Residence
Performance 29 Aug - 4 Sep and
Exhibition 19 Sep - 19 Oct, 2019

Reception: Thursday 19 September, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

PRESS RELEASE - for immediate release
Republic of Artist is excited for its debut, to invite artist Tess Martens to perform her "Living Diary" at Robert Kananaj Gallery.
Dark, heartfelt, imaginative, Tess Martens embraces the human condition with vulnerability and humour.

Questions I have:

What is a gallery?
What is an artist studio?
What are gallery visits?
What are studio visits?
What is the difference between performing and living?
What is the difference between visitor, viewer, participant and genuine interactions?
What does it mean to be a host?
What does it mean for my space to be occupied by others?
Who am I as a person, an artist, a subject, a material?
What can be made out of material?
What is play?
What is labor?
What is boredom?
What is absence?
What is presence?
What is self-care?
What is self-expression?
Am I performing if no one is in the gallery?
Do I need witnesses?
What is validation?
What is approval?
What is success?
What is failure?
How can I live in a gallery for 6 days?
What are the items that I would bring (like the question, if you were to bring 3 things to a deserted island)?

-Adapted from an exercise by artist and performance artist: Marilyn Arsem.

"I get inspired by people who really make me feel maybe dark, heartfelt, imagination or human condition." -Tess Martens, Culture Fancier Interviews Tess Martens March 7, 2019

“Tess [Martens] is very good at tapping into the space and place of performance and therefore can successfully reach and touch the witnesses who are present. This is where performance is at its best.” - Prof. Boyana Videkanic, University of Waterloo

Tess Martens (b. 1989) completed her Masters of Fine Art focusing on performance art, at the University of Waterloo in 2018. Martens facilitates an artist-run gallery, The Front Room Gallery, in Waterloo ON that features visual artists, bands, DJs, and poets. Martens is on the programming committee for CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum of Kitchener & Area) and has a voice in selecting public art. She is a Recreation Therapist in long-term care and in her free time, performs stand-up comedy, spoken word poetry and karaoke.
Tess has been invited to perform in festivals in Ontario and Quebec, and in residencies with La Pocha Nostra in California and VestandPAge in The Netherlands.

About Republic of Artist:

Republic of Artist is about living together while being oneself in every walk of life, with awareness of one self.

Harmony within the social fabric and self awareness go hand in hand; so it has to be for an individual, to survive and function while bending under the weight of collective social constructs.

Still, an individual may end up being crushed by the social machine; in surviving it, the individual has become Republic of Artist.

It is up to individuals to improve society, it is not up to society to improve individuals.
ROA founded in August, 2019

Robert Kananaj Gallery
172 St Helens Avenue  
Toronto ON  M6H 4A1
416 289 8855
[email protected]