Jon Sasaki, A Rest, 2018, video, 10:21. (detail)
Photo by Jon Sasaki, A Rest, 2018, video, 10:21. Adapted from a choreographed solo performed by James Phillips commissioned by Toronto Dance Theatre, 2016 and produced for video with the assistance of the Art Museum, University of Toronto. Cinematography: Lee Hend

About the exhibition

This split-screen video pairs archival images of Depression-era dance marathon competitors who have fallen asleep, or are resting in the arms of their partners with footage of solo contemporary dancer James Phillips, who attempts to hold the resting partner’s poses without anyone to lean on. Phillips’ body strains to hold these unsupported resting poses and finally collapses. Although Sasaki’s work predates the COVID-19 pandemic, it accrues additional poignancy and meaning when viewed through the inevitable lens of the current health and economic crisis. As we collectively struggle to adapt to these ever-changing and extraordinary circumstances, and as so many of us ache for community and human contact, we might ask ourselves: who supports us? Who are we supporting? And how long can we keep going?

Jon Sasaki is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist who explores many concurrent streams of inquiry that often intertwine in surprising ways. Frequently charting territory between logic and absurdity, his practice brings performance, video, object and installation into a framework where expectation and outcome rarely align. His work has been exhibited throughout Canada and internationally. He is represented by Clint Roenisch Gallery in Toronto.

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School of Art Gallery
255 ARTlab
180 Dafoe Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2

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