Canadian artist Isabelle Pauwels is in residence at EMPAC to complete the pre-production and cast the actors for If it bleeds, her major new moving-image work that will be in production in fall 2017. The project takes its cues from the scripted artifice of professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and the spectacle of the televised Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Pauwels will not be present for this evening's presentation, however she will return later this year to premiere the aforementioned work.
In place of the scheduled screening, curator Victoria Brooks will discuss the new project and present the moving-image version of ,000,—a live performance Pauwels premiered at EMPAC in 2014.
“While MMA fights are real, not staged, the highly codified structure around the fight (the fight announcement, the promotional tour, Twitter beef, the broadcast commentary, the post-fight presser, and the disciplinary hearing) relies heavily on narrative, cultivating in the audience a desire for predictable and justifiable outcomes. The thematic relationship between faith and delusion is a spatial problem—collapsing or expanding distance.”
— Isabelle Pauwels, 2016