Instructions for a performance by Emma Goldman

Instructions for a performance by Emma Goldman

Exhibition and off-site performance for the Foreman Art Gallery, Lennoxville, QC. September 5 to October 5, 2019.
Conceived and directed by Adam Kinner, curated by Gentiane Belanger, and including the work of Sahar Sepahdari-Dalai.



The Haskell Free Library and Opera House is a heritage building 50km south of here that is located directly on the border. Accessible from both the U.S. and Canada, audience members sit in seats that are technically in the U.S., while the performance takes place on a stage in Canada. Adam Kinner’s project for the ArtLab takes up this site along with its historical and political exigencies in order to imagine a history that contravenes the border’s logic. Instructions for a performance by Emma Goldman re-enacts a speech that the renowned anarchist might have made in 1907 when she was traveling in the area. Sahar Sepahdari-Dalai, a performer from New York City, has re-written the speech for today. Five local artists accompany her at the Opera House, weaving their music into the speech in order to render it musical and irreducible to polemic. The exhibition presented here at the gallery does not show the performance directly, but takes up its prompts and traces, asking visitors to imagine or invent it anew. With a focus on the site and its theatrical apparatus, Kinner’s project emphasizes the relationship between nation and ensemble, state and stage, the historical and the apocryphal, in order to ask how anarchism might address itself—as music—to the nation(s).

A performance that accompanied this exhibition took place on September 15, 2019, at 3pm, at the Haskell Opera House.

Exhibition booklet [pdf] that was published on the occasion of the exhibition.

Conceived and directed by Adam Kinner, curated by Gentiane Belanger, with the participation of Sahar Sepahdari-Dalai, filmed by Ralitsa Doncheva, with the participation of Brett Nelson, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Eugenie Jobin, Sarah-Jeanne Riberdy, and Marie-Claire Durand. Co-produced by the Foreman Art Gallery and the Stanstead Centre des Arts, with the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec.

photos of the exhibition by François Lafrance.