Jess Dobkin 2019 Visiting Artist in Residence


Jess Dobkin has been a working artist, curator, community activist, and teacher for more than 25 years, creating and producing intimate solo theatre performances, large-scale public happenings, socially engaged interventions and performance art workshops and lectures. Her practice extends across black boxes and white cubes, art fairs and subway stations, international festivals, and single bathroom stalls. She’s operated an artist-run newsstand in a vacant subway station kiosk, a soup kitchen for artists, a breast milk tasting bar, and a performance festival hub for kids. Some of her projects include The Artists’ Soup Kitchen, The Artist-Run Newsstand and The Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar. Her recent performance, The Magic Hour, was developed and produced in a multi-year residency at The Theatre Centre with support of the Canada Council. She received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship to fund her international archival research in 2018-2019. She’s taught as a Sessional Lecturer at OCAD University and the University of Toronto, and was a Fellow at the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Her film and video works are distributed by Vtape and her performance work is held in performance art archives internationally.

Research Questions / Lines of Inquiry during Hemi Residency:

  • What is the potential lifespan and spirit life of a performance, and how might its documentation “perform?”
  • How might artists use physical, digital, and energetic archival materials in the creation of new artworks?
  • How might an audience create an archive? How might an archive be activated as a site for performance?