CHAINS & CROWNS

CHAINS & CROWNS

A photograph of the back of a head with bantu knots.

CHAINS & CROWNS
Stéphane Alexis

Chains & Crowns, is a photo-based series of artworks inspired and dedicated to the artist’s mother. This large-scale print depicts the history, politics, science and psychology of Black Hairstyles. The typological series displayed in a grid format encourages the viewer to cross-reference hairstyles and allows the Black and broader communities the opportunity to draw from their personal experiences, whether that be through their own stories or through their community members. The work also comes with information on styles that derive from an array of time periods, cultures and movements ranging from Ancient Egypt (2700 BC – 343 BC) to The Natural Hair Movement (1960 – present). This gives way for the audience to further solidify their understanding through historical text and to question the multi-faceted ways these styles have been utilized and evolved in impact over time.

Stéphane Alexis is an artist based in Ottawa, Canada. His work stems from personal experiences, research, community collaborations and visual expression, all fostering a strong desire to bring a level of understanding to the often overlooked communities. Stéphane’s work seeks to give insight into these communities in which he belongs to.

Artist website:  stephanealexis.com

Keywords: Activism | Community | Depression | Resilience | Trauma

#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.

VENUE:

The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto. 

 

DATES:

October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING & ARTISTS TALK

October 29, 1-4 PM, Talk at 2:30 PM

After the opening reception, engage with the artists of kind renderings as they delve into their work and  practice.

TOURS

Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM 

ACCESSIBILITY

If in-person access is a barrier, please contact Raine Laurent-Eugene at raine_lauenteguene@workmanarts.com.

 

Visit the Accessibility page for further festival information and wayfinding.

THE THINGS WE CARRY WITH US

THE THINGS WE CARRY WITH US

The things we carry with us size 2 (1)

THE THINGS WE CARRY WITH US
Twinkle Banerjee

The things we carry with us is a mixed media installation that explores the life of the artist’s grandmother, who experienced displacement as a child when India was partitioned as the British exited India. What the artist’s grandmother saw or experienced was never discussed but the signs of her trauma remained. The family went through much emotional upheaval as a result and shaped the artist’s anxieties as her grandmother remained the artist’s caregiver for most of her childhood.

The things we carry with us explores coping mechanisms we pick up as children to survive. And, in practice, it can take a very long time to come to terms with our realities and sometimes we never do; we live behind a net seeing and experiencing the world differently, and that becomes the only world we know.

Twinkle Banerjee (she/her) is an Indian-Canadian visual artist, who explores work that deals with social issues such as generational trauma, globalization and human rights. Understanding the pressure put on BIPOC artists for creating trauma-related work, she also tries balancing her work with introspective experiments with a focus on poetic imagery.

Twinkle has exhibited in the USA, Canada, the UK and Armenia, been published in Berlin and featured on CBC. In 2021 her artwork “Characters of Memorial Park” was part of an exhibition and publication at the ICP-New York.

Artist website:  twinklebanerjee.com

Keywords: Activism | BIPOC Experience | Bipolar Disorder(s) | Trauma | CPTSD Generational Trauma

#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.

VENUE:

The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto. 

 

DATES:

October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING & ARTISTS TALK

October 29, 1-4 PM, Talk at 2:30 PM

After the opening reception, engage with the artists of kind renderings as they delve into their work and  practice.

TOURS

Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM 

ACCESSIBILITY

If in-person access is a barrier, please contact Raine Laurent-Eugene at raine_lauenteguene@workmanarts.com.

 

Visit the Accessibility page for further festival information and wayfinding.

ALSO OF INTEREST

MY LEFT-HAND IS TALKING AND MY RIGHT-HAND IS NURTURING

MY LEFT-HAND IS TALKING AND MY RIGHT-HAND IS NURTURING

Charcoal drawings of curled bodies surounded by words.

MY LEFT-HAND IS TALKING AND MY RIGHT-HAND IS NURTURING
Jessica Field

The collection of poetry and drawings in My left-hand is talking and my right-hand is nurturing, explores the experience of moving past survival mode to let go of false perceptions of self, building the capacity to reclaim a truer sense of identity. It is about the experience of living with inexplicable illness and pain, loss of memory, abuse, love, and loss. It celebrates the beauty of imagination’s power to heal the body, rejuvenate our sense of self, and teach better ways of living.

Everything Jessica Field makes is biased to her lived experience. She creates AI drawings to explore new configurations on what drawing about pure emotion can be about in relation to the greater concept of the human condition. The artist’s drawings act as material that is reinterpreted by an “other”, to compose hundreds of variations as a way of seeing greater possibilities outside the limits of her lived experience. This “other” remains anchored by the artist’s genuine inner emotional life exploring how feelings, unconscious memory and experience is embodied in the gesture of line, in how the exploration into the self can lead to visual expressions that are universally relatable and authentic to lived experience.

The objective of these drawings is to illustrate the complicated space in dealing with the human bias, ignorance, and still manage to connect and understand a divergent perspective. This project shows how empathy and perspective taking bridges these gaps by putting the discussion into the space of universal human experience where we all can relate to each other.

Jessica Field works with installation, video and performance to create AI systems to show the impact of our environment on mental health and how individual histories and temperaments influence the ways that we live our lives. Jessica has exhibited in Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. She has shown in Electrohype 2008, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Oboro, Optica, the Museum Tingely and at Kunsthaus Graz. 

Jessica teaches as a full-time sessional at Toronto Metropolitan University; she received her AOCAD at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Ontario and her MFA at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

Artist website:  jessicafield.ca

Credits

Coding Visual Layout Algorithm: Meera Balendran
Book Designer: Lisa Kiss Design
Video and Editing: Empty Cup Media
Images, Poetry, and Artificial Life Algorithms: Jessica Field

Content Warnings

This artwork contains content that may be triggering to some individuals.

Keywords: Anxiety | Grief | Psychiatry | Trauma

#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.

VENUE:

The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto. 

 

DATES:

October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.

 

TOURS

Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM 

ACCESSIBILITY

If in-person access is a barrier, please contact Raine Laurent-Eugene at raine_lauenteguene@workmanarts.com.

 

Visit the Accessibility page for further festival information and wayfinding.

MULTITUDE OF FISH - ASCENSION TALES

MULTITUDE OF FISH - ASCENSION TALES

Black and white line drawings of multiple linked fish swimming above waves of black lines.

MULTITUDE OF FISH – ASCENSION TALES
Jenny Chen

Multitude of Fish – Ascension Tales is an animation that tells the story of fish ascending into the heavens, symbolizing spirits being uplifted. This animation was created by hand drawing each frame. The images were derived from the artist’s mental wellness journey, specifically the healing of past trauma and depression.

For the past few years, Jenny Chen has worked with the recurring image of water and fish to symbolize the flow of energy. This larger body of work titled, Multitude of Fish, exists in mediums such as drawing, painting, clay sculptures, installation and animation. The fish moves organically through its surrounding space, leading the viewer on different journeys. These spaces are reminiscent of the inner realm while taking inspiration from outer landscapes.

Jenny Chen is a visual artist living in Toronto. She makes art to process the world around her while raising questions about existentialism and spirituality. Her work uses symbols to create mystical environments inspiring viewers to wonder about life beyond the material world. She graduated from OCAD University with a major in Drawing and Painting and a minor in Illustration. Since then, Jenny has worked mainly in watercolour, pen and clay. Her exhibition history includes the Small Arms Inspections Building, Toronto Media Arts Centre and Living Arts Centre. She has received grants for her work from the Ontario Arts Council.

Artist website:  jennychen.me

Keywords: Anxiety | BIPOC Experience | Community| Trauma

#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.

VENUE:

The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto. 

 

DATES:

October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING & ARTISTS TALK

October 29, 1-4 PM, Talk at 2:30 PM

After the opening reception, engage with the artists of kind renderings as they delve into their work and  practice.

TOURS

Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM 

ACCESSIBILITY

If in-person access is a barrier, please contact Raine Laurent-Eugene at raine_lauenteguene@workmanarts.com.

 

Visit the Accessibility page for further festival information and wayfinding.

Streaming across Canada October 27th to November 6th

BIGGER THAN TRAUMA
Vedrana Pribacic | 2022 | Croatia | 90 minutes | Croatian with English subtitles

Rendezvous With Madness is pleased to present the extraordinary documentary film Bigger Than Trauma directed by Vedrana Pribacic available for streaming across Canada from October 27th to November 6th 

The brutal Croatian War of Independence came to an end in 1995, but survivors of the conflict continue to feel its devastating effects almost 30 years later. Justice has been slow in coming–if it comes at all–and institutional supports are few and far between, particularly for women who continue to live side-by-side with the very men who captured, tortured and raped them. 

Vedrana Pribacic’s Bigger Than Trauma is an intimate portrait of a group of Serbian and Croatian women who join a groundbreaking and unconventional therapy group to break their long-held silences, share their individual experiences and empower them to begin the long road to healing. However, their journey is not without its fair share of obstacles of pain revisited, cultural friction and resentment. In this tender setting, his documentary gives voice to the oft-forgotten and ignored victims of war for their own self-determination after trauma. 

Screening with
Yaren and the Sun | 2021 | Joren Slaets, Renate Raman | Belgium | 19 minutes | Dutch with English subtitles 

Yaren’s mother died when she was six. Her friend Kato’s father died a year ago. Yet the atmosphere in a therapeutic summer camp is far from mournful when one of the supervisors dances with a girl to the lively song “La Bamba.” It’s fine to have fun, the children learn—it can coexist with sadness.

Keywords: Women’s Issues | Trauma | War | Mutual Aid | Healing
Genre: Documentary (feature) Documentary (short)
#RWMFEST #MoreThanRebellion

In person screening — Saturday, November 5th at 4 PM
Camh Auditorium 
1025 Queen Street West, Toronto

Streaming across Canada October 27th to November 6th

IF YOU ASK ME

Sameena Anis, Mikaela Cordero, Shian Grace, Corinne Langmuir, Gladys Lou, Sanskruti Marathe, Lee Nisar, Esteban Powell, Roberto Santaguida, Agnes Wong |  2022 | Canada | 60 minutes | World Premiere | English 

November 5th at Rendezvous With Madness enjoy an in person screening of recent short films by This year’s If You Ask Me cohort.

For the sixth consecutive year, If You Ask Me (IYAM) has supported emerging filmmakers with lived mental health and/or addiction experiences to create new short works. This year’s program features shorts by filmmakers from across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

These new films were developed from August – October 2022 under the guidance of Roberto Santaguida, along with IYAM alumni Angela Feng, Maud Mostly and Vyom Malhotra serving as mentors. Over the course of three months, filmmakers strengthened their film production skills in the company of peers and industry guests. Rendezvous With Madness is excited to support the production and exhibition of these distinctly personal creative works. 

Equipment rentals and facilities were generously provided by our community sponsor, Trinity Square Video.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: FILMMAKING NOW

The world has changed substantially since If You Ask Me 2021. This year’s cohort of filmmakers adapted their practices to ever-changing social realities. Join the in-person panel discussion to learn how each artist developed their films. 

For accessibility the If You Ask Me shorts program is also available online via Workman Arts & Cinesend from October 27th to November 6th 2022

Keywords: Addiction | Trauma | Mental Health | Youth
Genre: Shorts
#RWMFEST #MoreThanRebellion

Streaming across Canada October 27th to November 6th

GEMMEL & TIM
Michiel Thomas | 2021 | United States | 91 minutes | English

Rendezvous With Madness is pleased to present the award-winning documentary film Gemmel & Tim directed by Michiel Thomas  available for streaming across Canada from October 27th to November 6th 

In the span of 18 months, two gay Black men died of drug overdoses inside the West Hollywood home of political donor Ed Buck. Yet, it was four years (and many public protests) before a federal jury convicted Buck for his crimes. Writer-director Michiel Thomas’s documentary Gemmel & Tim tells the story of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, the two men who died in Buck’s home under suspicious circumstances.

Throughout the film, their family and friends reminisce about their lives and share the shocking details surrounding their deaths. The film paints a touching portrait of love and regret as friends and family come to grips with the tragic loss of their loved ones. Gemmel & Tim is also a scathing indictment of America’s broken justice system, calling out the blatant racial inequalities persisting decades after the abolition of Jim Crow.

Screening with

Lay Me By The Shore | David Findlay | 2022 | Canada | 18 minutes | English

Introducing a young cast of first-time actors, Lay Me by the Shore follows a week in the life of Noah, a high school senior in his final days of school as he comes to terms with his best friend’s passing. Bathed in the warm light of long June days and with the intimidating spectre of an unknown future looming, the tale is told from the perspective of the recently departed. Through the prism of grief, the film highlights the raw and potent emotions of youth.

Keywords: Addictions | Racism | Class | Overdose | Trauma
Genre: Documentary (feature) Documentary (short)
#RWMFEST #MoreThanRebellion

The Suicide Key

The Suicide Key

Illustration of a close up of a skeleton key hole with a white line silouette with a feminine face. The background is white with snudges and droplets of ink.
Image Design: Gabriella Okuda
  • Wednesday November 2, 7:30 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Laura Piccinin / 2022 / English / Canada / 30 minutes

Asha and her best friend sit together in a tense familiarity and plan, in detail, the end of Asha’s life. She has suffered for decades, unable to be treated, despite truly valiant efforts to be well. Her best friend, conflicted between her belief in the right to die with dignity and her increasing desire to save a life, has become integral to carrying out the suicide plot. The Suicide Key infuses a sense of dark humour to comment on the absurdity of living with severe mental illness, and the complex and difficult decisions to be made surrounding life, death, and the pursuit of an acceptable happiness.

Laura Piccinin was born to tell stories. Whether as a dancer/aerialist with Tokyo Disney, a playwright and performer for the new Canadian musical Every Silver Lining or her solo shows LESBIHONEST and The Suicide Key, a teacher at the Toronto District School Board, or as a comédienne in Footloose with Just for Laughs, Laura’s unstoppable passion in life lies in telling people all sorts of eccentric stories — whether they want to hear them or not.

CREATIVE TEAM
Creator and Performer: Laura Piccinin
Dramaturg: Cass Van Wyck
CONTENT WARNINGS
Swearing / Mature language
Sexual Content
Suicide
Addiction
Subject matter: Medical assistance in dying (and the right to die with dignity).
Keywords: Alcoholism | Depression | LGBTQ2S+ | Trauma | Suicide
Talkback following performance.
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

TRUE

TRUE

Support Image for True
  • October 29 - 30; November 1 - 2; November 4 -5 - 8 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Rosa Laborde / 2021 / English / Canada

On the anniversary of their mother’s death, three sisters are hurtled back in time when their estranged father shows up with a note stating he has Alzheimer’s. Roy hasn’t seen his daughters Anita, Cece and Marie, in years and it’s a visit that is not entirely welcome. But the present Roy is quite unlike the father they remember. This Roy is affable, sensitive, funny, emotional and loving – in total contrast to the unpredictable, often drunk and abusive father of their memories. As they open to the possibility of having him in their lives they are continuously jarred by the sudden trips into the past they are forced into due to his neurological condition. Marie’s husband, Franco, a former professional musician and all-around dilettante, expounds particle theory while playing Mozart and posits the possibility that restructuring their fractured memories could alter the future from that point forward. What follows is a rapid-fire ride through past and present that illuminates the unreliable nature of memory and how the stories we hang onto define us until the moment we let them go. Inspired by King Lear, memory loss in an aging father, the cost of speaking one’s truth, the devastation addiction can wreak on a family, Ikebana flower arranging, piano prodigies and the multiverse theory known as Daughter Universes, the play explores the possibility that rewriting our memories can alter the past and ergo change the future. It is a playful, poignant and piercing look into the nature of memory.

 

Keywords: Addiction | Alcoholism | Depression | Family | Trauma
There will be a 15 minute Q&A with the cast following each performance.
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Toronto Fringe Logo

DRUNK ON TOO MUCH LIFE

DRUNK ON TOO MUCH LIFE

Michelle Melles / 2021 / English / Canada / 77 mins / World Premiere

What does it mean to be normal in a world gone mad? That’s the question at the heart of writer-director Michelle Melles’ poignant documentary, Drunk on Too Much Life. The film strives to change how people perceive those with mental health issues, framing their conditions as potentially insightful gifts rather than burdensome disorders.

Drunk on Too Much Life focuses on Melles’ daughter, Corrina, a young woman who experiences intense and sometimes painful emotional and psychic states. Corrina describes herself as “being trapped inside her own mind games.” Now, after years of doctors, medications and mental health facility check-ins, her family starts exploring healing methods outside of standard biomedical models. These holistic methods positively impact Corrina, reflecting the healing power of art, creativity and meaningful human connection.

 

SCREENING WITH SOUND GARDEN
Jeamin Cha | 2019 | South Korea | 30 min | Korean with English subtitles
Sound Garden alternates between scenes of large trees being transported and interviews with South Korean female
mental health workers who reflect on counselling’s ambivalence and complexity. The film highlights
the discrepancy between these cultivated trees, designed to thrive in urban surroundings, and the
human spirit, shaped and affected by our modern values and evolving social environments.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: PANEL DISCUSSION
Join director Michelle Melles and family members Corinna and Kevin virtually as they share their
thoughts on this personal documentary. They’ll be joined by others and will delve into different
ways Canadian mental health programs and health care succeeds and fails to accommodate and
support young people in their healing.

 

Keywords: Alternative healing | Family | Health care | Schizophrenia | Trauma

IN PERSON SCREENING
Sat, Nov 6 , 6:30 PM

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

IN PERSON + VIRTUAL
PANEL DISCUSSION
Sat, Nov 6, 8:15 PM ET

ACCESSIBILITY
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Stella's Place Young Adult Mental Health
"Closing Film"