Celebrities In Disguise Tackle Mental Health In INTANGIBLE ADORATIONS: EXPERIENCE THE ICON
Between October 12th and October 19th, Toronto audiences will get a rare chance to get up close and personal with a celebrity doing something a little unusual at this year's Rendezvous With Madness Festival. Concealed celebrities will perform in the new immersive performance art piece Intangible Adorations: Experience The Icon created by Lisa Anita Wegner, Scott White and Carl Elster of Forever Epic Films.
Intangible Adorations: Experience The Icon explores the impact of celebrity worship on the mental health of the famous, and those who become infatuated with celebrity. Audience members will gather in the Hall of Celebrity, be coached on the best way to approach someone famous, and then encounter a celebrity whose identity is concealed in a morph suit who will present an iconic piece of performance art in the Red Chapel. Will they reveal their identity, or will they choose to remain anonymous? That will be up to the individual who represents the ICON each night. And who in the audience will have the courage to participate in a celebrity panel where they will get a taste of what it feels like to be famous?
House of Dada founder Lisa Wegner has been working in partnership with the Rendezvous With Madness Festival, Forever Epic Films, Workman Arts, Summerworks, and The Worldwide Institute of Radical Artistic Performance to bring both audiences and celebrities an unusual chance to interact.
When asked what inspired this idea, Lisa explained that after suffering from severe PTSD, she discovered working through a morph suit was an effective way of creating expression with a sense of freedom and anonymity. A rather famous friend (who asked to remain anonymous) asked if they could try on the suit and take her place at a performance last year. She said yes. The performer had such a great time that they told friends about the experience, and an exploration began as to how it might be possible to have celebrities come to Toronto and perform in a way that allowed them to be famous and anonymous at the same time.
A pilot project using this premise called The Icon Experience quickly sold out at the Toronto Fringe this past summer, and Intangible Adorations: Experience The Icon was immediately programmed for the Rendezvous With Madness Festival.
Performers include 5 different anonymous famous celebrities, Lisa Anita Wegner, Jane Smythe and members of the Workman Arts Performance Art Ensemble including KC Cooper, Emily Gillespie, Amy Loucareas, and Meek. This project is supported through the Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance fund.
A panel discussion with creators Lisa Anita Wegner and Scott White, and moderated by Lisa McKeown will take place on Saturday October 19th after the final performance. The discussion will touch on the nature of modern celebrity culture, celebrity worship syndrome and the origins of this version of Intangible Adorations. The panel will also discuss the significance of Lisa's journey with mental and physical health, the relevance of finding anonymous expression, and how this piece fits into Lisa's larger universe of therapeutic performance and film work.
For more information and tickets for the event go to: https://workmanarts.com/rwm-events/intangible-adorations/