something is not working with the formatting. will be fixed. sorry.

there is little visual documentation of my work shown on this site, for reasons, artistic, ethical and political which have evolved over time. here is some of the thinking:

i and those of the community i want my art to support are regularly in such precariousness that there is no time for anything else than survival. survival becomes the art and documentation then is a distracting and luxurious metalayer unless it is done for advocacy. examples:

photo by Henry Chan
"looking for a safe home" (2022)

photo by Henry Chan
17 Paton Road artists, including myself, on day of evacuation of the building by the city of Toronto
"a housing crisis is an art piece" (2020)

photo by Henry Chan
design by claude wittmann
"minimal action 4"
Cripping the Arts, Toronto (2019)

(failure) postcards (2017-2019)

photo by Henry Chan
during "minimal action" (2019)
from the teachings of a crisis in 2017, a lot of my work was de-documented. the intent was to part from the naive hopes for systemic change i had previously attached to my performance intents.

photos by Henry Chan
"dedocumenting" (2018)
my home, 17 Paton Road, Toronto

sea of gentle loss

sound of moving my hands in the pile of magnetic tape

radio work

Pierre Bergere, Salvan, Switzerland
photo at Fondation Marconi in Salvan

the first wireless telegraphic transmissions were done in 1895 by Guglielmo Marconi, over more than a mile from this location in Switzerland. Marconi was later acknowledged as the inventor of radio. what was incredible in 1895 is that the transmission was wireless but still invisible. radio is not about eyes.

my last radio experiments (2020)
my photo

"temporary trans radio"
(Montreal, 2013)
"radio confessions"
(Toronto, 2014)
"radio equals"
(Toronto and Montreal, 2014-2017)

photos by Henry Chan
"legs" (2015)
curated by Shannon Cochrane, FADO

"documentation" is work by other artists and being documented by such artists is a collaboration with them, not a representation of my art.
humble honouring of my collaboration with Henry Chan
please look at his photos as his work

photos by Henry Chan
"the chicken will arrive at around 2:30pm" (2014)
Dufferin Grove Park, Toronto,
curated by Leena Raudvee and Pam Patterson

thank you Henry: you photographed so much of my work, in process, with participants, for participants, at my home, in the public space, in art spaces. i learned a lot from you. if visitors here want to see more photos by Henry Chan, please write to hc91 at @yahoo dot com.
humble honouring of my collaboration with Alexandra Gelis
please look at the images as her work

photo by Alexandra Gelis
for the publicity of
"ce projet commence alors que je me sens castree" (2010)
several month long residency about gender, Toronto, which took place around my participation in the G20 protest

photo by Alexandra Gelis
"ce projet commence avec l'homme etendu devant moi":
one-month long residency at offthemapgallery, Toronto" (2008)
also documented by Antonia Lancaster and Luke Tymowski: here

shame flag (2012)
as if i were dead (2013)

Alexandra and i met during Geoffrey Pugen's film shoot of Utopics/Zenith (2007). Ale was one of the camera persons during the shoot. she made clear that "documenting" is a performance of its own. the "documentation" is then a work of art that cannot be reduced to representing the work of the performer. thank you Ale. if you want to see Alexandra's visuals for other pieces, please contact her at alexandragelis at gmail dot com.

collaboration with other artists

by Coman Poon
"when there is no cat anymore"
Subtle Technologies Festival, June 3rd, 2011
curated by Willy Le Maitre

by Michael Lynn
videotaping at Array Music:
Faster Xmas (2015)

by Leena Raudvee
who drew live during a performance of mine:
sketches during Faster Xmas (2015)

by Shannon Cochrane
my first witch piece (2009)
Escapist Action curated by Shannon Cochrane, FADO

work that could not carry documentation

beet/betterave rouge (2012)
Rhubarb Festival, 519 Kitchen, February 10-12
one-with-one intimate moments of feeding beet to each other and using clothing and accessories to change gender. participants and i took polaroids of ourselves only.

slide into life (2013)
with Lo bil, Leena Raudvee, Johannes Zits
workshop-performance started with preparation inside and then, infiltrations on Queen Street West and near Western General Hospital in Toronto. i remember sitting on a bench with a patient of Western General who was very sad about how she had been treated.
work for which (more) documentation would have been exploitation

photos by Henry Chan
"9 afternoons residency at Occupy Toronto" (2011)

2894: refusal of MONOMYTHs(2016)
part of the MONOMYTHs series curated by FADO Artistic Director Shannon Cochrane and artist Jess Dobkin, Theatre Centre, Toronto in 2016-2017
participative reading of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report (2015). a "photo shoot" was stagged during an intermission to trigger thinking about the meaning of documenting. Henry Chan took some photos after the reading. is writing this note already exploitation?