Artist Rips His Heart Out for Solo Show
Solo exhibition title: Evolving Identity
Artist: Theo Pelmus (Ottawa)
Opening reception: Friday, March 2, 2007, 7PM –midnight, includes a performance by Theo Pelmus at 9PM entitled
Dr. Tulp’s Anatomy Lesson Versus Anatomy of a Self
Dates of the exhibition: March 2 – April 4, 2007
Location: La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland Street, Ottawa
La Petite Mort Gallery in Ottawa and Loading_Open Lab in Bucharest are proud to present Theodor Pelmus’
first major exhibition in Ottawa, Evolving Identity. Known for his work in performance, video art, painting
and installation, Pelmus has created a new series of work that incorporates all. Obsessed with
self-portraiture, he now turns his gaze introspectively, dissecting his own image and getting
to the heart of the matter. Many of his acquaintances from Romania have contributed recorded testimonies
that will be integrated in the exhibition, but viewers beware: what you see is not what you get.
For his performance at the Opening, Theo Pelmus appropriates the famed painting Anatomy Lesson of Dr.
Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt van Rijn (housed in the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague), while taking much
inspiration from the Viennese Actionists. A two-dimensional representation of the human anatomy
becomes suddenly alive and bloody. His body parts will be removed, but will his interior finally be revealed?
Don’t miss this chance to see one of Ottawa’s most prolific performance artists challenge notions of
conventional portraiture. Actionist Otto Mühl states in a recent interview “All of Austria was up in arms
that we elevated ourselves to the status of doctors.” We will see if Ottawa is ready for the radical body
art revisions of Theo Pelmus.
In 2006, La Petite Mort Gallery hosted the hotly debated performance Romanian Wound – Canadian Wound,
where the artist was permanently branded with both the Romanian and Canadian flags. Not one to shy away from
the prickly subject of displacement and belonging, Pelmus will perform live with his artist-brother
Bogdan in Bucharest via the web at the Closing party on March 31 at 3PM. They will both walk on metaphorical
tightropes, doing their best not to fall off.
The production of the work in this exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of The Ontario
Guy Berube, director
La Petite Mort Gallery