Upcoming publication!

Jess Dobkin’s Wetrospective: Constellating Performance Archives (Intellect Books and AGYU, 2024) edited by Laura Levin and designed by Lisa Kiss Design is coming soon. The book will include contributions by international performance theorists and artists, and essays by curator Emelie Chhangur and Wetrospective dramaturg Laura Levin. To register interest and receive updates about the book’s availability, email jelena@intellectbooks.com.

You’re Invited

Monday 27 June 2022 – Sunday 17 July 2022

Through sensory, embodied and energetic encounters, join Jess Dobkin in collaboration with Clayton Lee and members of the Healing Gardens of Bab Steering Group to explore connections and intersections in the dynamic relationship of live performance, archives and activism. YOU’RE INVITED presents a constellation of engagements: an iteration of Jess Dobkin’s Wetrospective Archival Reading Room, a queer teen art and activism workshop, community meals, and a DIY poster project spotlighting 25 years of FIERCE archives through the streets of Birmingham.

All artists, archivists, activists, finders, keepers, scholars, collectors, witches, mystics and queers are welcome.

More info here

Holding Coburn

Onsite Gallery, Toronto
February 16-May 14 2022

Inspired by Wendy Coburn’s life and practice, Jess Dobkin welcomes you to a performance activation exploring what art works are for, how we engage with and take care of them, and what goes into creating them. Behind a gallery wall, Jess has transformed an Onsite storage room into a nursery. Visitors are invited to sit and hold sculpture moulds used by Wendy to cast two of her works, Swan (2001) and Twisted Swan Neck (2010) that appear in the exhibition. A variety of plant seedlings are tended on a baby changing table, where they will mature until the exhibition closes on May 14 and be distributed for planting. A mirror ball mobile spins and 528Hz frequency music sounds for the queer YES. There is also a 24/7 livestream inviting us to watch over the nursery from afar. Holding Coburn takes place every Saturday from 2 pm to 4 pm during the run of Fable for Tomorrow.

Dyke Night at Onsite: Dyke Night

Friday May 6, 2022, 6 to 8 p.m., Onsite Gallery and 8 p.m. till late, Sweaty Betty’s (13 Ossington Ave.)
Discover Wendy Coburn’s exhibition through a dyke lens with a democratize-the-docent polyvocal tour open to the 2SLGBTQ+ community at Onsite Gallery followed by an afterparty at Sweaty Betty’s with DJ’s Sasha Van Bon Bon, Zab and other special guests.

Conjuring Archives Workshop

C Magazine Workshops with Francisco-Fernando Granados and Jess Dobkin
Workshop – in-person
Dates: April 15, 22, 29, 2022 | Time: 4:30 – 7:30pm | Location: 72 Perth Avenue
In this series of artist-led workshops, participants develop approaches to alternative archival
practices that are rooted in community rather than established by an institution. Informed by the
tenets of C Magazine’s Experiments in Criticism program, which was formed in consultation with
experts in critical art pedagogy in 2019, these workshops pose questions for contemplation,
discussion, and activation, such as: How can we develop embodied historiographic practices using
creative-critical methods? How can we immediately begin to write a future that doesn’t perpetuate
the same erasures we’ve witnessed to date? How do we record select details of our present in ways
that will ensure they retain their vivacity over time, and by extension, how do we decide what to
commit to memory?
This program is co-created and co-presented with C Magazine. Download the whole program.

My Wetrospective at the AGYU (Art Gallery at York University)

It’s been forever since I’ve been here with news to share. I’ve been quietly in process with an incredible team of collaborators on my Wetrospective exhibition.  Excited to announce that it will be presented at the AGYU September 2-26, 2021. The exhibition includes a constellation of IRL and remote events and encounters. Hope to see you there.

Loving and Letting Go – Saturday, May 5

I’ll be performing on May 5 from 2-5pm at The Commons @ 401 (401 Richmond Street West, 4th Floor) as part of FADO Performance Art Centre’s pop-up performance event, Good Buy by Tanya Mars. May 3-5 with shop hours and events. Everything must go! Admission free + barrier-free location.  More info here.

The Art of Breastfeeding – March 10-April 22

I’m participating in this beautiful show at MF Gallery in Brooklyn, 213 Bond Street until April 22. Co-curated by Leigh Pennebaker and Martina Secondo Russo. Details can be found here. 

Magical Acts, Feminist Futures by Laura Levin

The Theatre Centre commissioned Laura Levin, Associate Professor, Graduate Program in Theatre & Performance Studies at York University, to write a piece about The Magic Hour, reflecting on the anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington and on alternative feminist futures imagined in the performance. The PDF of “Can You See Beyond This Room?” Magical Acts, Feminist Futures is available here. 

PuSh Festival Assembly – January 31

I’m heading to Vancouver to participate in the PuSh Festival Assembly and present (perform?) about my work at the Industry Series Pitch Session. The event is at the CBC Studio 700, 700 Hamilton Street from 3-5pm. Come find me there!

Publication of the MONOMYTHS Perpetual Calendar

The epic MONOMYTHS calendar is here and available for purchase. The limited edition 14-month perpetual calendar documents each of the 14 MONOMYTHS projects with incredible photos by FADO photographer Henry Chan, designed by Lisa Kiss. Cost is $25(CAD) plus shipping (Canada + international) Contact: info@performanceart.ca to order.

Queer/Play Book Launch – December 2

Celebrating the publication of Queer/Play: An Anthology of Queer Women’s Performance and Plays, Edited by Moynan King. Saturday, December 2 from 6:30 – 9:30 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street, Toronto. Hosted by Elvira Kurt and featuring  performances by Keith Cole, Carolyn Taylor, Dawn Whitwell, Shaista Latif, Tabia Lau, Nathalie Claude, Alex Tigchelaar, Dayna McLeod, and Flerida Peña

Art Attack at Buddies in Bad Times – November 9

I’ll be performing at Art Attack on Thursday, November 9 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. This annual fundraiser includes a live auction and the Rock Hudson Memorial Tuck Shop. Hosted by the B-Girlz and after party with DJ Phil V. Doors at 7, auction at 8. Tickets $40. More info here.

Our Future, Our Fate, Our Fortune – October 26-29

Akimbo has invited me to create a new performance at Art Toronto 2017. Come find me in the Akimbo booth, Publications Section, Metro Convention Centre, North Building, Exhibit Hall A & B, 255 Front Street West. It is  time for magic, mysteries and miracles. It is time to connect to higher realms. There is nothing to buy or sell in this performance art oasis. Our currency is energy, our deals are celestial, our contracts are sacred. Fate, fortune and future are our collective concerns. It is time to shift our forecasting from “what will happen to me?” to “what will come of us?” Behold the past, glimpse into the future, be here now. All welcome.

Performance times:

October 26: 7-10pm
October 27: 4-7pm
October 28: 2-5pm
October 29: 2-5pm

Queer/Play Book Publication – November 14

Queer/Play: An Anthology of Contemporary Queer Canadian Women’s Performance and Plays. Edited by Moynan King, Playwrights Canada Press, November 2018. The collection includes the publication of The Magic Hour script and interview with Laura Levin. Also with work by Shaista Latif, Nathalie Claude, Alex Tigchelaar, Jazz Kamal, d’bi.young anitafrika, Hope Thompson, Flerida Peña,  Gein Wong, and Evalyn Parry.

Meow Mix : 20 ans – October 20

Meow Mix marked Montréal’s queer scene from 1997 to 2012. This evening “for dykes and their chums” was an alternative and inclusive oasis showcasing lesbian stand-up, drag kings, queer burlesque, experimental cabaret, performances by trans men, and female DJs. Phénomena presents an exceptional opportunity to relive (or discover) the magic.

Artistic Direction Miriam Ginestier
Presented by Guizo LaNuit
With Nat King Pole, Peaches Lepage, Ricky Leach, Sasha Van Bon Bon, Jess Dobkin, Phoenix Wood & Princesse Lamarche. Photo and video retrospective by Sasha La Photographe. Guest DJs for the after-party

15$ / Doors 8 pm

Party: $5 – free with admission
As part of Festival Phénomena

Videofag Book Launch – October 27

Missing those sauna-hot nights, barking dogs, and lukewarm beer at Videofag? Well relive the magic in book form! BookThug is releasing The Videofag Book, a collection of essays, photos, scripts, and reflections from the late, scrappy Kensington Market arts space.

BookThug and Videofag invite you to the The Videofag Book Launch Partay! Featuring performances by Jess Dobkin and Vivek Shraya, and readings from the book by special guests TBA.

When: Friday, October 27, 2017
Where: TAYO Collective, 187 Augusta Ave, Toronto
Time: 7pm – 10pm

MONOMYTHS final stages

The final instalment of FADO’s epic MONOMYTHS series at The Theatre Centre and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre from February 15-19. With performances by Serena Lee (Toronto), claude wittmann (Toronto), Nao Bustamante (USA), Staceyann Chin (USA), and Tanya Mars (Toronto).  Details here.

Jess Dobkin, an Artist-Run Newsstand

“Jess Dobkin, an Artist-Run Newsstand”

by Alison Snowball,

Journal of Curatorial Studies,

Vol. 5, Number 2, 2016

Our Bloody Bodies, Ourselves

Article by Rayna Livingstone-Lang

Broken Pencil  

Fall 2016

Notes on Myth-Making

By Alison Cooley and Daniella Sanader

C magazine

Summer 2016

“MONOMYTHS, a performance series structured around Joseph Campbell’s text The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), launched at Toronto’s Theatre Centre in February of this year, as the beginning of FADO Performance Art Centre’s year-long program. Campbell’s concept of the “mono- myth” – the so-called universal hero’s quest that has informed a seemingly global array of myths, beliefs and stories – sees the archetypal figure enacting his journey in seventeen stages across three distinct acts (Departure, Initiation and Return). With this singular narrative as a guiding principle, curators Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane enlisted artists from across Canada, the United States and Mexico, revising the heroic structure with a decidedly anti-linear approach. Each performance represented a stage from the first act of the hero’s journey, refusing the narrative’s reductive authority by enacting alternative (and deeply politicized) modes of storytelling.”

Cultural ReProducers Interview

Interview with Christa Donner

October 2016

CINARS in Montreal

I’ll be part of Harbourfront Centre’s CULTUREPORT at CINARS in Montreal!

Come visit November 17-19 in THE SWEET SPOT booth 169-170.

The Magic Hour

The Magic Hour premieres January 11-21 at The Theatre Centre in Toronto, co-produced by The Theatre Centre. Tickets are now on sale. ASL interpreted performance on Friday, January 13. Visit The Theatre Centre website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Book Launch: More Caught in the Act

More Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian women is the second volume  of original research and writing on Canadian women in performance art from 1990 to 2010. The book launches at YYZ Artist Outlet on September 24, 2016 from 2:00-4:00pm.

For more information visit the Facebook Page

FADO presents Pulse by Mary Coble

September 15–25, 2016
Nightly performance after sunset
Ontario Place, Toronto

FADO Performance Art Centre presents Pulse, a new performance by Mary Coble (USA/Sweden), in the context of in/future: a transformative art experience, a multidisciplinary arts and music festival presented by Art Spin and Small World Music.

In Pulse, the artist climbs to the top of the iconic Cinesphere structure on Ontario Place’s west island each night in order to repurpose it into a beacon of resistance. Once at the top of the Cinesphere, the lights that illuminate the dome will be turned off, and Coble will transmit a series of protest chants and messages of civil, social, and political resistance in Morse Code into the darkness. These messages are received by collaborators who are situated on the ground, and who then relay the messages on using their own light source, throughout the park, around the site from person to person, in a human microphone relay created with light.

Pulse is also in recognition of the lives lost and forever changed at the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting.

For more information visit the facebook event.

SPARK Studio Series: Artist Talk

SPARK Studio Series: présentations informelles par artistes associés au Studio 303 Toutes les infos sur www.studio303.ca
GRATUIT / Places limitées, RSVP adjointe@studio303.ca

On Thursday May 31, 2016 Jess Dobkin will present an Artist Talk as part of the SPARK Studio Series at Studio 303

Edgy Women in New York – June 8

An evening of wild feminist performance and video by artists from New York City and Montreal. The event is guest curated by Miriam Ginestier, artistic director of Studio 303 – an organization that hosted an artist exchange with Performance Mix for over 10 years. Each program features Studio 303-associated artists, most of whom have been presented in the context of 303’s late Edgy Women Festival. Edgy is dead! Long Live Edgy! Visit the Facebook event Here!

The Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar in Edmonton – May 12

The Lactation Station will be in Edmonton as part of the New Maternalisms: Redux Exhibition

Curated by Natalie S. Loveless

May 12 — June 4, 2016 | FAB Gallery, 1-1 Fine Arts Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton

Opening Reception & Evening of Live Performance: May 12, 2016, 6:00 pm—9pm

Artists: Lenka Clayton, Jess Dobkin, Alejandra Herrera, Courtney Kessel, and Jill Miller

Schedule of Opening Night Performances:

6pm-9pm: Miller 24 Hour Family Portraits & Dobkin Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar Tastings

6:30pm: Kessel In Balance With Performance

7:30pm: Herrera Performance

MONOMYTHS: Stage 6 – May 5 & 7

Physics of Blackness: Understanding Beyond Linear Time.

FADO picks up the epic MONOMYTHS series at Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies with a talk given by (and a reading group led by) Dr. Michelle M. Wright entitled Physics of Blackness: Understanding Beyond Linear Time.

In this talk, Physics of Blackness: Understanding Beyond Linear Time, Michelle M. Wright shows how our current struggle to be diverse and inclusive in our worldview has more to do with Isaac Newton’s laws of motion and gravity than most would realize. Blackness, for example, can only be understood accurately by drawing on different understandings of time and space–specifically going beyond linear time and the myth of universal progress. Moving from discussions of 17th century physics to 3rd century Christian religions, to 21st century African travel narratives to Black European postwar histories to Black Caribbean settlement in 18th century Australia, Physics of Blackness goes around the globe through all spaces and times to show us the unexpected ways Blackness reveals and encounters itself.

Join us on May 7 from 11am to 1pm in a reading group led by Michelle Wright. She will lead us through a selection of texts. No prior reading or knowledge required. Texts will be provided on the day.

For more information visit the facebook event

EVERYTHING MUST END: Closing Party at the Artist-Run Newsstand – April 28

Closing Party at the Artist-Run Newsstand at Chester Subway Station

Our one-year experiment of an artist-run newsstand is coming to a close and we invite you to celebrate our YEAR OF KIOSK with us on Thursday, April 28 from 5-8pm. If you haven’t yet come to visit the Newsies at Chester Station, now is the time! Subway station dance party with DJ John Caffery! Performance by Jess Dobkin! Artist Reception with Zanette Singh! Tasty treats and free Red Bull (while supplies last!)

Thursday, April 28 from 5-8pm

Visit the Facebook Event for additional information!

FADO presents MONOMYTHS, February 3-7 2016

Conceived and co-curated with Shannon Cochrane, I’ll be curating FADO‘s presentation of MONOMYTHS, a large-scale creative venture to advance over the course of a year. The first installment will be presented at the Progress Festival February 3-7, 2016. MONOMYTHS is a feminist re-vision of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, dispelling the notion of the lone patriarchal figure in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration. Artists, scholars and activists adopt fifteen stages of the journey and, stitched together, these independent visions become an “exquisite corpse” of a larger experimental narrative.

Theatre Centre free public showing – December 17th at 7pm

My 2015 Theatre Centre Residency
Work-in-progress sneak peek
December 17th, at 7pm
Free and open to the public

Please come to the Theatre Centre on the 17th if you’d like to catch a glimpse of our work-in-progress. This new work is very ambitious and I’m pleased to share it with friends and colleagues.

My Theatre Centre residency, December 7-19 2015

December 7th – 19th, 2015

The Theatre Centre, The Great Hall, Toronto

Free public showing on December 17th

I have a new work in development, in collaboration with the Theatre Centre in downtown Toronto. Stay tuned for more details, but for now please save the date of December 17th, as I’ll be doing a free performance that’s open to the public.

KillJoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House

October 16-30, 2015
Plummer Park, West Hollywood
Long Hall
1200 North Vista Street
West Hollywood, CA

A project by Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue

Lesbian Rule. Forget the dead this Halloween. Feel the pulsing throb of something larger than life in KillJoy’s Kastle. Each Halloween radical evangelical groups build hell houses. These performer-animated installations showcase a gruesome retribution for the sins of fornication, abortion, suicide, occultism, and—of course—same-sex relationships.

This Halloween, Toronto based-artists Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell reclaim this hellish scenario with their sex positive, trans inclusive, queer lesbian-feminist-fear-fighting celebration. I’m performing as a Paranormal Consciousness Raiser performing in the Kastle.

Organized by ONE Archives in West Hollywood, KillJoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House is designed to pervert, not convert. This haunted house of freaky feminist skill sharing and paranormal consciousness-raising reanimates the archive of lesbian herstory with all its wonders and thorny complications.

KillJoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House originated in collaboration with, and through financial support of, the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), Toronto. Support for this presentation of the KillJoy’s Kastle is provided by the City of West Hollywood through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission. Additional support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the ONE Archives Foundation.

An artists newsstand opens at Chester Station!

A longtime dream of mine is getting real! A small and mighty collective of artists are leasing a vacant Gateway Newsstand kiosk at Chester Subway Station for one year. We are creating an alternative newsstand and artists space for site-specific exhibitions, screenings, performances, community arts projects and more. We will also sell reading material and snacks for your ride. Come join us. The Grand Opening is on Wednesday, May 13 from 5-8pm. For kiosk updates, visit us here.

Save the Date / Images Festival 2015

I will be presenting a new performance, “How Many Performance Artists Does it Take To Change a Light Bulb (for Martha Wilson)” at the Images Festival on Thursday, April 16 in Toronto. The performance is from 7pm-11:15pm at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity Street. Admission is suggested $10/Pay What You Can. Check back for more details, coming shortly.

Birth Rites Collection

My work has been shortlisted for the biannual Birth Rites Collection award, and will be screened as part of a public exhibition at MediaCityUK, University of Salford, from March 14-22. In association with The University of Salford Art Collections, Goldsmiths University Women’s Arts Library, School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Care, Salford University, Media CityUK. Judges: Helen Knowles, BRC Curator & Althea Greenan, Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths University, London.

The QueerNote Cabaret

I’ll be performing in the QueerNote Cabaret, the opening event for The FOOT Festival (Festival of Original Theatre). At the Gladstone Ballroom on February 5, 2015. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and performances start at 8 p.m. The event is PWYC and will be ASL interpreted. For more information, visit https://foot2015.wordpress.com/the-queernote-cabaret/.