Johannes Zits


Johannes collapsing bank

Through my multi-disciplinary art practice, I focus on revealing the many meanings the body engenders. I am continually exploring the relationship between the personal and the public, attempting to expose and subvert the assertions of mass-mediated culture, and undermining the ways it shapes our self-perception. Starting with the unself-conscious presentation of my own body, I champion the body’s potential as a political force — one from which other possibilities emanate. The unadorned body seems to readily manifest the polemical values we possess and uphold.  Art making allows me to test out alternatives, strive for new perspectives and share them with other.

During my residency, I will be working on a series of performances with and about trees, relating these actions to my own naked state. Using movement and dialogue, I will engage with trees at Bare Oaks Park, relating to them as bodies and participants, not as a passive props or backdrop; nor venerate and fix them in the realm of the “nature as sublime.” Nature elicits a host of emotions from us—ranging from alienation to respect and romanticized idealization. My series of performances will aim to open up opportunities for dialogue with the audience, addressing the complex relationships we have with nature.

Johannes Zits has presented work across Canada as well as internationally in venues that include The New Paradise, Taipei (1997); Fotogalerie, Vienna (2000); Galerie Nord, Berlin (2004); ATEA, Mexico City (2012); Galerie Caesar & Koba, Hamburg (2008); and in 2008, he presented a major solo exhibition that highlighted his diverse practices at WRARF, in Caen, France. In 2013, Zits performed at the 8th Encuentro, in Sao Paulo, Brazil and presented a collection of his videos at Le festival international du film sur l’art, in Montreal. In 2014, he presented variations on the performance “Island” at M:ST Festival, in Calgary, Yuz Museum, in Shanghai, and at Meta 2014, in Chongqing, China. This year, he performed a new version of ”Island” at Colon Cultural, in Havana and will be presenting  a new work for the International Festival of Performance Art 7A*11D, in Toronto.