Martha Baillie: Tiny Topographies and Feminist Tarot
15 Sep 2016
A mould of a dying man’s hand … a morphine dream … a woman in a hospital room overhearing the many conversations taking place in the curtained cells surrounding her own …nurses named after famous writers … and so many other tiny topographies. Enter the world of Giller-nominated writer and multi-dexterous artist Martha Baillie as she secrets you away on this iteration of The Performance Bus.
Readying riders for the work of Sophie La Rosiére, Baillie takes us on a journey through the prose and poetry of some of her favourite writers, Sharon Oldes, Sylvia Plath, Jamaica Kincaid; texts where women’s bodies are made viscerally present. Made flesh. With the help of a deck of feminist Tarot cards, we might also learn a bit about our own fate made flesh; the secrets we hold just below the surface could all be revealed…
The free Performance Bus departs OCADU (100 McCaul St.) at 6 pm sharp en route to the opening reception of Iris Häussler’s The Sophie La Rosiére Project at AGYU and returns downtown at 9 pm.
Toronto-based writer Martha Baillie studied history and modern languages at the University of Edinburgh, the Sorbonne in Paris, and the University of Toronto, where she also became involved in theatre. Baillie’s first novel, My Sister Esther, was published in 1995, followed by Madame Balashovskaya’s Apartment in 1999. The latter was translated into Hungarian and German. In 2006, her third novel, The Shape I Gave You received excellent reviews nationwide. Revealing both the impossibility of fully knowing the past and the effectiveness of literary imagination in grappling with history, in 2015 Baillie brought to life her most recent book (2014) The Search for Heinrich Schlögel into a multi-media installation at the Koffler Gallery.