Francis O’Shaughnessy

Francis is a Quebec visual artist and Ph.D. in studies and practices at UQAM. Since 2002, he has carried out more than 125 different performances in over in 22 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas. He has regularly given workshops and conferences on his work and on the history of performance in colleges and universities. He has been curator for 20 events around the world. Art Nomade, International Meeting of Performance Art in Saguenay (2007-2015) is one of the most important. He lives and work in Montréal (Canada).

Since 2010, the focus of my research has been on the love letter (the discourses about the indescribable). I chose to perform living visual poetry: an artistic ceremony expressing the creation of a poem as an event. I work within the haiku philosophy in order to lighten the performative love letter in its meaning, its structure and its logic. This version of the performative love letter is condensed to one style, which I call the performative haiku. It is based on the transposition of a short poem in the present and it highlights poetic images echoing internal feelings. It is an act of faith of love: an illusion that awakens the imaginary world around the discourse of love. It is not a representation or and illustration of the state of love, but the construction of images inspired by love. In today’s artistic landscape, my love letters are separated from their literary genre (epistolary communications) to become the completely corporal expression of a haiku. This shift from literature to live art allows a completely new “reading” of the love letter, which becomes a visual poem.

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