The Breastival Vestibule emerges in Halifax for Nocturne 2016

The Breastival Vestibule is excited to reemerge in Nova Scotia (Halifax this time), for this year’s Nocturne: Art at Night exploring the concept of MOTIVE. It has been about two years and some change since the Breastival had a full outing, and I am appreciating exploring the intentions and context of the piece as it emerges in national and international conversations that have shifted greatly even in that short of time (around topics that are in no way new). This is another opportunity for deeper reflection on notions of both governmental and self-policing of bodies, in reference to gender, race, sexuality, perceived ability and more. Very much looking forward to some good conversation and connecting from a Canadian perspective!

Curator Michael McCormack‘s statement on Motive:

Motive is invisible, comes from the gut, and is continuously morphing while inspiring further movement of ideas and gestures. It is something that gains traction when shared with others and gains impact and resilience through inclusiveness and flexibility.

It thrives when faced with conflict, morphs again when allowing questions, and strengthens further through conversation, mentorship, collaboration, and then consideration.


Read below about Breastival’s uniquely challenging adventure at Nocturne!



Breastival Vestibule/Resistance as Usual

This piece was made recently as an addendum to Rachael Shannon’s piece, Breastival Vestibule, which was installed on the back plaza of the Public Library at this year’s Nocturne: Art at Night Festival here in Halifax. Breastival Vestibule is a piece of inflatable architecture that welcomes participants into its soft, responsive walls, aiming to exist as a temporary autonomous zone in the public sphere, a liminal space where the rules of interaction shift. Breastival Vestibule invites possibility, and celebrates resistance to the real or perceived constraints of our everyday lives.

At this year’s Festival, by order of the Fire Marshall of Halifax, visitors were restricted from entering the sculpture. Shannon took this moment’s of imposed limitation and policing of bodies in public to imagine a way to expand the conversation from within the Breastival out into the plaza to meet the public. These spheres resided both within the Breastival herself and also spilled out onto the large concrete arena of the plaza.

The text wrapped around the pieces served to physically move participants around the space, contemplating the now almost 25 year old text by Zoe Leonard, “I Want a Dyke for President”. Festival goers were seen walking around the spheres and reading out loud the words to this still deeply relevant and provocative poem, while a Security guard stationed at the enticing entrance to the Breastival was asked to keep attendees from entering. This year’s Nocturne occurred on the literal eve of the Canadian election and the figurative eve of one of the most conflicted US Presidential races of the Nation’s history.