FASTWÜRMS, sketch for #witch_raku_skull_fire performance

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presented a site specific performance as part of the STAGES biennial


featuring Kristin Snowbird and Theo Phelmus

Thursday, August 22, 2019 | 12pm-12am * note date change due to weather

*Offsite location: 90 Annabella Street, Winnipeg

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art was thrilled to have the artist duo FASTWÜRMS in Winnipeg. They were here as part of the 2019 STAGES biennial. Friday, August 23 was #witch_raku_skull_fire by FASTWÜRMS with Winnipeg-based performers Theo Phelmus and Kristin Snowbird off-site at 90 Annabella Street, Winnipeg Manitoba.

For STAGES, FASTWÜRMS have choreographed a performance #witch_raku_skull_fire located in an old warehouse, bordering railway tracks and nestled on the industrial edge of downtown Winnipeg before the residential neighbourhood of Point Douglas. The site’s liminal position as close to the centre and on the cusp of residential land has an unclaimed, albeit contained, feral quality that is studied by the artist duo. They used what was once a domesticated site occupied by several small working-class houses, turned brothels, before being subsumed by the commercial production site and warehouse of the neighbouring JR Watkins Company. The Company demolished the houses, cultivating a yard for its employees that has now long remained in various states of care as the building and site moved from various ownerships through the 20th and now 21st century. In imagining this land shifting back into an uncultivated, unindustrialized and decolonized space, FASTWÜRMS hosted a durational performance from noon until midnight on August 22nd, creating a ‘camp’ spectacle with “C.A.T. cops”, a steaming caldron and the live theatrical firing of ceramic skulls. Their ritualization of the process of firing ceramics consecrates labour, by ‘ghosting’ the presence of absence and conjuring the politics of the colony and plantation.

Formed in 1979 by multidisciplinary artists Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse,  FASTWÜRMS is known for their diverse immersive practice that explores identity, humour, magic and social exchange. Their practice takes the form of public commissions, installation, video, performance, and drawing. Together they teach studio art at the University of Guelph, Ontario. Their work has been shown extensively in North America and Internationally at venues including the Power Plant (Toronto), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Ontario Art Gallery (Toronto), CIAC (Montréal), Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff), SEQUENCES Festival (Reykjavik, Iceland), Seoul Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea) Leokonig Projekte (New York) and the 2006 São Paulo Biennial, Brazil. FASTWÜRMS is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto.

Location: In the garden of 90 Annabella Street, Winnipeg
Performance Date: August 22, 2019 from 12pm to 12am
Additional information: Wheelchair accessible; portage washroom on site; food served and drinks purchased.

Image caption: FASTWÜRMS, sketch for #witch_raku_skull_fireperformance

Entry was free and all were welcome.

STAGES biennial 2019

August 16- September 8, 2019

A temporary public art exhibition of installation, sculpture and performance through out Winnipeg

Featured Artists:


Curated by Jenifer Papararo

This is the second iteration of the STAGES biennial presented by Plug In ICA. This year’s exhibition built on the previous edition in its presentation of temporary public sculpture, installation and performances throughout Winnipeg, but 2019 had an expanded range and included the remounting of an historic artwork. The biennial commissioned seven artworks that took place across the city and its outskirts in abandoned industrial sites, apartment buildings, malls, municipal parks and parking lots.

For details on each artist’s project including maps and event notifications please download the Plug In ICA App, available for iphone and android. Search “Plug In ICA” in the App store. All information also available on our website:

STAGES 2019 was generously supported by:
Presenting Sponsor | The Winnipeg Foundation
Featured Artist Sponsor | Michael Nesbitt
Major Sponsors | Daniel Friedman & Rob Dalgliesh; James & Leney Richardson
Engaging Sponsors |Susan Glass & Arni Thorsteinson; DIALOG design; BLDG architecture office inc
Supporting Sponsors | The French Embassy; Toronto; Downtown Biz
Contributing Sponsors | Gary Ursell; Assiniboine Credit Union; KPMG LLP

STAGES would not be possible with our: Community Partners: the Alt Hotel; Alliance Francaise; Festival de Voyageur; Lewyc ICA, Martha Street Studio; Shelter Canadian Properties LTD; Studio 393; Leon A Brown Ltd; Trotzdem Inc; Winnipeg Art Gallery; Winnipeg Tourism and X-cues.


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are in the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Dakota, Dene, Métis, and Oji-Cree Nations. Plug In ICA is situated in Treaty 1 territory, the ancestral and traditional homeland of Anishinaabe peoples. Treaty 1, was signed in 1871, taking this territory from seven local Anishinaabe First Nations in order to make the land available for settler use and ownership. (referenced from the University of Winnipeg)

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director’s Circle. You all make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget:

For more information on this program and STAGES biennial, contact Rachael Thorleifson at For general information, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043


Related exhibit: