CRIPTONITE is a performance, video, and installation series curated by Jes Sachse for Peterborough Artsweek. Featuring works by Deaf and disabled Canadian artists Chantal Deguire, Kazumi Tsuruoka, Jeff Preston, and others.

Saturday, September 10 – 216 Simcoe Street (This is currently up, go by and check it out!)

Comic art wheat-pasting installation featuring Canadian webcomic ‘Cripz’ duo, Jeff Preston and Clara Madrenas, located on the side of the YWCA building.

Jeff Preston (writer, web designer, photographer) was born and raised in Port Elgin, Ontario and was lured to the big city lights of London Ontario in 2002 to attend the University of Western Ontario. A bit of a trouble maker who has a big mouth, he has spent much of the last 20 years advocating for people with disabilities across the province. One of his biggest recent achievements was driving his electric wheelchair from London to Ottawa in 2008 to raise awareness for the lack of accessible transportation in Ontario.

Wednesday, September 14, 7pm – 216 Simcoe Street (YWCA lot venue)

YWCA Peterborough invites you this Artsweek to join us for an evening of Deaf and disabled performance and film works. The event is located in a created stage in the YWCA parking lot (near the downtown bus terminal), and is wheelchair accessible, and will be closed captioned using CART (speech-to-text) technologies.

7pm – CP SALON: It’s about Love. It’s about Cerebral Palsy. It’s about a Man with a Disability.

Singer/storyteller Kazumi Tsuruoka is joined by pianist Tania Gill: through rhythm and blues they tell the love story of a man with cerebral palsy. The 50-minute music-driven piece, produced and directed by Fides Krucker of Good Hair Day Productions, premiered in Toronto and has toured to Vancouver, Regina and Whitehorse.

What is performance? What is disability? What is embodiment?

“We are rarely given the opportunity to see art that is created from such a place of profound truth, that combines exquisite skill, raw emotion and both passion and humour. The music is searing and hooks deep into the hearts of the audience, both embracing us and bringing us nose to nose with our own preconceptions and prejudices. It creates an emotional and intellectual journey that demands and engages in equal part.” (Diana Belshaw)

Kazumi Tsuruoka is a charismatic performer and speaker who was a disability-rights’ activist during the 1970’s and toured the Toronto school system speaking about disability through the prism of his own experience with Cerebral Palsy. In 1999 he became a core member of the Toronto Theatre Alliance’s DIS THIS! Artists Group and has since trained in movement, voice and theatre performance.

Kazumi co-created with Fides Krucker and performed in the inaugural CP Salon in Toronto, February 2004. The show has toured 3 times – to Regina and Vancouver (2006), to Whitehorse (2008) and to three Toronto campuses (2009). He is the featured artist in the documentary film “How Does It Feel” by Lawrence Jackman, poised to premiere at this year’s Abilities Festival in Toronto in October. Most recently Kazumi performed with Tania Gill at ‘Front and Centre’, a celebration of disability arts and culture co-presented by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), June 2011.

8pm – Four films by media artist, Chantal Deguire


Genre: Music Video (Interpreted in LSQ)

3:20 Minutes, Starring: Chloë Caissie

The “SignSync”(lipsync) is based on an excerpt from the song titled “Dégénération” composed by the famous Québec music group “Mes aïeux”. What’s new? The song is signed in Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ).

Rien n’est impossible

Genre: Music Video (Deaf Music in LSQ)

3:12 Minutes, Starring: Tiphaine Girault

Accompanied by the sound of a drum, these rythmic signs are the unique expression of Deaf artist Tiphaine Girault’s poetic creation. Drums frequently accompany signed poems in the Deaf community. For the Deaf community, the drum is the best instrument for this purpose, since it creates strong vibrations and can be easily felt instead of heard. Here, the drum is used to created some kind of enhancement to the visuals. Girault used the LSQ sign “Can’t” repeatedly in order to convey her message. She breaks, bites, smashes, and burns the sign and transforms it into “can”.


Genre: Music Video (Deaf Music in LSQ)

3:12 Minutes, Starring: Hodan Youssouf, Kim Pelletier, Roxanne Charron

This video consists of three frames. In the middle, Hodan Youssouf takes the viewer through the various steps of the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly, symbolizing thus the transformation that occurs to a deaf person when he/she finds his/her identity. The butterfly is a commonly used symbol for deafness in the community. The rhymes of the poems consists in the restricted usage of only 3 hand configurations to convey the entire message and the creative use of these three configurations. However, Hodan has removed all facial expression and sign language grammar from her face. On the left, Kim Pelletier is doing the work of the facial expression for the story, and on the right, Roxanne Labrèche interprets the story through symbols and actions signs. The position of these frames alternate from left or right. To bring more emphasis on the rhythm, the poem is accompanied by the sound of drum, which is a frequent instrument used for this kind of purpose in the Deaf community.

Alors on danse

Genre: Music Video (Interpreted in LSQ)

3:23 Minutes, Starring: Chloë Caissie, Jonathan Poulin-Desbiens

‘Alors on danse’ (So we dance) is a song by Belgium singer Stromae, interpreted in Quebec Sign Language. Observe how the editor’s work brings dynamism to the signers/dancers and humour.

8:30pm – Envisioning New Meanings of Disability and Difference

A screening of three digital short stories from women with disabilities living in Sudbury, Peterborough and Toronto.

Over the last three years, women living with disabilities and physical differences took part in arts-based workshops. Workshop activities and discussions explored identity and the meaning we find in our experiences. How do we want to be seen? What is important to us?

The photography workshops put cameras in the hands of the participants who used them to capture images related to self-representation. Women also had the opportunity to make their own digital story to capture their perspective on life with a disability or difference.

The result is the dynamic multimedia Envisioning exhibit featuring 34 photographs and 12 digital stories. By creating their art, women use the power of image to share their life experiences, expertise, and imagination.

9pm – Reception with the artists

Thursday, September 15, 3pm – Peterborough Public Library

A second screening will take place in the downstairs of the Peterborough Public Library, which is wheelchair accessible, and will be closed captioned using CART (speech-to-text).

3pm – Envisioning New Meanings of Disability and Difference

3:30pm – Four films by media artist, Chantal Deguire, followed by a discussion

Chantal Deguire is a media artist and filmmaker currently based in Toronto, Ontario. A graduate of Gallaudet University, Chantal is the passionate Deaf francophone artist entraprenneur behind Outer Creations, which will soon be releasing Chantal’s latest, feature-length work – the first feature-length film in Canada to be entirely in ASL/LSQ.

All CRIPTONITE events are free, and will include refreshments.


About Electric City Art Lodge

The Electric City Art Lodge is based in Peterborough, Ontario and focuses on the coverage of local artists, art and the artistic happenings of our city and beyond.
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