Loading Exhibitions
  • This exhibition has passed.

Automatisme Ambulatoire: Hysteria, Imitation, Performance


6 September 2019 - 6 November 2019

Automatisme Ambulatoire: Hysteria, Imitation, Performance

About this exhibition

Automatisme Ambulatoire, or ambulatory automatism, is an expression that conjures notions of the compulsive traveler, while simultaneously implying irresistible urges and movements such as grimaces, tics, and gestures that form relationships with corporeal pathologies. This term inspires the title and theme of the exhibition Automatisme Ambulatoire: Hysteria, Imitation, Performance, which includes six new works focused on performance, choreography and installation.

The six artists in this project have been invited to consider ideas of “automatisme ambulatoire,” “hysteria” and “epilepsy” as a performance style, and to consider how these gestures can work to subvert, undo, transform and reimagine the body and language, both real and imagined. Through diverse and established choreographic practice, which always already embrace hybrid, performance-based gesture, these artists aim to question, challenge, and complicate the ethical and moral boundaries of “imitation,” and how the so-called “pathologized” body might be considered under new social and cultural contemporary contexts. Through their work, they demonstrate and so chart an evolution of the moving corpus since modern times. It is especially through the performance and portrayal of queer, disabled, and gendered subjects that the ambulatory hysteric will and can be reclaimed, rethought, and revitalized within a social justice context.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

This project was also funded by Mount Allison University, the New Brunswick Department of Tourism Heritage and Culture, and the Government of Canada (Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations).

New Chapter logo. Below the words "New Chapter", a line of text reads, "2017 and Beyond.", "Province of New Brunswick, Canada, bilingual logo that incorporates the image of a stylized ship., and Mount Allison University logo.
Visit automatismeambulatoire.ca

Image gallery


Essays by exhibition curator Amanda Cachia and Jane Dryden, Department of Philosophy, Mount Allison University.

Design: Mark Timmings
Published by Owens Art Gallery

Download PDF
Download Accessible EPUB 3.0

Visual Descriptions

Visiting Artist Talk with Brendan Fernandes

Visiting Artist Talk with Diane Borsato

Dancers Megan Glauser and Elizabeth March on The Rite

Meet Summer Exhibition Assistant Bre Darlison

Unexpected Movements: A Symposium for Automatisme Ambulatoire

Organized in partnership by Jane Dryden, Department of Philosophy, the Owens Art Gallery and the Centre for Canadian Studies, Mount Allison University.

This one-day symposium featured curator Amanda Cachia along with four Disability Studies scholars from Canada and the United States discussing their work in the context of the exhibition Automatisme Ambulatoire: Hysteria, Imitation, Performance. Recognizing that our society imposes certain norms and expectations on bodies, language, and movement, this symposium explores ways to challenge, question, and undermine such norms as a means of welcoming the unexpected and reclaiming space for all bodies.

Morning panel with Eliza Chandler and Kelly Fritsch

Afternoon panel with Amanda Cachia, Alyson Patsavas, and Joshua St. Pierre