citius, altius, fortius

Didier Morelli


Didier Morelli's performance citius, altius, fortius is presented at La Filature.

Project resulting from the program Autorésidences.

Autorésidences is a remote residency program created by the AXENÉO7 artist-run centre in the exceptional context of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to support research and development of current art practices.

The cancellation of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, a greatly anticipated quadrennial sporting event, left athletes around the globe in limbo. Similar to artists, for whom self-isolation can be a necessity for creative production, amateur Olympic athletes are familiar with rituals and rhythms of confined and focused living. However, in these unusual times, both artists and athletes found themselves unable to access the resources that make their craft possible: studios/training centers, stadiums/gallery venues, workout equipment/art materials, training camps/residencies.

My performance takes inspiration from Larry Miller’s Flux Olympics (1970), a series of unusually modified, aestheticized, and impossible track and field events held at Rutgers University by members of the Fluxus art movement. Generating performative interventions using sculptural, makeshift athletic equipment and apparel, I propose a collection of physical games and events held under the unfolding circumstances of our pandemic. Repurposing everyday objects to perform “outstanding” physical achievements that critically review Canada’s material history in relationship to the Olympics, the project builds upon my ongoing research on the intersections between moving bodies in athletics and culture.

Didier Morelli is an artist and art critic who lives and works in Montreal/Tiohtiá:ke. His practice and theoretical interests include the cultural and social intersections between visual and performance art. He holds a PhD in performance studies from the School of Communication, Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. His research project explores the relationship between the built environment and the kinesthetic nature of performing bodies in New York and Los Angeles between 1970 and 1985. He was the New York correspondent for esse arts + opinions from 2018-2020 and became a member of the editorial board in 2021. His writing has been featured in ESPACE, Border Crossings, Ciel Variable, Canadian Theatre Review, Art Journal and TDR: The Drama Review among others.