Authenticity is a Feeling: My Life in PME-ART is a compelling hybrid of history, memoir, and performance theory. It tells the story of the interdisciplinary performance group PME-ART and their ongoing endeavour to make a new kind of highly collaborative theatre dedicated to the fragile but essential act of "being yourself in a performance situation."
Written, among other things, to celebrate PME-ART's twentieth anniversary, the book begins when Jacob Wren meets Sylvie Lachance and Richard Ducharme, moves from Toronto to Montreal to make just one project, but instead ends up spending the next twenty years creating an eccentric, often bilingual, art. It is a book about being unable to learn French yet nonetheless remaining co-artistic director of a French-speaking performance group, about the Spinal Tap-like adventures of being continuously on tour, about the rewards and difficulties of intensive collaborations, about making performances that break the mold and confronting the repercussions of doing so. A book that aims to change the rules for how interdisciplinary performance can be written about today.
About the author
Jacob Wren creates literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include Unrehearsed Beauty (1998), Families Are Formed Through Copulation (2007), and Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed (2010). As co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART, he co-created the performances En français comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize (1998), and the HOSPITALITÉ / HOSPITALITY series including Individualism Was a Mistake (2008), The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information (2011), and Every Song I've Ever Written (2013). International collaborations include a stage adaptation of the 1954 Wolfgang Koeppen novel Der Tod in Rom (Sophiensaele, Berlin, 2007); An Anthology of Optimism (co-created with Pieter De Buysser / Campo, Ghent, 2008); Big Brother Where Art Thou? (a project entirely on Facebook, co-created with Lene Berg / OFFTA / PME-ART, 2011); and No Double Life For The Wicked (co-created with Tori Kudo / The Museum of Art, Kochi, Japan, 2012.) Wren travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art. Follow Wren at http://www.radicalcut.blogspot.com and http://jacobwren.tumblr.com.