Tanya Mars Chronology

  • 1948 – Born Tanya Ann Marshall in Monroe, Michigan (USA).
  • 1958 – Took up tap-dancing and jazz ballet lessons and organized “variety shows” in her garage with all willing (and some not-so-willing) neighbourhood children (until 1961).
  • 1962 – Was a cheerleader (until 1966).
  • 1966 – Enrolled in Fine Arts courses at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Made first piece of wearable art, Wooden Bikini.
  • 1967 – Married John Rosenberg. Moved to Montreal and attained landed immigrant status.
    Got her first job in Canada, working as a cashier at Steinberg’s.
    Daughter born: Lara (Larissa Tanya Ann Rosenberg).
    Attended Fine Arts courses at Sir George Williams University, Montreal.
  • 1968 – Became a secretary; worked at various institutions of higher learning in Montreal (until 1979).
  • 1971 – Attended Fine Arts courses at Loyola College, Montreal (until 1974).
    Moved to Madison, Wisconsin for one year for husband to take his MA in history. Worked as a secretary in the medical department.
  • 1972 – Divorced.
  • 1973 – Joined Powerhouse Gallery, Montreal. Met Joanna Nash.
  • 1974 – First solo exhibition, Codpieces: Phallic Paraphernalia, Powerhouse Gallery. Garnered huge media coverage and generated controversy.
    Became Director of Powerhouse Gallery (until 1976).
    Became Co-coordinator and Exhibition Committee member for Artfemme ’75, co-produced by Powerhouse, Musée d’art contemporain and Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montreal
  • 1975 – Was co-founder and Coordinator of Powerhouse Performance Space with Joanna Nash, Bob White, Paul Ledoux, Jan Pottie, and Michael Springate and Susan Kelemen from Painted Bird Ensemble (until 1977).
    Exhibited Tanya-in-the-Box as part of the Toy Show, Powerhouse Gallery.
    Exhibited selected Codpieces in Artfemme ’75, Saidye Bronfman Centre (group exhibition) and Woman as Viewer, Winnipeg Art Gallery (group exhibition).
  • 1976 – “Crashed” the first Ottawa meeting of artist-run centres, where what became the Association of National Non-Profit Artist-run Centres/ Regroupement d’artistes des centres alternatives (ANNPAC/RACA) was formed. Acted as a representative of Powerhouse Gallery.
    Presented Our Father at Powerhouse Gallery.
    Presented Colour Xerox/USA series at Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax (group exhibition).
  • 1977 – Presented selected Codpieces in Concordia Women’s Week Group Show of Sculpture, Montreal (group exhibition).
    Presented Twyla Thump at Powerhouse Performance Space.
    Formed 13 Jackies performance collective with Bob White and Odette Oliver.
    Premiered All Alone Am I at Powerhouse Gallery.
    Presented first Super Secretary image for What I Did Last Summer, Powerhouse Gallery (group exhibition).
    Became Editor of Parallelogramme, published by ANNPAC/RACA (until 1989).
  • 1978 – Presented 13 Jackies productions of All Alone Am I and Fat at Le Groupe de la Place Royale, Ottawa.
    Parachuted for the first (and last) time to mark turning 30.
    13 Jackies disbanded.
    Became ad hoc Board member of ANNPAC/RACA.
  • 1979 – Moved to Toronto. Took over Clive Robertson’s loft apartment at Richmond St. W. and Bathurst St. Established shared ANNPAC/RACA office with Fuse and Art Metropole at 217 Richmond St. W.
    Rekindled friendship with Rina Fraticelli (who had moved to Toronto) and began working together on Picnic in the Drift.
    Presented Kinky the Wonder Dog in Performance Art Series, Cabana Room, Toronto.
    Caused controversy in feminist and theatre communities with poster, “But Can She Write?” advertising Fireweed Playwrighting Competition (using a Super Secretary image).
  • 1980 – Moved to 410 Queen St. W., downstairs from Elizabeth Chitty, upstairs from Jacob’s Hardware, also next door to the infamous art bar, the Cameron House.
    Edited third ANNPAC/RACA retrospective, Spaces by Artists.
    Learned to typset from Rodney Werden and A. S. A. Harrison. Typeset many Toronto art publications and artist works throughout the 1980s.
    Presented untitled performance at Saxe Gallery, Toronto.
  • 1981 – Shared studio with Elizabeth Chitty on third floor of 410 Queen St. W.
    Presented workshop production of Picnic in the Drift in the Toronto Theatre Festival, Harbourfront, with collaborator Rina Fraticelli. Performed by Margaret Dragu (Celeste); Alex Fallis (Competitor I); Lee Wildgen (Competitor II); and Wendy Springate (The Woman from Munroeville).
    Presented the full production of Picnic in the Drift at the Harbourfront Ice House.
    Received (with Rina Fraticelli) Chalmers Award for innovative collaboration in the performing arts for Picnic in the Drift.
    Presented selected Codpieces in The Fashion Show – Jaywalking the Intersection of Fashion and Art (cabaret event and group exhibition), Toronto, produced by ChromaZone, curated by Rae Johnson, Tim Jocelyn and Hans Peter Marti.
  • 1982 – Received first Canada Council B Grant for performance art.
    Took first 10-day whirlwind trip to Europe (with Rina Fraticelli).
    Quit smoking.
    Joined Board of Directors of Arcadia Housing Cooperative, Toronto (until 1985).
    Performed Nine Lives with Odette Oliver in Danse Actuelle at Tangente, Montreal, curated by Dena Davida.
    Joined A Space Board of Directors (until 1985). Was involved in controversial “coup” with Lisa Steele, Carole Conde and others.
    Joined A Space Performance Committee (until 1986).
  • 1983 – Became a member of the Women’s Cultural Building, Toronto (until 1986).
    Presented 24 Postcards of Rage: No Man’s Land at Powerhouse Gallery/Tangente. Caused controversy in feminist community for including pornographic video within the context of the performance.
    Presented Nine Lives with Johanna Householder (in the role created by Odette Oliver) for Danceworks at Harbourfront’s Brigantine Room, curated by Margaret Dragu.
    Exhibited Wooden Bikini in Chromaliving (group exhibition with opening night fashion show), Toronto, produced by ChromaZone, curated by Tim Jocelyn and Andy Fabo.
  • 1984 – Presented 24 Postcards of Rage: No Man’s Land at Music Gallery, Toronto.
    Bought land (covered in logging slash) in Nova Scotia: no house.
    Received first Ontario Arts Council Visual Arts Grant for Pure Virtue.
    Published The Adventures of Super Secretary photo romance in Incite magazine.
    Presented Pure Virtue for Danceworks’ Modern Art Variety Show at The Rivoli, Toronto, curated by Colin Campbell.
    Presented an excerpt of Pure Virtue for Dressing Up, Harbourfront.
    Participated in first artist residency at Western Front, Vancouver, presenting Pure Virtue.
  • 1985 – Presented Pure Virtue at Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal; Images of Sexuality Symposium, Galerie 101 Gallery at SAW Gallery, Ottawa; Performing Arts Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Toronto; and Brave New Works, Factory Theatre, Toronto.
    Presented excerpts of Pure Virtue at 5-Minute Feminist Cabaret, Women’s Cultural Building; A Space Benefit, the Bamboo, Toronto; and 6 Days of Resistance, University of Toronto.
    Became President, Board of Directors, Beaver Hall Artists’ Housing Cooperative, Toronto (until 1987).
    Adapted Pure Virtue to video with the assistance of Colin Campbell. Screened tape at Cinémama Film Festival, Montreal; and A Space.
  • 1986 – Screened Pure Virtue video at ACAD; University of Calgary; Glenbow Museum, Calgary; Trinity Square Video; EM Media, Calgary; The New Works Show, Toronto; Medellin Biennale, Museum of Modern Art, Medellin (Columbia).
    Presented Pure Virtue at Audio by Artists Festival, Eye Level Gallery, Halifax.
    Presented One Size Fits All at 5-Minute Feminist Cabaret, a fundraiser for the Women’s Cultural Building, Lee’s Palace, Toronto.
    Presented excerpts from 24 Postcards of Rage for Cultural Desire Projects Benefit, Arts Television Centre, Toronto; and Ooga Booga Benefit, Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto.
    Presented Keynote Address: Performance Artist: Endangered Species for 6 of 1001 Nights of Performance, A Space, curated by Johanna Householder and Heather Allen.
    Presented Pure Sin at A Space.
  • 1987 – Presented Pure Virtue at Artspace, Peterborough, located in a large mall. While practicing fire-breathing before the performance, Mars set off the fire alarm in a stairwell, causing evacuation of the entire mall.
    Screened Pure Virtue video at Women in Focus; Vancouver, OCAD; Kingston Artists’ Association Inc.; Sheridan College, Oakville; Festival international de film et video de femmes, Montreal; Video Theatrics Video Series, Walter Phillips Gallery; Piccadilly Film and Video Festival, Canada House, London (England); 10e Festival des filles des vues, Vidéo Femmes, Quebec City; and Only Human: Sex, Gender and other Misrepresentations, American Film Institute Video Festival, Los Angeles (USA).
    Presented Pure Nonsense at the Music Gallery, produced by Cultural Desire Projects, curated by Elizabeth Chitty.
    Exhibited Wooden Bikini and selected Codpieces in Wearable Art, Edmonton Art Gallery (group exhibition).
    Presented excerpt from Pure Sin at Late Night With Fuse, Lee’s Palace.
  • 1988 – Presented Pure Virtue at Definitely Superior, Thunder Bay; and the Banff Centre.
    Presented an excerpt from Pure Nonsense at Euclid Theatre Benefit, Toronto.
    Screened Pure Virtue video at OCAD; Hampshire College, Amherst (USA); Video Re-codes: The Documentary History – Persona, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (England); The Best of Only Human…, Los Angeles Contemporary Art Exhibitions, Los Angeles (USA); Only Human…Excerpts, Intermedia Art, Minneapolis (USA); Starck Club, Dallas (USA); Gender Bender, Cincinnati Artists Groups Exhibitions (USA); ECIAD; La mésure des temps, Axe Néo-7, Hull; Galerie Powerhouse; Vidéo/graphe, Galerie Yahouda Meir, Montreal; Sheridan College; and NSCAD.
    Took first teaching job at the insistence of Bruce Barber, working as Performance Workshop Instructor, NSCAD.
  • 1989 – Screened Pure Virtue video at OCAD; University of British Columbia, Vancouver; ECIAD; and Rebel Girls, National Gallery of Canada.
    Moved to Shelburne, Nova Scotia (until 1994). Built a house on the property: no indoor plumbing or electricity. Raised chickens and pigs.
    Worked as Sessional Instructor, NSCAD (until 1996).
  • 1990 – Saved Woofie from going to the Yarmouth pound.
    Received first Canada Council A Grant for performance art.
    Joined editorial collective, Roseway Publishing, Lockeport, Nova Scotia (until 1995).
    Screened Pure Virtue video at Euclid Theatre, Toronto; Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax; AKA Gallery, Saskatoon; OCAD; and The Power Plant, Toronto.
    Adapted Pure Sin to video. Screened tape at Centre for Art Tapes; AKA Gallery; The Power Plant; and Images Film and Video Festival, Toronto.
    Presented Pure Hell at The Power Plant, curated by Barbara Fischer.
  • 1991 – Screened Pure Virtue video at University of Western Ontario, London; Sheridan College; Art Gallery of Windsor; NSCAD; and OCAD.
    Screened Pure Sin video at NSCAD; Calgary Film Festival; Independent Film and Video Alliance/Alliance de la vidéo et du cinéma indépendants (IFVA/AVCI) Showcase, Calgary; Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge; ARCO, Barcelona (Spain); Concordia University, Montreal; La Mondiale, Quebec City; and Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax.
    Presented The End of Nature: An Auction in Shifting Territories (without leaving home) at Neutral Ground, Regina, curated by Tom Sherman.
    Presented untitled performance at Eye Level Gallery, Halifax.
    Presented Wheeze at NSCAD.
  • 1992 – Presented It’s that Fabulous Relax-a-cizor, an early version of Mz Frankenstein, at SAW Gallery, Ottawa.
    Screened Pure Virtue video at The New Gallery, Calgary; and OCAD.
    Screened Pure Sin video at OCAD; and The New Gallery.
    Presented Mz Frankenstein at The New Gallery.
    Got indoor plumbing using gravity-feed.
    Presented End of Nature at Open Space, Victoria, performed with Chris Cairns; Roy Green; Carolyn Mark; and Jill Swartz.
    Presented Mz Frankenstein at Le Lion d’Or Cabaret, Montreal.
    Presented Mz Frankenstein, performed with Russ Dionne; Joanne Ducharme; and Keith Langergraber, Okanagan Artists Alternative at Okanagan College.
  • 1993 – Screened Pure Virtue video at Concordia University.
    Presented Mz Frankenstein at Western Front, performed with Judy Radul and Brice Canyon as part of six-week residency, curated by Kate Craig.
    Adapted Mz Frankenstein to video.
  • 1994 – Presented Mz Frankenstein at Centre for Art Tapes.
    Screened Mz Frankenstein video at Post Graduate Society of McGill University, Montreal; Carleton Film and Video Society, Ottawa; Beauties and Monstrosities, Toronto; Images Film and Video Festival; SAW Video, Ottawa; Body and Soul IFVA/AVCI Showcase, Toronto.
    Screened Pure Virtue video at Owens Art Gallery, Sackville; and National Gallery of Canada.
    Was member of Animating Team, ANNPAC/RACA/Artist-run network.
    Moved back to Toronto.
    Shared apartment with daughter, Lara; lived next door to Ann and Tom Dean.
    Taught as sabbatical replacement at OCAD.
    Presented Comme Il Faut/Doom at Les 20 Jours du Théâtre à Risque, Montreal.
  • 1995 – Screened Pure Virtue video at EM Media.
    Screened Mz Frankenstein video at Calgary Status of Women Action Committee; The Food Show, Mount St. Vincent University; Women Film and Video, National Film Board, Montreal and John Spotten Theatre, Toronto; Headbones Gallery, Vernon
    Presented G7-Live Chess Event in Halifax (group exhibition).
    Worked as Tutor, University of Toronto St. George (until 2001).
  • 1996 – Screened Pure Virtue video at Sheridan College.
    Screened Mz Frankenstein video at Galerie Connexion, Fredericton; and OCAD.
    Received first Toronto Arts Council grant for Bronco’s Kiss.
    Presented Bronco’s Kiss at Trinity Bellwoods Park, produced by A Space, curated by Paul Couillard.
    Presented Molto Jag at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, curated by Christina Ritchie.
  • 1997 – Became Senior Tutor at University of Toronto, Scarborough (until 1998).
    Presented Molto Trap at Performance Bytes, Centre for Art Tapes.
  • 1998 – Daughter Lara married James Brooks.
    Screened Pure Virtue and Pure Sin at Carleton University, Ottawa.
    Joined 7a*11d collective, producers of the biennial 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art (until present).
    Presented Hot at Ace Art, Winnipeg as part of Ground Zero Performance Series, curated by Grant Guy.
    Presented untitled intervention at Area, 401 Richmond St. W., Toronto.
    Presented untitled performance for Songscapes at the Music Gallery, curated by Istvan Kantor.
    Presented Homage to Hannah Wilke and Virginia Woolf in Pousse-Café, produced by 7a*11d and Mercer Union at DeLeon White Gallery, Toronto, curated by Paul Couillard and Louise Liliefeldt.
    Screened Mz Frankenstein video at La Centrale, Montreal.
    Presented Hot at La Centrale.
    Promoted to Senior Lecturer, University of Toronto Scarborough (until present).
  • 1999 – Presented Hot at Latvian House, Toronto, as part of Fado Performance Inc.’s Time Time Time series, curated by Paul Couillard.
    Joined the Board of Directors of Fado Performance Inc. Became President (until 2002).
    Joined Absolute Choice Collective with Nina Czegledy and Johanna Householder (until present).
    Presented The Archaeology of Performance, an early version of Performance Art Starter Kit, at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
    Presented Performance Art Starter Kit at the 360, Toronto, produced by A Space.
  • 2000 – First Grandson born: Jacob John Eric Brooks.
    Presented Performance Art Starter Kit at Owens Art Gallery.
    Served as Board member, the Parkdale and Toronto Horticultural Society.
    Became Program Supervisor, Undergraduate Studio Program, University of Toronto, Scarborough.
  • 2001 – Presented Performance Art Starter Kit at University of Regina.
    Exhibited in The Young and the Restless, A Space, (group exhibition), curated by Will Kwan and Peter Kingstone.
    Created My Dinner with Woofie for Midi Onodera’s Alphagirls, a DVD collection of “cyber performances,” exhibited at InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, Toronto.
    Exhibited Soft Warm Safe (giclée print) in Powerhouse: Who We Are Now at Centre des Arts Visuels, Galerie McClure, Montreal, curated by Gail Bourgeois and Pat Walsh (group exhibition).
  • 2002 – Second grandson born: Joshua Robert James Brooks.
    Exhibited Soft Warm Safe at Zsa Zsa Gallery, Toronto (group exhibition).
  • 2003 – Appointed to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the Master of Visual Studies Program, University of Toronto (until present).
    Third grandson born: Jonathan Richard Colin Brooks.
    Screened Pure Virtue and Pure Sin videos at Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal.
    Received first Canada Council Inter-Arts grant for Tyranny of Bliss.
    Received Chalmers Fellowship for Tyranny of Bliss.
    Presented My Dinner with Woofie (installation and screening) at Union Gallery, Queen’s University, Kingston.
  • 2004 – Presented Performance Art Starter Kit at Union Gallery.
    Screened My Dinner with Woofie DVD in Home Invasion, Toronto, curated by Jocelyne Salem.
    Presented Tyranny of Bliss at various Toronto outdoor locations (Queen’s Park, University Ave. and Queen St. W.) as part of Fado Performance Inc.’s Canadian Performance Art Legends series, curated by Paul Couillard.
    Presented the seven deadly sins tableaux of Tyranny of Bliss in Hamilton, produced by the Art Gallery of Hamilton, coordinated by Katja Canini, performed with Jamie Rowson (black limousine); Shannon Cochrane and Brenda Goldstein (Envy); Julie Fiala and Louise Liliefeldt (Gluttony); Rick Johnson and Angie Nardiello (Greed); Alissa Firth-Eagland and Darren
    O’Donnell (Lust); Erika DeFreitas, Mark Prier and Zoë Stonyk (Pride); Tom Brouillette and Fiona Drinnan (Sloth); and Japhet Bower and Rizelle Guya (Wrath).
    Published Caught in the Act: An anthology of performance art by Canadian women, co-edited with Johanna Householder, YYZ Books, Toronto.
    Moved into loft space on Ossington in building owned by Ian Carr-Harris and Yvonne Lammerich, found by Johanna Householder.
  • 2005 – Presented performance remnants and documentation from Tyranny of Bliss in an exhibition celebrating the Sixth Annual Bill Huffman Award for Excellence in Studio Practice (given to University of Toronto student, Tejpal S. Ajji) at the Alliance Française Gallery, Toronto (group exhibition).
    Screened Pure Virtue video at Trinity Square Video.
    Presented (r)Age Defying Gravity at the Powerball, The Power Plant.
    Performed Tolerance at the Drake Hotel, Toronto, curated by Paul Couillard.
    Awarded “Artist of the Year,” Untitled Arts Awards, Toronto.
    Presented (r)Age Defying Gravity for the Toronto Alternative Art Fair International at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, with Shannon Cochrane.
    Performed outside of Canada for the first time, presenting (r)Age Defying Gravity with Shannon Cochrane at the International Congress of Performance Art, produced by PerfoPuerto, curated by Alexander Del Re and Alejandra Herrera in Valparaiso (Chile).
  • 2006 – Screened Pure Sin video at OCAD.
    Presented (r)Age Defying Gravity at the Gladstone Hotel with Shannon Cochrane.
    Presented In Pursuit of Happiness in Civic Insomnia, curated by Kim Simon, part of Toronto’s first Nuit Blanche.
    Presented The Granny Suites, Part 1: Happy Birthday to You video installation in Where She’s At, York Quay Gallery, Harbourfront (group exhibition).
  • 2007 – Presented Rocky at Là-Bas Performance Art Festival, Helsinki (Finland), curated by Irma Optimist.
    Presented Everything I Ever Wanted (and Never Got) in Art That Binds Performance Line-Up, Queen West Art Crawl, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, curated by Shannon Cochrane.
    Performed In Pursuit of Happiness with Alissa Firth-Eagland as part of the LIVE Performance Art Biennale in the elegant atrium of the Vancouver Art Gallery, curated by Randy Gledhill.
    Became a Canadian citizen.
  • 2008 – Invited for three-week artist residency at Lilith Performance Studio, Malmö (Sweden), curated by Elin Lundgren and Petter Pettersson.
    Awarded International Residencies Grant for La Cité Internationale, Paris by the Canada Council for the Arts.
    Received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.
    Presented performance artifacts and video of Pure Virtue as part of Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts (group exhibition), National Gallery of Canada.