Jess Dobkin ( Toronto, Ontario)

Biography: Dobkin uses her body as a reference point in her artistic practice, actively exploring its metaphorical perimeters through narrative and experimental forms. Her work addresses current social and cultural issues and approaches to artmaking. She juxtaposes raw emotion with offbeat humor, a technique designed to deliberately trigger a sense of irony and unease in the viewer. Her performances in urban public spaces draw attention to the impact of modern technology on our relationships to public/private spheres.

Dobkin holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Oberlin College (1992) and an M.F.A. in Performance art from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (1997). She is the recipient of a number of awards and grants, including the Astraea Foundation Grant Award (1998 and 2000), a Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art Grant Award (1997). Her work has been performed at a variety of venues in New York including Jack Tilton Gallery, The Kitchen Street Festival, La Mama, Etc, WOW Café, Dixon Place, P.S. 122, Dumba Performance Space, and New York University. She has also performed in several other U.S. locations and Canada.

Project Description: “New World (B)Order: Racial Profiling Customs” is a performance series that examines US Customs practices of profiling by race and national origin, and the effects of recent legislation undermining traveler’s right to privacy in the wake of 9-11. An interactive performance will be present at the Buffalo, New York and Ontario border, and the documentation of the work will be used in developing a performance and installation to be exhibited in both Buffalo and Toronto art spaces.

Artist's website