CREATE - DEPLOY - ENGAGE
Portrait by Luis Mara
Thom Sokoloski is a multi-disciplinary artist. He trained and worked in New York City and Paris in the 70’s (LaMama ETC in NYC/Paris, L'Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Polish Lab Theatre, Edward Hawkins Dance, Open Theatre and NOW Theatre).
Returning to Canada, he co-founded The Theatre Centre, the Native Theatre School and Autumn Leaf Performance. Besides creating original performance works, he directed, produced and toured theatre and/or opera by Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett, Shakespeare, R. Murray Schafer, Claude Vivier, Rainer Wiens, Jean Piché, Alain Thibault, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Gavin Bryars, Wende Bartley, Christopher Butterfield, etc.
Presenters/partners included the COC, Tapestry Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Opéra de Lyon, Festival de Liège, Musica Festival (Strasbourg), Sound Symposium (NFLD), Holland Festival (Amsterdam) WorldStage Festival (Toronto) and The Banff Centre.
Since 2006, he has pursued an integration of performance and image-based ideas into site-specific public art installations commissioned by Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, Art Toronto, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Open House New York, Galerie du Nouvel Ontario, Art Spin, Burlington Public Art Lab, National Capital Commission, Nuit North and Socrates Sculpture Park
My practice is interdisciplinary. It includes working with imagery, installation, performance, movement, sound, sculpture and words. It is informed by place, behaviour and memory and how they conflate and interact with the poetics of a space, its content, colour, form, material and spirit. By integrating the knowledge and methods demanded by such an approach, I become better equipped to explore what and how a real synthesis can achieve.
I spend a lot of time in a site discerning how how the concept might shape an agora, or a shared public place in which the artwork could evoke an uncommon presence, yet resonate a trusted ground, invite inclusive behaviour and impact the here and now.
My aim is a formalised situation wherein the public has the opportunity develop a critical consciousness through creative engagement; both of the world and of one’s role in that world.
The public and its participation in this process offers them infinite possibilities for stimulating inspiration and unexpected viscera between the familiar and unfamiliar. It is not apparent, or even logical how this is achieved, but these elements do come together in a total expression of abstract emotions, perceptions, responses and states of awareness not yet routinized in everyday life.