PICA audiences will remember Toronto’s Mammalian Diving Reflex from their past TBA Festival projects, Haircuts by Children (2007) and All the Sex I’ve Ever Had (2014). On February 10th, the company’s Artistic & Research Director, Darren O’Donnell, will present a free, public lecture highlighting the group’s current and forthcoming international projects in Australia, the UK, Germany, and Toronto. Darren will share some of the theories and methods behind the work, focusing on their performance and film work with children, youth, and the elderly, including young refugees in Germany. He will also outline the Mammalian Succession Model for Youth Engagement, which was developed in collaboration with youth in Toronto and is now being applied in the UK and Germany. Finally, he will address current ethical and political concerns, seeking to answer the question just how much should we expect from the arts?

Darren’s artistic practice and the work of Mammalian Diving Reflex is world-renowned, as are the group’s innovative models and methods for community, public, and youth engagement in the arts, which combine rigorous research, artistic ingenuity, experimentation, civic engagement, and an emphasis on participant advocacy and agency. We are excited to welcome Darren to Portland throughout 2016 in a creative research capacity with PICA to advise on expanding youth access and engagement in contemporary art, and to share his expertise with communities. This lecture is one of several events with Darren that will be open to the public throughout the year.

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