May 14, 2013

Jacob Wren Long Bio


Jacob Wren makes collaborative performances, exhibitions and literature.

His books include: Unrehearsed Beauty (1998), Families Are Formed Through Copulation (2007), Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed (2010), Polyamorous Love Song (2014), Rich and Poor (2016), Authenticity is a Feeling (2018) and Dry Your Tears To Perfect Your Aim (2024).

Polyamorous Love Song was a finalist for the 2013 Fence Modern Prize in Prose and one of The Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2014. Rich and Poor was a finalist for the Quebec Writers’ Federation Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and one of The Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2016. His books have been translated into French (by both Le Quartanier and Éditions Triptyque) and Norwegian.

His performances, made collaboratively with other artists, engage with the struggle and paradox of ‘being oneself’ in a performance situation, with what it means to stand in front of an audience and speak honestly about the things one finds important, at the same time never afraid to show how vulnerable and nervous one might naturally feel in such a situation.

Many of these performances are made as Artistic Codirector of PME-ART, with whom he co-created: En français comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize (1998), Unrehearsed Beauty-Le Génie des autres (2002), La famille se crée en copulant (2005), the HOSPITALITÉ / HOSPITALITY series including: 1: The Title Is Constantly Changing (2008), 3: Individualism Was A Mistake (2008), 2: Gradually This Overview (2010) and 5: The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information (2011), Every Song I’ve Ever Written (2013), Adventures can be found anywhere, même dans la mélancolie (2014), A User's Guide to Authenticity Is a Feeling (2018) and Adventures can be found anywhere, même dans la répétition (2022).

PME-ART has also presented the online conference Vulnerable Paradoxes (2020), the related free PDF publication In response to Vulnerable Paradoxes (2021) and was nominated for the 27th Conseil des arts de Montréal Grand Prix in the category of New Artistic Practices. Most recently, PME-ART invited Kamissa Ma Koïta and Elena Stoodley to create the project Survival Technologies (2024).

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).

He has also collaborated with Nadia Ross and her company STO Union. Together they co-wrote and co-directed Recent Experiences (2000) and Revolutions in Therapy (2004).

Some of these projects have been reinvented by other artists. For example: En français comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize was reinvented by the National Theatre School to celebrate their 50th anniversary, co-directed by Chris Abraham and Christian Lapointe. Recent Experiences was reinvented by Amir Reza Koohestani / Mehr Theatre Group in a production that toured extensively. And La famille se crée en copulant was reinvented by La Periscope in a production directed by Frédéric Dubois.

Jacob created the exercise Relay-Interview, has led workshops in Montréal, Stockholm, Annaghmakerrig, Ghent, Cologne, Toronto, Zürich and Chicoutimi, and has had residencies in Hamburg, Viborg, Brussels, Lisbon, Kochi, Calgary, Portland, Cologne, Chicoutimi and Santarcangelo.

In a visual art context he has co-created works such as Five Important Books (co-created with Shannon Cochrane - Dare Dare/Mercer Union/Kyber, 2002), Hospitality 2: Gradually This Overview (PME-ART/Articule, 2010), Music And Theatre Must Learn To Disassociate (co-created with Adam Kinner as part of the group exhibition Stage Set Stage at SBC Gallery, Montréal, 2014) and Adventures can be found anywhere, même dans la mélancolie (PME-ART/Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, 2014), works that focus on how to use the gallery space in an unconventional, always performative, manner. He also had a text piece entitled If the absurdity within which we currently live results in our full or partial extinction does that make it less or more absurd? in the group show Véritables préludes flasques (pour un chien) at Maison Populaire (Montreuil, 2014.) 

He has also written about visual art for Mix Magazine, C Magazine, Useless Magazine, Spike Magazine, Fillip, Rekto Verso, Scapegoat, Etc., Valeveil, YYZ, The Capilano Review, Canadian Art, Eastern Edge, 3e impérial, SKOL, Folie/Culture and written catalog texts for Johanna Billing, Gwen MacGregor, MASS MoCA, Lorna Bauer, Hazel Meyer, Pedro Gomez-Egana, MAC, Raphaëlle de Groot, Sarah Pierce, Kim Waldron, Monika Romstein and Alegría Gobeil.

Recent musical projects include Enters (with Alexei Perry Cox and Radwan Ghazi Moumneh) and The Air Contains Honey who are currently working on their first album.

He has performed in Aberystwyth, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Austin, Belfast, Bergen, Berlin, Birmingham, Bonn, Bordeaux, Boston, Brighton, Brussels, Calgary, Cardiff, Chicoutimi, Cognac, Cologne, Copenhagen, Créteil, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Fribourg, Geneva, Ghent, Glasgow, Groningen, The Hague, Halifax, Hamburg, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Kingston, Kortrijk, Krakow, Linz, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Maastricht, Madrid, Malmö, Manchester, Mannheim, Marseille, Maubeuge, Melbourne, Montréal, Munich, Münster, New York, Nottingham, Oslo, Ottawa, Paris, Peterborough, Polverigi, Prague, Québec City, Rakvere, Regina, Reykjavík, Riga, Rotterdam, Rouen, Saint-Jean Port-Joli, Salamanca, Salzburg, Stavanger, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Tallinn, Taipei, Tielt, Toronto, Tokyo, Trondheim, Vancouver, Vienna, Vilnius, Yokohama, Zagreb and Zurich.

His internet presence is often defined by a fondness for quotations.

Jacob Wren Links


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