Plus TheCo, Minus Helen Goodwin, 2018

Geodesic dome projection mapping performance installation

A sculptural 20 foot metal geodesic dome, with a dancefilm in three parts: 360-degree video, Super 8 film and HD video make up the full installation. Commissioned by Lorna Brown, curator at the Belkin Gallery in Vancouver, the piece explores the overlooked Canadian female choreographer Helen Goodwin.

Made in collaboration with Keith H Doyle

Design and Fabrication
Keith H Doyle + Joseph Friedrich

Improvisational Choreography
James Gnam + Vanessa Goodman

Sound Design
Sunshine Frère
with performance by Nathan Marsh

Improvisational performance by
Anne Ngan

Lara Barclay, Laura Crema, Francesca Frewer, James Gnam, Vanessa Goodman, Elissa Hanson, Arash Khakpour, Natalie LeFebvre Gnam, Alexa Mardon, Erika Mitsuhashi, Jane Osborne, Bevin Poole, Evann Siebens and Lexi Vajda.

Vocals led by
Laura Crema

Additional Camera
Ryan Ermacora

Projection Mapping
Stuart Ward

A founding member of Intermedia in the 1960s, Goodwin developed an improvisational style of choreography having brought avant-garde artists Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton, Anna Halprin and John Cage to Vancouver. She also helped create The Dome Show at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1970, and so Plus TheCo, Minus Helen Goodwin, with its contemporary use of a geodesic dome references an important historical moment with an immersive media installation. Shot on Hornby Island with artist Anne Ngan, an original dancer of Helen’s and with a host of contemporary dancers on Jericho Beach, Vancouver, led by choreographers James Gnam and Vanessa Goodman, the pieces investigates the 1960s/70s political influence on movement and performance. By creating a collective of dancers, a 21st version of ‘TheCo’ (Goodwin’s dance company) the project acknowledges the utopian values of a different time. The improvisational form and style is disrupted by the punctuated editing, and sound extract phrases from peer interviews create a fragmented experimental collage of her life and story. Helen Goodwin died in 1985 by walking out into the water at Jericho Beach, having lost her 10 year old son some years before, and the piece also alludes to the challenges of being an artist and a mother. Was her legacy erased because she was a woman, or worked in performance? Or because her suicide and lack or archive seem to eclipse all memory of her actual work? Where does the archive sit, in the body? Or the ephemera, photographs, film snippets and memories of her contemporaries. By featuring performer Anne Ngan, a dancer in her 70s, Plus ThCo, Minus Helen Goodwin acknowledges that sometimes the archive sits in the bodies of those who were there…


Curated by Lorna Brown
Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
Vancouver, Canada
June 2018


Book Publication
Edited by Lorna Brown Contributing Artist pages 30, 136-142, 244. Published by Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery + Information Office, 2020 ISBN 978-1-988860-08-4