Born 1961, lives and works in Toronto.
Paul Couillard has been working as an artist, curator, and cultural theorist since 1985, focusing on performance art with forays into installation and various new media. He has created more than 200 solo and collaborative performance works in 21 countries, often working with his partner Ed Johnson. His work seeks to build community and address trauma through explorations of our bodies as vessels of sensation, experience, knowledge and spirit. He has a particular interest in considering the shared borders of our separate existences, searching for a language that can convey complex layers of personal history and cultural specificity while questioning the notion of shared or universal experience. His solo practice is often focused on duration and the effects of time.
Couillard was the Performance Art Curator for Fado from its inception in 1993 until 2007, and is also a founding co-curator of the 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival, both based in Toronto, Canada. He is the editor of Fado’s Canadian Performance Art Legends, a series of books on senior Canadian performance artists, including La Dragu: the Living Art of Margaret Dragu (2002) and Ironic to Iconic: the Performance Works of Tanya Mars (2008). A third book, featuring the work of Alain-Martin Richard, is scheduled for publication in 2011. Couillard has been a lecturer at McMaster University and the University of Toronto Scarborough, and is currently a doctoral student in the York/Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture. His research is focused on a theoretical examination of the gaps between the ways we apprehend the world through our senses and the ways we construct understanding through language.