Alward wears a pair of neon angel wings for the duration of the performances. The audience is welcome to sample the various foods on the banquet table. They also have the option of viewing her autobiographical video on the big screen.
The following text is taken from RITUAL In Contemporary Performance: Western Front Performance Art Contemporary Ritual Series May 2, 2002-November 20, 2003 p.14/15:
SHARON ALWARD ON LIMINAL ACTS
I held a banquet for any and all persons that wished to attend in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This area has experienced an influx of problems such as drug addiction and dealing, HIV infection, prostitution, crime, lack of adequate housing and high unemployment.
After the guests had left the banquet, huge platters of food were created and seven guests, including the curator Victoria Singh, went out into the streets and passed out food and desserts.
The performance subverted traditional theatre, clichés of “climax and conclusion,” and the traditional information structure. ‘Liminal Acts’ worked within a non-matrixed performative structure which is based on the audience relationship and the potential for transformation.
The performance also made reference to the writings of anthropologist: Victor Turner, specifically his theories associated with “the betwixt and between of the liming.”
Professor Sharon Alward received her BA from the University of Winnipeg in 1975, her BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1983, and her MFA at the University of California in 1985. In addition to teaching at the University of Manitoba School of Art, she has volunteered at TERF (Training and Employment Resources for Females) as the Artist-In-Residence, which evolved out of her work at POWER (Prostitutes an Other Women for Equal Rights) as an outreach worker. She was also an Administrant and Lay reader for the Anglican Church. Alward’s performances and video-tapes have been exhibited worldwide. Her work investigates the metaphysical, moral, and epistemological role of the contemporary artist through the use of ritual symbolism.