This event was featured in our 2012 program.

Jon Sasaki: I Promise It Will Always Be This Way

Jon Sasaki (Toronto, Canada)

I Promise It Will Always Be This Way will be an endurance performance starring 26 costumed mascot characters, let loose on an otherwise empty football field. They will be asked to ‘remain enthusiastic’ for an entire eight hour workday, pumping up the audience of fans to blaring stadium music.

Emblematic of vivacity and social generosity, mascots are known for ‘giving the audience 110%’ for short interludes. However, the sustainability of the enthusiasm will come into question during this durational performance, as hunger, cold, and exhaustion take their toll. The mascots’ desire to accomplish their arduous task may or may not be thwarted by the slow onset of fatigue. What happens next involves humour, energy and the seemingly futile task of keeping a crowd of spectators entertained for six hours straight. There will be rivalries, revelry, long lasting friendships formed and fall apart, there will be naps, coffee breaks and a sausage sizzle or two. Audience members are invited to help the mascots with cheering, booing and encouragement. The performance reveals the generosity of social spirit, providing the supportive, ever-cheering, crowd reciprocating the enthusiasm of the mascots. The outcome of this social experiment is impossible to forecast, as it will be determined almost entirely by the interactions between the mascots and the audience. The only prediction that can be made is that the performance will sit somewhere on the spectrum between ‘disheartening’ and ‘exhilaratingly uplifting!’.

Expect to see local sporting icons and corporate mascots from around town all vying for the love and attention of the audience with their shenanigans. Come out for half an hour and check out the mascots doing their thing or join us for the long haul, and challenge yourself to stay for the full eight hours. It will be without a doubt one of the most outrageous live performances you’ve ever experienced.

About the artist

Jon Sasaki utilises primarily video, objects, performance, installation and interventions, producing work that mixes humour and pathos, usually with unsettling or gently antagonistic results. He is currently partway through a traveling solo exhibition entitled “Good Intentions” organised by the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto, in partnership with the Kenderdine Art Gallery (University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon), Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge, AB), MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie, ON), Prairie Art Gallery (Grande Prairie, AB) and the Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina SK). He has participated in group exhibitions at VOX (Montreal), The Vancouver Art Gallery, the Owens Art Gallery (Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB), Simon Fraser University Gallery (Burnaby, BC), as well as the 2006 and 2008 editions of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. He holds a BFA from Mount Allison University, lives and works in Toronto and is represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects.