Toronto artist Johannes Zits’ multi-disciplinary practice focuses on the many meanings engendered by the body. He draws attention to conventional image-making and how mass media images are disseminated and consumed. In working with the natural environment, Zits extends the notion of the performer to include nature itself. Considering nature as an equal ensures that it can be neither construed as a passive prop nor adored and fixed in the realm of the sublime.

Since graduating with a BFA from York University in 1984, Johannes Zits has presented work across Canada as well as internationally. In 2013, Zits performed at the 8th Encuentro, Sao Paulo, Brazil and presented a collection of his videos at Le festival international du film sur l’art, Montreal. In 2014, he presented variations on the performance “Island” at M:ST Festival, Calgary, Yuz Museum,Shanghai and at Meta 2014, Chongqing, China.

Contact info

251 Ossington Ave, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6J 3A1
E-mail : zipijo (at)

Curriculum Vitae
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Performances & Screening History, since 2000
2020 “Listening to Trees”, McIntoch Gallery, Western University, London, Ontario
2020 “Good ’til it’s Gone” International Biennial of Asuncion, Paraguay
2019 “Residency With A Tree” with Live Art Denmark and Copenhagen Contemporary, Denmark
2019 “Dialoguing with Trees” ÅLborg, Denmark
2019 “Encumbrance”, SummerWorks, Toronto
2018 “Excess”, Art Spin, Toronto
2018 “Residency With A Tree”, Third Space, St. John, NB.
2018 “On Top”, Art Sourterrin, Montreal
2017 “Árbol de los Mundos” with Alexis Povea, Havana, Cuba
2017-18 “Getting Into Nothing” Arcadia Theatre, Toronto and Art Hive, McGill University
2016 “Specious Present” with No Object, First Thursdays, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
2016 “Body Traps” 7A*11D, Toronto
2016 “Go Easy on Steve, Steve” Visualeyz, Edmonton
2016 “In the Water” with No Object, for the Naked State, Bare Oaks, Sharon, Ontario
2016 “Open Studio” with the group No Objects Youngplace, Toronto
2016 “HOLD” with No Object, Duration and Dialogue, Toronto
2015 “Wandering Together” Katzman Contemporary, Toronto
2015 “Looking For Guides To An Alternative” Link N’ Pin, Montreal
2015 “Sunset” Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto
2015 “Hidden” Legs, Montreal Quebec
2014-16 “Island” Havana, Cuba, Youngplace, Toronto, M:ST Festival, Calgary, Shanghai and Meta 2014, Chongqing, China
2014 “Protest Sketch”, Process Series, Toronto
2014 “This Could be the Place” University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario
2013 “F’D UP!” Art Gallery Of Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario
2013 “Abandon” The Fourth Annual Art Spin Exhibition, Toronto, Ontario
2013 “Relating to Geography 1 and 2” with Victoria Stanton, Artscape Gibraltar Point and the Toronto Art Fair, Toronto, Ontario
2012 “Relinquishing” The Tree Museum,Gravenhurst, Ontario
2012 collaborations with Alicia Marván, Gibraltar Point, Toronto and Mexico City
2012 “4 Solos” ODDfellows Hall, Dawson City, Yukon and Place, Portland, Oregon
2011-12 curator of SPANE, Screening of Performance art in the Natural Eniviroment, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto
2011 “Naturverkorpungen”, with Yingmie Duan, Braunschweig, Germany
2011 “Steel Rail Sessions” CAFKA, Kitchener, Ontario
2011 “Peep Show”, Tape Modern, Berlin
2011 “The dressing Room Project” Alternative Art and Fashion Week, Toronto
2010 “Embodying Nature”, with Ren Qian, 501Contemporary Art Center, ChongQing
2009 Moon Beings, Loop Festival, Barcelona
2008 A Digital Twist performance, Wilde Gallery Berlin; Wharf, Caen, France; Biennial Deformes, Valdivia and Santiago, Chile
2007 Every Dream Homes a Heart Ache, Kids On TV Special, Buddies In Bad Times,
2006 Body Print performance, Grunt Gallery,
Vancouver; Bizart, Shanghai,
2006 Love Me, Club Ying Yang, Shanghai
2005 Body Print performance, InsideOut Festival, Toronto; Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris
2003 The Colin Campbell Sessions, Tranz<>Tech Video Festival, Toronto
2003 The End of the World, Staircase Theatre, Hamilton
2003 Pink Edition, Dziga, Nijmegen
2002 Dutch Treats, Roze Filmdagen, Amsterdam
2002 North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Durham, North Carolina
2002 Video Art Plastique, Herouville, Sainte Claire, France
2001 TransSexTech, Tranz<>Tech Video Festival, Toronto

Solo Exhibitions, since 2000
2013 Hamilton Artist's Inc., Hamilton, Ontario
2012 ATEA, Mexico City
2012 St. Francis Xavier University Gallery, Antigonish, Nova Scotia
2009 Gallery 20 Plus 3, Manchester
2008 Galerie Caesar & Koba, Hamburg
2008 Wharf, Centre D’Art Contemporain de Basse Normandie, France
2008 Wilde Gallery, Berlin
2007 Spin Gallery, Toronto
2006 Open Studio, Space Studios, London
2006 Bizart, Shanghai
2005 Spin Gallery, Toronto
2004 Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain, Montreal
2003 Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto
2003 Postering Campaign, in the streets of Toronto, Amsterdam and Quebec City
2002 Pierre-François Ouellette Gallery, Montreal
2002 Spin Gallery, Toronto
2001 Home Gallery, Rotterdam
2000 Wally Project, Amsterdam
2000 Fotogalerie, Vienna
2000 Forest City Gallery, London, Ont.
2000 Gallery 44, Toronto

Selected Group Exhibition, since 2000
2012 “Sespondue” Maison de la Culture Côte-des-neiges, Montreal (5-person)
2011 “Biennale Internationale du Lin”, Portneuf, Quebec
2010 “Refiguring Nature” M50 Creative Space, Shanghai
2009 Persona Volare, "Expo", Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Ontario
2008 "Solace", Arts Sutton, Sutton, Quebec
2008 “Il labirinto di Padella”, Pollina, Sicily
2007 "Queer Territories” Latitude 53, Edmonton
2007 "Granite Club", Tree Museum, Gravenhurst
2006 "Collage Party", Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain, Montreal
2006 "Le Corps Gay", Écomusée du fier monde, Montreal
2005 "Le Corps Gay", Centre d'exposition de Rouyn-Noranda, Rouyn
2005 "Canadian Club", Canadian Culture Centre, Paris and Rodman Hall, St. Catherines
2005 "Bug City", Winnipeg Art Gallery
2004 "Le Corps Gay", Justina M. Barnickle Gallery Hart House, Toronto,
2004 Projektram Atle Feuerwache, Berlin
2004 “Ich, du, er, sie, es, corporate genders”, Galerie Nord, Berlin (3 person)
2003 Persona Contare, Toronto
2003 Manifestation International D’art De Quebec, Quebec City
2003 "Insex", Spin Gallery, Toronto
2003 Open Studio, Toronto (2 person)
2002 "La Corps Gay", Centre d’exposition du Vieux- Palais, Saint Jerome, Quebec
2002 Parkhaus, Berlin (2 person)
2002 Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax
2001 "Vice Squad", YYZ, Toronto (2 person)
2001 Artcite, Windor (2 person)
2000 Persona Volarie, Toronto
2000 Angell Gallery, "Loaded", Toronto

Awards & Residencies
2013 "Tree Residency" North Adams, Massachusetts
2012 Cape Dorset Residency
2012 Ontario Arts Council Grant
2009 Toronto Arts Council Grant
2006 British Arts Council, Shanghai residency
2006 Canada Council Product Grant
2005 Ontario Arts Council Grant
2005 Wharf, Centre D’Art Contemporain de Basse Normandie, France
2000, 01, 06 Ontario Arts Council Project Grant
2001, 06, 10 Toronto Arts Council Project Grant
1999 Canada Council Mid-career Grant
1998 Canada Council Travel Grant
1998 Artist Residency, Banff Centre for the Arts
1997,98 B.C. Arts Council
1988 Canada Council, Visiting Artists Program
1985-86,88 Materials Assistance, Ontario Arts Council


2007 Xtra Magazinee, Daryl Vocat, March
2007 Toronto Star, Peter Goddard, March
2007 Eye Weekly, David Bowness, March
2007, Dan Adler, March
2006 Shanghai Daily, Wu Ying Ying, February
2006 That’s Shanghai, Xingyu Chen, March
2005 National Post, R. M. Vangh, May
2003 Border Crossing, Robert Enright, October
2002 Spirale Magazine, Jean-Claude Rochefort, November
2002 Le Devoir, Bernard LeMarche, February
2002 ETC, Karl-Gilbert Murray, December
2000 The Globe & Mail, Gary Michael Dault, November 18
2000 The Toronto Star, Soo Kim, November 11
1998 The Globe&Mail, John Bentley Mays, January 15
1991 Het Nieuwsblad, Desiree Meulenbroek, April 17 and June 10
1991 The Globe & Mail, John Bentley Mays, April 27
1989 Edmonton Journal, Elizabeth Beauchamp, October
1989 The Globe & Mail, John Bentley Mays, March 17


The Alberta Arts Foundation
Ortho Concept Quebec Inc.
University of Alberta
York University
Banff Centre for the Arts
Private Collections