Archive: performance
Why are these golden balloons all over Taipei?

Why are these golden balloons all over Taipei?

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Eslite Spectrum Songyan - Snobs
Silence Was GoldenSnobs, Eslite Spectrum Songyan

In 2015, Public Delivery collaborated with the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art, Taiwan’s first museum to be dedicated exclusively to contemporary art and one of the most prominent art institutions of Asia. Silence Was Golden is our on-going global public art project which is centered around words or short phrases made out of golden letter shaped balloons, chosen by performers to express their feelings towards their environment and the histories surrounding it. Words were collected through an open call, and then performed together with a variety of people, including students from Tainan National University of the Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, Tamkang University and Taipei Jingmei Girls High School in different locations all over Taipei.

Up until now, the project was performed 253 times in 1/4 of the world’s countries (179 cities, 48 countries, six continents).

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Huashan Creative Park - Anxious
Silence Was GoldenAnxious, Huashan Creative Park

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall - Boss
Silence Was GoldenBoss, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Bitan Suspension Bridge - Date
Silence Was GoldenDate, Bitan Suspension Bridge

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Xindian ghost house - Fear
Silence Was GoldenFear, Xindian ghost house

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - 228 Peace Memorial Park - Hustle
Silence Was GoldenHustle, 228 Peace Memorial Park

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Museum of Contemporary Art - Noisy
Silence Was GoldenNoisy, Museum of Contemporary Art

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Elephant Mountain - Nose
Silence Was GoldenNose, Elephant Mountain

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Guang Hua Night Market - Savour
Silence Was GoldenSavour, Guang Hua Night Market

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Xindian, Bitan tea house - Tea
Silence Was GoldenTea, Bitan tea house

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall - Temple
Silence Was GoldenTemple, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Map of balloon performances in Taipei, Taiwan
Map of balloon performances


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This is not the Ice Bucket Challenge

This is not the Ice Bucket Challenge

Khvay Samnang - Rubber Man, 2015
Khvay SamnangRubber Man, 2015, 3 HD videos, color, 3min 36s, 3min 29s, 3min 54s

Poetry speaks directly to the soul and when words are not enough to portray a message, the different dimensions as used in poetic language carry on with the communication. This is what is happening in Rubber Mann, a 2015 series of videos that is focused at highlighting the effects of rubber farming in Cambodia. There is no doubt that industrialisation drives an economy forward but with it comes adverse pressure on natural resources. In 1922, the Cambodian national government consented to the establishment of a rubber plantation that would be taken up by colonial powers. Today, this agreement still holds but at the expense of the country’s natural resources.

This is the backdrop on which Khvay Samnang, a Cambodian multimedia artist produced Rubber Man. It is his belief that for the relevant stakeholders to take action to mitigate this environmental imbalance, people must first see how damaging the outcome is.

The Cambodian province Rattanakiri has been in the local and international news for all the bad reasons, land grabs and land related protests and this is the location in which the video was filmed. For a period of over two years, Khvay Samnang spent most of his time in the area. Rubber Man is meant to be a symbolic gesture of futile efforts at conserving the environment. He practices the futile gestures as a demonstration of what more needs to be done to bring about significant change.

Over the course of the video, the stage changes and each time takes on a depleted picture from the previous. As the main character continues to pour liquid rubber on himself, the effects of his actions are reflected in the changing face of the surroundings. The fact that he is naked throughout the performance is proof that environmental stability controls not only food availability but clothing as well.

Of even greater concern to the actor is the destroyed dwelling place for the spirits, which in ancient times resided in the forests. While it is important that the message of the video is clearly understood, the incorporation of humor makes it even more captivating. Born in 1982, in Cambodia, Khvay Samnang picked up this creative style of performance from his involvement in photography, video, and performing arts. All this experience under his belt coupled with media sources, personal experience and hearsay, his intention is to find answers to unresolved stories for the interest of the people who need intervention.

Khvay Samnang - Rubber Man, 2015
Khvay SamnangRubber Man, 2015, 3 HD videos, color, 3min 36s, 3min 29s, 3min 54s

Khvay Samnang - Rubber Man, 2015
Khvay SamnangRubber Man, 2015, 3 HD videos, color, 3min 36s, 3min 29s, 3min 54s

Khvay Samnang - Rubber Man, 2015
Khvay SamnangRubber Man, 2015, 3 HD videos, color, 3min 36s, 3min 29s, 3min 54s

Khvay Samnang - Rubber Man, 2015
Khvay SamnangRubber Man, 2015, 3 HD videos, color, 3min 36s, 3min 29s, 3min 54s


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Artist got enormous meteorite on eBay for this installation

Artist got enormous meteorite on eBay for this installation

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite, 2013, Photo by Benoit Pailley/New Museum
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, New Museum, New York City, USA, 2013
Photo: Benoit Pailley, New Museum

Chris Burden was not exactly an everyday artist. While his previous work usually involved a form of danger (see Shoot), his last works have still been about performance, but mostly involved creating very much advanced models of working machines. One of such of his works was sitting in the New Museum, NYC in 2013. At the New Museum, there was a large chunk of meteorite which weighed 365 pounds hanging from one end of a massive steel frame while a Canary yellow 1974 Porsche 914 hung from the other end.

Burden went to great lengths to make his machines come to live and a great deal of energy and intelligence is required. According to the story of how the meteorite machine came to be, Burden spotted the huge meteorite on eBay and it was available on free shipping too. He had never seen a meteorite that big and he went ahead to buy it without actually having any inkling whatsoever about what he would do with it.

Chris Burden whose most well-known work is Shoot, an art performance in which he had his own arm shot by a friend in 1971, had over the years grown into a stocky, vigorous 67 years old man. His works were usually huge and they always took very long time to bring to life but there is a clean elegance about them which Mr. Burden said he imbibed from the University of California.

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite (2013), Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015, Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed 1
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015
Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite (2013), Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015, Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed 2
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015
Photo: Sophie Kitching, Art Observed

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite (2013), Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015, Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015
Photo: Sophie Kitching, Art Observed

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite (2013), Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015, Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed detail
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015
Photo: Sophie Kitching, Art Observed

Chris Burden – Porsche with Meteorite, 2013, installation view at the artist’s studio in Topanga, CA – photo Brian Forrest
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, installation view at the artist’s studio in Topanga, California, USA
Photo: Brian Forrest


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Artist shot in the name of art in legendary performance (video)

Artist shot in the name of art in legendary performance (video)

Chris Burden - Shoot
Chris BurdenShoot, 1971

American sculptor and performance artist, Chris Burden, who was known for his works in the extreme, passed away May 10, 2015. Many of his works were best described as “shocking”, and the radical nature of his work is what set him apart from other twentieth century American artists. His performance pieces were often depictions of violence in which he was always his own victim: he was crucified to a Volkswagen Beetle, had viewers push pins into his body, was kicked down two flights of stairs, and in the case of the piece being discussed, “Shoot” (1971), he was shot.

Burden’s work forces spectators through the shock of the lived imagery not only to review but deeply analyze their own moral selves, the profound nature of misery, and the undeniable reality of pain. In a time when society has become desensitized to the excess of violent imagery through the media, he pushes the audience to recognize the reality of suffering, agony, and desperation.

“Shoot” is 8 seconds of footage, filmed on November 19, 1971 in a gallery located in Santa Ana, California named “F Space.” With only a handful of his friends in attendance, he proceeded with the piece that he had already announced intention of to the editors of an art journal called Avalanche. With the small number of people in attendance he performed what was likely his most shocking of pieces. “Shoot” featured Burden, who was only 25 years old at the time, being shot in the arm at close range by a friend with a rifle. The danger in this piece was obvious, all it took was being off a few inches and Burden could have been killed.

Even Burden wasn’t immune to the shock of being shot in the arm, as he quickly walks off screen. Burden implores viewers to listen to the sound of the empty shell as it collides onto the ground. The imagery of the shot man stumbling forward is one that is difficult to forget.

The bullet was only supposed to graze Burden’s arm, but the shooter was slightly off target. The bullet went through his arm instead of grazing it. Although the film was only eight seconds long, it burns itself into the mind of the audience breaking through desensitization that is felt by most indifferent viewers.

Following the performance Burden and his friends were left to deal with the reality of a gunshot wound to the arm. They went to the hospital and had to explain the performance piece to the hospital staff that was left in disbelief. This part of the story is a reminder of the reality of Burden’s works, the reality of the violent brutality he was representing through the self-inflected violence and resulting injury.

The piece is a reminder of the fundamental reality of our corporeal life, our corporeal reality. Reflecting that if the bullet had only moved a few inches in one direction Burden would have likely been killed and if it had moved a few inches in the other, he wouldn’t have been touched by the bullet. It brings us to the realization that the gun holder had Burden’s life in his hands, just as soldiers in Vietnam held lives in their hands, politicians held the soldiers’ lives in their hands, and so forth.

Burden’s work, so graphic and shocking, was also committed to the re-sensitization of people to the violence that had become less and less shocking due to its constant imagery being invoked in the media while serving to challenge society’s views on what “fine art” truly is.

Video

https://vimeo.com/129040524


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Artist makes US-Mexico Border Wall disappear

Artist makes US-Mexico Border Wall disappear

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera - Playas de Tijuana
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2012, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Ana Teresa Fernández, an artist born in Tampico, Mexico who studied in San Francisco, California and Lausanne, Switzerland, is known for her ability to make a powerful statement. Her statement is especially strong when it comes to the politics of space and place.

Her piece, “Erasing the Border” is one of her most commanding works in which alongside a number of other artist, residents, students and activists, she led an attack against the Mexico-US border wall, with the goal of “erasing” sections of the border. Sections of the fence were painted by Fernández to match the vast sky so that when viewed from afar there is the illusion of gaps in the fence. This appearance of a broken link, a useless border, is an effective statement on the arbitrary concept of borders separating place from place.

Fernández has been erasing the border wall in her series of installations “Borrando la Frontera” (Erasing the Border), beginning in 2011, where she erased a wall in Tijuana, Baja California. Prior to this she did a series of performance pieces near the border. She chose to use her art to breakdown the jail bars that impeded the sight of those in the border town by allowing people to see what it would look like if the bars didn’t run down the beach breaking up the scenery. From a distance the landscape is continuous, not broken apart by the intrusive fence.

As word of her work began to spread, more and more artists, locals, and border organizations wanted to be part of her project. They too wanted to make a statement, and wanted to see the sections of border fences erased in Texas and Arizona. Texas and Arizona were politically charged sites in particular as they have recently passed a series of severe anti-immigration laws and vigilante militias enacting violence and inciting fear at the border. The work of Fernández is especially meaningful now, as there is a new president-elect, Donald Trump, who has built a winning campaign around threats to extend and raise the wall to block immigrants. Thus, her work becomes an even more powerful statement, in how she opens up the border and unlocks our imaginations, bringing us to a more open and inclusive world; one where we do not fear our neighbors and try to keep them away.

At her most recent event, groups came to the three sections of the fence in Mexicali, Baja California; Agua Prieta, Sonora, and; Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua to erase the border. Groups from both Mexico and the U.S came to each site at the same time, as a planned attack, and began to paint and erase the fence. This unified people on both sides of the divide, effectively making the purpose of the fence (to separate people) mute.

Through her work, Ana Teresa Fernández proves that art is an effective political tool, a weapon even. One that can bring people together, bring freedom, and make a remarkable statement.

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera - Playas de Tijuana
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2012, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera - Playas de Tijuana
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2012, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

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See the city through new eyes when colorfully dressed people stack on top of each other

See the city through new eyes when colorfully dressed people stack on top of each other

Willi Dorner – Bodies in Urban Spaces
Willi DornerBodies in Urban Spaces

“Bodies in Urban Spaces” by Willi Dorner is an example of when art comes to life, it is a trail that is ever changing, choreographed specifically for a group of dancers. The dances bring the art to life and take the audience through selected parts of public and semi-public spaces. What the audience experiences is the corporeal elements of a chain of physical interventions that are set up very quickly and briefly, as their existence is only temporary, thus allowing the audience to perceive a space in a completely different way through brand new eyes.

The special quality of each place at various times of the day creates unique presentations. The purpose is to emphasize urban functional structure while also serving to “uncover the restricted movement possibilities and behavior as well as rules and limitations.”

Willi Dorner does this by placing the bodies in specific places in which his interventions serve to provoke a cognitive process and produce the emotional reaction of irritation. The performers bodies, skillfully choreographed by the artist invokes a sense of awe and somewhat disbelief in the audience, as the bodies contort into each other, similar to the non-biological structures we see in the urban settings. Individuals who pass by this work of art, can reflect upon their urban surrounding in addition to their own behavior and habits. What the audience sees is a mouthful, however, most are too stunned or left at a loss of words as they see the brutal beauty yet complicated frustration of the living piece. “Bodies in urban spaces” encourages local residents to play the part of the audience and walk though their own city in order to facilitate a stronger relationship to their neighborhood, or their region. It doesn’t only make people see space differently, but their own place within that space on a deeper level.

Willi Dorner – Bodies in Urban Spaces
Willi DornerBodies in Urban Spaces

Willi Dorner – Bodies in Urban Spaces
Willi DornerBodies in Urban Spaces

Willi Dorner – Bodies in Urban Spaces
Willi DornerBodies in Urban Spaces

Willi Dorner – Bodies in Urban Spaces
Willi DornerBodies in Urban Spaces

Willi Dorner – Bodies in Urban Spaces
Willi DornerBodies in Urban Spaces

Willi Dorner – Bodies in Urban Spaces
Willi DornerBodies in Urban Spaces

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Cosplayers and the Power of Costumes

Cosplayers and the Power of Costumes

Cao Fei - Golden Figher's despair
Cao FeiGolden Fighter’s

Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei’s 2004 work explores the imagined identities of cosplayers (young people who dress up as game characters) and how they interact with the real world. To these individuals, a costume bestows magical powers upon the wearer, rendering their person more special and enabling them to transcend their mundane reality. These are people living in a video game world, alienated by the real, waking world, and seeking to unite the two spaces to live in a way that allows them to actually be this magic character by creating their own realities. Her work reflects the fluid identities of China as a growing, evolving culture, juxtaposing escapist fantasies alongside vivid realities.

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