big day of performances #4
Saturday December 14, 2019
4-7pm @ A. Farm
the fourth day of performances is part of MoT+++’s one month long performance plus programme, hosted this time at A. Farm where the international participants have been in residence . the event is part of MoT+++’s five week programme on performance art featuring both weekly and one-off events. the programme includes over fifteen artists in residence from an international selection via an Open Call.
the international art residence’s courtyard and studios will host local and international artists, in a celebration and exploration of the performance medium.
Marcus Vu Manh Cuong
Ngo Thanh Phuong
Xxavier Edward Carter
starting the performance with a large rectangle of raw felt laid on bubble wrap, Samira invited the audience to join her in spraying the material with warm, soapy water. after wetting the felt, another layer of bubble wrap was placed on top and participants used their bare feet to walk over the fabric in order to bind fibres. next, participants rolled the felt from left to right, up and down, and in reverse. under the artist’s instruction they then pummelled the fabric with a back-and-forth motion that further intaglio the threads. the wet blanket was then peeled from its protective plastic and dropped from over head height repeatedly by Samira and several audience members before being hung to dry.
Chung Nguyen – The Live[ing] room
Marcus Vu Manh Cuong
Ngo Thanh Phuong
over a 40 minute period Chung talked with friends about the nature of identity in performance art amongst other topics via a group Facebook call. printed pictures of his friends’ faces were taped to three chairs which he moved into various positions over the course of the performance. during the time Chung made tea for himself and each of his friends, placing a cup in front of each chair and picture. audience members looked in on the call from the background, ignored by both Chung and his online friends.
for his performance Aliansayah grappled with the weight of holding a full glass of water, with one small leaf floating inside, on a small stack of bowls in one hand. for thirty minutes he attempted to keep the stack raised to head level and arm’s length in a fruitless attempt not to spill any water. both sweat from the artist’s brow and water from the cup spilt onto the floor over the course of the performance, as the artist struggled to keep the stack raised, transferring it from one hand to the other when the weight became too much. placing the stack down again, Aliansayah contemplated it briefly before kneeling and placing his head on the floor. the sweat from his forehead and face marked the concrete, darkening areas with its wetness until those spots were indistinguishable from those made by the spilt water.
AND SO POETRY BECAME AN ARROW THAT LOST ITS DIRECTION, MISSED THE TARGET AND DISAPPEARED INTO THE DARK OF THE NIGHT
On the day he died the museum was born. When he was alive he talked quite a lot about ocean. But when he said ocean I always thought of the blue area on a map, or the mysterious creatures in the deep sea. I thought it was interesting, we human manage to travel many light years out the space but still do not know what lays beneath at the deepest part of the sea. I didn’t think of ocean as a space that both connects lands together and separate them apart, or the water that flows in and out of our body, evaporates into air and becomes water again somewhere. The day he died was the day the first exhibition of the museum was opened. The name of the show coincided with the question he had his whole life. How to Destroy Contemporary Art. He asked. And the show opened. It started with a performance piece by him, performing the slow, gentle, mysterious, exciting, grotesque, shocking act of dying.
As the performance began, he said “From now on we’ll count as slow as is humanly possible: Say 1, then wait for forever”
Where does shadow go when the body that creates it has died? Dead objects have no shadow, and so the liberation process begins. Shadow starts to separate from body as life begins to fade away, until it is completely on its own, wandering aimlessly, as a silhouette of someone who no longer exists in this world. After he died I experienced something strange that I could not tell anyone. I was afraid they would think either I am miserable or out of my mind. Something in me had changed, I thought differently, saw things differently, and acted differently. As if myself was no longer mine, as if it was shared by a flow of consciousness that asked to borrow my body, my thought, and my vitality to live on. At some point this feeling was very strong that I thought I could become him and he could become me. But eventually he disappeared. Just like how he did in the performance. Leaving only his shadow to perform alone to the world. And so poetry became an arrow that lost its direction, missed the target and disappeared into the dark of the night.
And here is how the performance went:
location: the museum roof top
duration: a million year
He started counting one, say oooooo…..nnn………..e, and the time multiplied itself. One minute became two, three, four and eventually an hour, a day, a year. The cells in the body vibrated slower and slower in that proportion until one breath took long enough for the heart to stop beating. His body froze and the time moved so slow until it almost stopped. The gravity pulled him down in slow motion, and when the time took over the control it swept him off his feet. And he began to fall.
and then the performance ended with a song,
while he was falling infinitely from the top floor of the museum to the deepest part of the ocean, a song that I have heard somewhere, may be on a taxi ride, or may be as someone’s karaoke background, a song that stuck in loop infinitely, a soundtrack of his falling that may continue longer than the lifetime of our gazes. Eventually he disappeared into the depth of the fall, leaving only his shadow to perform alone to the world. And so poetry became an arrow that lost its direction, missed the target and disappeared into the dark of the night.
Xxavier Edward Carter
seated before a video of a previous performance in Mexico, Xxavier combed his hair began to paste a mixture of small paper item such as receipts and boarding passes to his head, covering his face entirely over the course of the performance. in the background, a second Xxavier entered on screen to sit in a ring of flower and shave his head. during the video, Xxavier completes this task and then builds a bonfire from the shaved hair and flowers that he sets alight. in front of the video, Xxavier used his hands to cover his head with black paint, the dark paint dripping heavily onto his shoulders and down the front of his white shirt. tangible and intangible realities combined as the film cut to a low rooftop with a backdrop of other roofs and treetops. down from a neighbouring roof came a large lizard walking into our reality as Xxavier lifted his hand for the lizard to walk into our vision. Xxavier ended his performance by making small holes in the paper-mache mask he had made for his eyes and mouth. he started out at his audience until both video and performance came to a close.
cast in darkness, Miyaji used a suspended projector to sporadically beam blue, green and white rectangles onto a larger rectangle of silver foil spread over A. Farm’s courtyard. speakers linked with the flashing light choreographed a synchronised light and sound performance that featured disconnected and digitally-manipulated voices layered over one another. the words ‘I want to know’, barking into the night. down below, Miyaji stock on a chair placed a small distance from one corner of the foil rectangle. over the course of the performance he proceeded to throw pre-made enlarged sized paper aeroplanes across the material, covering it entirely by the end of his performance.
for performance plus 2019, five big day of performances scheduled weekly create a symposium style exploration of the performance medium.
the original big day of performances took place in May 2018, as part of MoT+++’s inaugural six-month long performance plus programme. big day of performances have become a reoccurring event that brings together multiple and simultaneous performances from selected local and international artists-in-residence.
performance plus 2019 is supported by Asia-Europe Foundation – ASEF Mobility First!, Norwegian Crafts and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
in partnership with A. Farm