I cannot easily shake off the village. -Thoreau

'Good Grief!' was on last week and was well received. I performed (with a guest) and I really enjoyed the experience. I had planned to spend the whole opening inside the structure. I cannot easily shake off the village. - Thoreau was about my ideal form of escape: a structure that would serve as both a workspace on its upright position and as a resting space once lying on its side. Moving, lifting, & tilting of the structure all had to be performed by myself. I saw these basic tasks as fundamental in representing effort in seeking some personal space to think or to relax.

Tehching Hsieh: Performance art, the body, and time

One Year Performance 1980-1981 (a.k.a. Time Clock Piece)

I first heard of Tehching Hsieh and the “Time Clock Piece, 1980-1981” in 2010. I was both shocked and in awe. I’ve experienced sleep deprivation but I can’t imagine punching the clock every hour and taking self-portraits of each of these moments for a whole year. It’s another level of performance. For Marina Abramovíc, she makes it clear that she prepares for weeks before her performances thought meditation, dietary changes, etc. I’d be interested to know how Tehching Hsieh sustained such mental and physical endurance for his year-long performance projects. 

Here’s a good article about his career and exhibition in Sydney.

Eugenia Lim - Narcissus

Last night, I attended the video performance piece of the Melbourne artist Eugenia Lim, entitled Narcissus, held at Kings ARI. Lim explored the idea of narcissism by filming herself brushing her hair without saying anything and then replaying the video. Lim would then watch herself and would mimic some of her actions. She would start the sequence all over again.

I was curious to see Lim’s performance because I had heard about her last project, Stay Home Sakoku,  where she stayed in one of the gallery spaces at West Space for 7 days. Also, the concept of narcissism is something I’ve recently started to explore and I wanted to see Lim’s perspective on it. I think she succeeded in conveying the idea using simple props, a camera, and a TV.

Eugenia Lim is a multidisciplinary artist who explores race, identity, and representation.  

My participation in Roman Ondak's 'Resistance' at ACCA

On October 5th, I participated in my first public performance at ACCA for its opening exhibition “Power to the People: Contemporary Conceptualism & Object in Art”. I was one of the 20 people, most of which were VCA students, who performed in Roman Ondak’s work, Resistance. The performance lasted 30 minutes in Gallery 1, where we stood in small groups, socialising with our shoes untied. At the end of the performance, we all collectively tied our laces up. 

During the performance, we observed for visitors reactions. One woman walked by, stared at our feet, and smiled. I saw her in the lobby after the performance and asked her what she thought of it. She said she felt so proud of herself for having noticed it. 

I liked the idea of having been involved in a performance that what kept secret from the public. Ondak’s work “consists of subtle interventions into sociocultural structures, which denote processes in society that are often outside of direct public visibility” (Kontakt gallery). Resistance was about questioning social behaviours and our perception of them. I wonder how many people noticed. 

Remake it!

Self-portrait with me revisiting the performance “Freeing the body” (1975) by Marina Abramovic.

Problem set week #9: Remake it in a video or in a photo

  •  Rule: 3 minutes

For this week’s project, I decided to remake the performance of Marina Abramovic entitled Freeing the body (1975). I photographed myself dancing to an African drumming piece which lasted 3 minutes. The original performance lasted 6h and the artist was naked except for a black scarf covering her face. Drummers were present in her performance. I saw the original footage in Berlin last July. It was filmed in black and white and was played on a TV.

When I presented the project today, I ended up having to justify to the class why I didn’t perform undressed. My project was about remaking the documentation and not about the performance itself. Perhaps, I wasn’t clear on my main intent.

In spite of all, besides going back in the darkroom, this assignment gave me the opportunity to experiment with body performance and endurance, something I’ve been fascinated with lately.