July 4, 2017 - Taipei Fine Arts Museum - Arena
July 4, 2017

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

© TFAM.

Arena
Seven Performances One Exhibition
July 8–September 17, 2017

Taipei Fine Arts Museum
No. 181 Zhongshan N. Road Sec. 3
Taipei 10461
Taiwan

www.tfam.museum
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The contemporary art critic Claire Bishop has proposed a new and extremely complex genealogy of artistic expression that has developed over nearly a decade of exhibition, which she calls “delegated performance.” Unlike the artists of the 1960s and 1970s who used their own bodies as media, this category of performance frequently employs others, either professionals or amateurs, to do ongoing performances or displays. Bishop contends this should be understood not merely as artists objectifying people in their artworks, but as statements illustrating how economic globalization turns the whole world into potential commodities. In many works composed of people, artists attempt to pivot from individual bodies and minds toward collective groups, conveying modes of performance that are more complex, more direct and with a greater sense of presence, in order to stir up the relationship between viewer and performer (interpreter), or perhaps to construct a common world belonging to both “us” and “them.”

In essence, this form of performance uses the exhibition as a means of expression, to generate a corresponsive relationship that fuses people (individuals/groups), society, culture, nature, and physical objects. Here, any individual form of art serves to overturn the knowledge by which we customarily understand art. And thought-provokingly, these artists use performance as a material, echoing the current zeitgeist at a variety of levels. Employing a completely open form of expression, they seek to conceive many novel visions of the art experience, using contemporary, currently relevant methods to depict the real world with greater power and creative force.

Here, Arena brings together dance, the human body, theater, music, sound, image and text, exploring a synergetic relationship arising from the convergence of exhibition and performance. Crucially, the way an art exhibition is mixed with performance, whether it be bringing the two in close proximity or intermingling them, can be seen as a form of creative “symbiosis.” At the level of meaning, live performance dovetails with the concept of exhibiting “living objects.” Fundamentally, when this kind of work is placed within the structure of an exhibition, the participants perform repeatedly throughout the exhibition period, serving the function of continuous and cyclical display. The main distinction is that they use non-visual forms of expression and an immediately present mode of performance.

Within such a context, this exhibition combines static display with live art. The displayed portion encompasses an exchange exhibition between Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the Gwangju Museum of Art. Through this Arena, Taiwanese and Korean artists endow the works with a distinctively present-tense significance, engaging in a dialogue on the societal level in conjunction with the Summer Universiade currently taking place in Taipei, and seeking out a highly hybridized social milieu, either outwardly manifested or lying latent within contemporary existence. This Arena is a complex network formed of human activity, which forms a culture and society. This human state of affairs similar to that of the real world allows us to realize the multiplicity of paradigms for existing in the world. Set within the context of globalization, these paradigms reflect the wide variety of modes in which we, as individual beings existing in a collective environment, interact with the world, a condition in which real connection takes place between us and the world. Set against the backdrop of the displayed art, the seven works of live art, ranging in duration from two to eight days, encompass a spectrum of performance forms, from lecture performance and participatory theater to dance, music, sound, performance art and video, comprising a single collective theme.

The effect this exhibition aims to achieve through consciousness of form (display and performance) is to stir up visitors who have long been in the habit of leisurely viewing exhibitions, jangling their nerves and their spirits, and placing them in a state of unease, excitation, suspension and bemusement. It aims to pose questions regarding the media and materials of contemporary art, the relationship between viewer and artist, and the social and public nature of art environments.

 

Korean artists
Sang-hwa Park, Seung-mo Park, Lee-nam Lee, In-sung Lee, Yong-hyun Lim, Joo-lee Kang, Soo-min Bae

Taiwanese artists
Chien-yang Wang, Shih-hue Tu, Riverbed Theatre, Wan-jen Chen, Against-Again Troupe+Snow Huang

Live exhibition
Baboo Liao, Te-yu Wang, Cheng-ta Yu, River Lin, Co-coism, Tung-yen Chou+WERC Collective(NL)+Grand Theatre Groningen(NL), Yi-wei Keng, Shang-chi Sun, Wei-yuan Ma, Yow-ruu Chen+Sow-yee Au, Voleur du Feu Theatre, Clockwork Noses

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