PANEL 4, MAY 22
Abstracts and bios are available below.
Video presentations, comments and discussion will be enabled on May 22nd.
ZÀO: A HISTORY OF CHINESE DISHCOURSE THROUGH FAMINE AND REVOLUTION
A 338-page bilingual artist’s book, ZÀO: A History of Chinese Dishcourse through Famine and Revolution retells modern Chinese history through ‘faction’ (fact and fiction). This invented genre is a critical response to my study of Mao Era propaganda — itself an archive of fictions posing as fact. As this propaganda was blooming, anywhere between 20 and 63 million people (estimates vary owing in part to obfuscation of historical records) were starving to death or murdered for political reasons. A speculative history, ZÀO satirically reconstructs the events leading up to and during the Great Leap Forward (1958-1962) and Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), both Maoist movements that were supposed to shepherd China into an unprecedented communist utopia. Instead, these movements ushered in the most severe famine in recorded human history; decades of the most successful and pervasive ideological indoctrination of a population; and a near civil war in which citizens killed each other for being “counterrevolutionaries.” Yet these crises’ devastating magnitude has been met only with a censored obscurity in both mainland China and Western public discourse. In its exhumation of massive historical trauma concealed beneath exuberant propaganda, ZÀO deploys myriad strategies: archival images, original historical research, personal memoir, fictional storyline, bilingual (mis)translation, critical analysis, and hand-drawn illustrations.
SIRI LEE is an NYC-based interdisciplinary visual artist. Interweaving the personal, historical, and fictional, she constructs image-based narratives using writing, illustration, and archival materials. A potluck of research, mixed media, and speculative fiction, Siri’s work deploys image and wordplay to visualise analogies between material culture and ideology. Her practice is inspired by her upbringing in China and the U.S. and an academic background that crosses literary studies, digital media studies, and the social sciences. A recent graduate from the University of Chicago, Lee is an upcoming Food Futures artist-in-residence at Residency Unlimited in New York, has been selected for inclusion in Project Anywhere’s 2020 Global Exhibition Program, and has exhibited in Chicago and New York.
ECLIPSE | David Cross
In 2011, Hobart-based artist Anthony Johnson developed a new commission for a public art series across Tasmania called Iteration Again. The work Eclipse consisted of a series of bus journeys each Saturday afternoon, taking place over the course of a month through four streets in North Hobart. The audience were ushered onto a luxury coach and driven around the block for a few minutes, before being deposited again at the pickup spot. This was repeated in the following weeks, creating a perception that the work was either a public art homage to John Cage and Samuel Beckett, or that the artist was taking liberties. While the subtle shifts in time, weather and audience marked each iteration, it was only towards the final weeks that the full measure of the artists project was comprehensible. Bit by bit, the staggering scale of the work was recovered by perceptive audience members who began over time (and multiple journeys) to forensically assemble fragments of what they were seeing. Eclipse was an artwork that took great risks to challenge our capacities for perception, ever ambiguous in potentiate meanings. This presentation will revisit Eclipse some ten years later, considering how the deft calibration of time and space challenged ideas of place using repetition as a strategy of transformation.
DAVID CROSS is an artist, writer and curator based in Melbourne. Working across performance, installation, video and photography, Cross explores the relationship between pleasure, intimacy and the phobic in his works, and often incorporates participation by linking performance art with object-based environments. As a curator Cross has produced a number of temporary public projects, including One Day Sculpture (with Claire Doherty) across New Zealand in 2008-09, and Iteration: Again in Tasmania in 2011. He recently co-founded the research initiative Public Art Commission (PAC) at Deakin University which is devoted to the commissioning and scholarship of temporary public art. Recent PAC projects co-developed with Cameron Bishop include, Treatment with Melbourne Water and City of Wyndham (2015-17), Venetian Blind with European Cultural Centre, Venice (2019), and Six Moments in Kingston for the City of Kingston (2019). Cross is currently Professor of Visual Arts, Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University, Melbourne.
CROSSWAYS. THE BRIDGE AS READYMADE
Anthony McInneny, Beatriz Maturana Cossio and Museo Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna
This project utilises the bridge as a metaphor of communication—of language and physical movement—in the specific context of Santiago’s urban culture. A series of 9 Meccano type bridges were installed during the late nineteenth century as part of the canalisation of the Mapocho River. The canal and its bridges were the centrepiece of the modernisation of Santiago de Chile as the “Paris of South America” and linked the north and south sides of the city for three kilometres. These links were easily moved or removed, replaced and multiplied during the twentieth century. In the twenty-first century, three sites along the Mapocho contain the remaining four metal crossways. The assemble metal brides have been appropriated, demounted and re-arranged as heritage objects of anywhere within the river’s premodern, early modern and contemporary urban history.
ANTHONY MCINNENY (PhD Architecture. RMIT University, Australia) Conjoint Professor University of Newcastle, Member of RMIT University CAST. Lead Artist/Investigator.
BEATRIZ MATURANA (PhD Architecture. University of Melbourne). Associate Professor Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Chile, Santiago. Adjunct Professor RMIT University. Urban Design and Heritage Advisor.
MUSEO BENJAMÍN VICUÑA MACKENNA (Museum of the City), Santiago, Chile. Institutional partner and archive resources.
PERFORMANCE AS FAULT LINE
What is it when a performance is moved from the contextual frame of a gallery and inserted into a public space, where such a framework to understand performance is less established? How can performance provoke underlying ideologies of how bodies are ordered in such spaces? Which bodies are permitted to hold space and demonstrate an idea? Phases of the Imminent was a six-hour endurance performance presented at the Salt Lake City Performance Art Festival in the SLC Public Library. This performance examined the interrelated factors of space, time and body. Coon moved broken mirror particles to make six successively smaller orbital rings that reflected the space and the audience. Each ring represented an hour, which began
from the outermost limits of the structure and moved inwards until she was closed inside. The re-arrangement of the broken mirror particles into circles spoke to the way that nothing ever ends; rather, forms change and what occurred in previous phases is inextricably linked to the imminent. Significantly, Coon’s performance provoked select audience outbursts through its examination of the way the body affects space, space affects time, and time affects the body. Coon questions through performance: what else is possible if the limits of space, time and the body are reconsidered?
CHELSEA COON is a performance artist and writer. Her performances utilises endurance to reconsider limitations of the body through its various orientations to space and time. She has exhibited internationally in festivals, biennales, galleries and artist-run spaces. She received her BFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (2012), MFA at Tufts University (2014), and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Theatre, Performance and Contemporary Live Arts at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Scuola Teatro Dimitri, Switzerland (2015). Recent writings will be included in Rated RX: Sheree Rose with and after Bob Flanagan (Ohio State University Press, 2020); and the phenomenology of bloody performance art! (Routledge, 2021). Coon is a doctoral candidate at the VCA.
CHAIR | Simone Slee
SIMONE SLEE makes work that has its origins in sculpture. She produces installations, photographs, videos and sculptural objects that often engage the body and have a performance potential. Her practice investigates concepts of abfunction; a term she coined where abfunction is a generative move away from concepts of function within the production and effect of an artwork. Slee received her PhD from the University of Melbourne, where she was awarded the Chancellors Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis (2018). She is represented by Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne, and is currently Art Research Convenor at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.