To live as a performance artist is to be the one who, when everyone acts in uniform, mobilizes their potential ahead of others, creates their own actions, and deforms the collective action. Based on our research, we conclude that perfor- mance artists retain the most complete gene of contemporary art energy. They treat their life and practice as real happenings. This is their self-imposed regulation on art and life, which oten leaves the system at a loss as to how respond – it can neither judge nor release them. Our body is the last resort of subconsciousness and improvisation, as well as the forefront of the sensibility scene. It is the battleground for our transcendental schemas and biological codings, constantly being embodied while being codiied.
At the present day, what sort of performance art can offset the weightlessness and absurdity of our big-data life? What are the coordinates of these performance artists on the global contemporary map? What is the performance that contemporary art in 2023 truly desires to present?
We will use this performance art documental exhibition as an opportunity to display the creative literature, background, and thinking of performance artists. Concurrent with the exhibition opening, philosopher Lu Xinghua will publish “The Bitterness and Joy of the Spirit”, a comprehensive literature review of contemporary performance art practices and theories.
CuratorialTeam：Jin Feng，Liu Chengrui，Xu Zhen
ExhibititedArtists：Ake，Aki Sasamoto，Alexandrina Hemsley，yewande103，Branko Milisković，Cheng Xinhao，Dong Jinling，Dai Chenlian，Ei Arakawa，Eisa Jocson，Ge Yulu，Geumhyung Jeong，Ho Rui An，He Liping，Hu Xiangqian，Kawita Vatanajyankur，Miles Greenberg，Mari Katayama，Sin Wai Kin，Song Lang，Wang Sishun，Wang Ximan，Xie Jing，Zhao Yao，Zoë Marden
Biterness and Joy of the Spirit:A Reader on Performance Art by Lu Xinghua
Lu Xinghua is a philosopher and professor at Tongji University. His research focuses on philosophy of art, contemporary French philosophy, and urban philosophy.
Applause Resounded I，2023 Theater (live performance) 30 minutes
Part of the “Actor” series of Dai Chenlian’s theater project, the work focuses on the reasons why Lu Junfei, an actor the artist once worked with, studied communication engineering under the background of the Reform and Opening-up policy and then entered a foreign-funded enterprise. The work consists of simple yet moving storytelling as well as a voiceover accompanied by a performance of movements related to professional foreign trade management. Lu taught Dai the basic postures of ballet, daily habitual movements and professional etiquette movements of foreign trade, which is not only the friendship of mutual learning after their reunion, but also the spiritual connection after the integration of their physical movements. In the space of MadeIn Art Museum, where the relationship between abandonment and reconstruction fuse together, Dai is presenting Lu with this performance, showing her confusion and happiness, past and present, retracing and reexamining Lu’s history of engaging in foreign trade affairs. (Foreigners provided equipment, raw materials, incoming samples and exporting products. In the meantime, Chinese enterprises provided land, plants and labor. This mode of foreign trade and collaboration prevailed in the country after the Reform and Opening-up.) The work narrates a personal history belonging to Lu and a common memory of a generation.
Note: Lu Junfei is a Shanghai-native actor Dai previously worked with. She is engaged in foreign trade management in the construction industry. She participated in Dai’s work during an exhibition during the pandemic. The two have been sending greetings to each other via WeChat but haven’t met each other for two years. This exhibition signifies Dai and Lu’s reunion.