From Dusk Till Dawn (Real-time Activities)
May 24, 2013
Sites: Cattle Depot site and off-sites
Duration: one day and one night
During one full day including one night from dusk till dawn various artists engaged in real-time activities on and off-site of Cattle Depot in To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, supplementing the exhibition I Think It Rains. The activities were presented in order to underline the temporal and research-oriented, as well as social and discursive character of artistic practice. The activities ranged from community-oriented interventions, impromptu experiments and artist-led walks and explorations of the urban area to non-academic modes of enabling exchange about culture. The contributions ranged from self-empowering dance routines by senior citizens, a spicy workshop about sexual experiences, and the formation of a “Rain Club” to durational walks in the city understood as a gesture of artistic self-centering on the backdrop of the social sphere of Hong Kong.
The curatorial proposition addresses the artists not so much as ‘performers’ in a narrow sense, i.e. performance as form of stage-related theatricality, but simply as cultural practitioners with an interest in the temporal aspect of their existing work. Some artists have not been known as performance artists and hence contributed with ‘performances’ for the first time to this day. (Note that the denomination ‘performance day’ is used here only due to a lack for a better term.)
One of the central concerns of the ‘performance day’ lay in the ways artists create spaces, platforms and sites of encounter, perception, participation and exchange through real-time activities. How does artistic practice, for example, differ from academic or social protocols of exchange and conversations in this respect? Artists seem to, for example, relate to in a sounder way to the actual physicality of encounters, to space, place and locality, to contexts and subtexts. They also tend to include more pointedly forms of interaction, encountering, and language that go beyond the routinely activated forms of verbal communication. Last but not least, they seem to allow for a more open outcome in terms of the socially relevant results of such activities (which then differs from social programs).
The real-time activities ranged from community-oriented interventions, impromptu experiments, artist-led walks and explorations of the urban area to non-academic modes of enabling cultural dialogs. Wong Wai Yim led a stimulating sex workshop, exposing the “erotic experiences” of the Hong Kong people. Choi Yan Chi staged a “parallel dialog” piece with cultural figures from Hong Kong, who talked anonymously to participants, in the form of paired groupings of two people circulating in vans throughout the city. Pak Sheung-chuen formed a secret “Rain Club” society. Swiss artist Florian Germann mounted an adventurous night performance that saw the artist extending his ambitious Wendigo Park River Project to Hong Kong, linking his global project with the city through a new secretive underground tunnel. German artist Fiete Stolte created a tactual and sequential situation, covering his hands with graphite powder, to cover someone else’s hands, who in turn will cover his bystander’s hands.
Florian Germann in action at the old Aviation ground in Kowloon. Photograph by Alain Kantarjian, 2013. © Alain Kantarjian
Artist Lau Ching Ping lead participants onto a bus pin pointing his researched photo-sites related to his work Last Glimpse of Hong Kong. Please read here about it. Photos by Dick Lau.
In his performative activity, An Action For An Image, Fiete Stolte created a tactual and sequential situation, covering his hands with graphite powder, to cover someone else’s hands, who in turn covered his bystander’s hands. Photograph by Alain Kantarjian, 2013. © Alain Kantarjian