How does the body, rationally hijacked by tools, escape the fate of materialization that is such an integral byproduct of modernity? Japanese curator Yuko Hasegawa’s exhibition is an announcement that attempts to deconstruct the tale of a western monopoly on technology in the postcolonial world by showcasing Asian, Middle Eastern, and eastern European artists as a new driving force in the global art ecosystem. Many of the artists come from a performance background. Japanese actor and dancer Mirai Moriyama, in a solo dance, turns his body into a transparent operating system and allows raw desire to break out from within the thin, translucent film that symbolizes a technical system. In this struggle, the operating system, representing a highly structured computer language, does not limit the format of subjective expression; on the contrary, it provides the body with strength to break through its modern constraints.
Asian performance art, evolving since the end of World War II, has today become something quite different from its western counterpart. While the western world tends to view the body as an exterior representation that is filled with anxiety and absurdity, Asian artists explore the body within the context of social taboo in order to construct a sensory experience that traverses political censorship and traditional morality; this type of expression, while salient from a localized perspective, tends to self-segregate in a global context.
One of the focuses of “Globale: New Sensorium” is to steer the sensory experience of performance back toward narratives of the body and reconstruct Asia’s position. The exhibition looks at escapism under modernism without properly defining modernism, and frames Asian artists as a growing power in order to escape the western-centric narrative of modernism. On the other hand, it inevitably falls into a global language driven by technology, which dissolves and disrupts the antagonistic relationship between the subjective and the objective; we must now contend with art’s rapid convergence in digital modernity.
(Translated by Frank Qian)
2016.03.05 – 2016.09.04