Departing from the body presentations in Taiwan’s visual art and experimental theater of the 1990s, the major annual C-LAB exhibition Re: Play will launch an exploration into corporeal expressions and behaviors that have become indicative of contemporary society. With "live art" as a foundation, the exhibition invites artists to intervene through performativity and to re-express the sensory state as it manifests in various temporal conditions by harnessing the power of language, the practice of performance, the movement of body, and the situational structures of fields. These sensory states are concretely and subtly presented through the body, including bodies that are ignored or neglected, bodies that are requisitioned by the state, bodies that have been dispatched by neoliberal social structures, and bodies that have been trained and disciplined by daily life under a backdrop of historical specificity. On this foundation, the exhibition attempts to explore performative practice and momentum and how they appear by extension, through three distinctive approaches.
Re: Play is led by a team comprising of C-LAB curator CHUANG Wei-Tzu, along with guest curators WANG Po-Wei and River LIN. A group of 16 artists are also invited to participate in live performances and multiple explorations of archives, narratives, spaces, objects, and the body. Within this context, the exhibition is made up of 3 constituent parts: Archive on Live, The Display on Live, and Performance Process, respectively planned and executed by WANG Po-Wei, CHANG Wei-Tzu, and River LIN.
Archive on Live: revisiting the body image of the 90s
At the Archive on Live, curator WANG Po-Wei retraces the body image of the 90s through revisiting archives and reorganizing narratives. In the 90s, influenced by rampant reactionary sentiments in the wake of the period of martial law in Taiwan, many artists used the body as a medium, in a time when individuals and society are eager to find self-identification and invoke one’s status. These endeavors take the form of exploratory exhibitions and performances, shaping a unique creative scene. Besides revisiting documents of significance and conducting interviews with associated personalities, the exhibition also sees the commissioning of CHEN Wu-Kang to create 4 talk show pieces tailor-made from materials in the archives. Artist KAO Jun-Honn is also invited in a 4-part revival of his previous performance artworks, first conceived around the year 2000.
The Display on Live: deconstructing frameworks and reversing the daily life through reenactment, retelling, and intervention
The Display on Live is directed by CHUANG Wei-Tzu, in which she invites artists to explore the multi-layered meanings of narratives via reenactment, retracing, and manipulative intervention, portraying scenes from everyday life in alienating form. The works of Samson YOUNG, Siren Eun Young JUNG, SU Hui-Yu, Joyce HO, Snow HUANG, Kit LEE and CHANG Wen-Hsuan discuss how historical narratives are constructed under the specificity of time and space, and how creative artists challenge existing frameworks and constructed ideologies through performances, uncovering a hidden side of history. WANG Te-Yu, CHIA Chien-Ju and LI Ming-Chen through their works also seek to bring surreal revelations to the audience inside commonplace spaces and daily experiences via installations and performances, offering audiences an opposing view of their imaginings towards C-LAB in the event.
Performance Process: rehearsal and revisiting of the scene through workshops
Performance Process is comprised of 3 workshops, with the curator River LIN exploring the concept of agency in rehearsals and reenactments regarding the curatorial concepts. Alongside River LIN, artists SU Pin-Wen and duo artists TSENG Yen-Ting and CHIANG Tao of Uncertain Studio explore in each workshop the actualization of group rehearsals and its possibilities, along the 3 vectors of Gutai art’s bodily experimentation, women’s rights movement & gender issues, and object & auditory performances.